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13 Yoga Poses for Strong Triceps

0 2 years ago

Many daily activities–steering a car, typing on a keyboard, chopping vegetables for dinner, even hugging someone you love–are forward- reaching movements. Even in yoga practice, you’re often stretching your arms out in front or reaching up overhead. That means you don’t get much of a triceps workout.

But these muscles deserve your attention, says Richelle Ricard, author of The Yoga Engineer’s Manual: The Anatomy and Mechanics of a Sustainable Practice. They’re an important part of helping stabilize and strengthen your yoga poses—especially those that require weight bearing in your arms.

Anatomy of the triceps

Ricard, who has worked for 25 years in sports medicine, therapeutic and clinical massage, energetic bodywork, yoga, and meditation, explains the tricep as one muscle with three “heads” or “bellies.” This complex muscle main job is to help you move your elbow and shoulder. A single tendon attaches the muscle to the bony point of your elbow at the top of your ulna. The muscle extends up the arm in three parts: The lateral and medial head attach near the top of the humerus. The long head attaches at the base of the shoulder blade. All three parts contract to help you straighten your arm at the elbow, extend it behind you, or pull your arm in close to your side.

Your triceps are involved in any activity that requires you to reach back, pull something toward you, or reach up and pull down. But our modern lifestyle doesn’t call on these muscles very often. “We aren’t pulling nets out of the water. We’re not climbing trees and pulling ourselves up in space, so triceps aren’t getting exercised,” Ricard says.

There are yoga poses that engage and strengthen the these muscles and help stabilize your arm and elbow so that you can safely practice postures such as Forearm Balance.

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