Kapotasana/Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy

Kapotasana is derived from two words, ‘Kapota’ mean ‘Pigeon’ and ‘Asana’ means ‘Pose’. ‘Kapotasana’ (Pigeon Pose Muscle) is a back bending pose resembling Chakrasana or Wheel Pose.

In some styles of Yoga, it’s called the King Pigeon or Pigeon Pose. Performed correctly, this Pigeon Pose Muscle a large number of muscles throughout the body, especially of the hips, thighs and chest. Unlike similar postures such as the Bridge or Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana) which works against gravity, the back bridge allows the gravity to assist the pose.

Traditionally Kapotasana is believed to be ideal for the female reproductive system and is recommended for women who are trying to conceive.

Beyond therapeutic and yogic applications, deep back bends allow for easier and more effective performance of skills involving stretching back. Martial arts, yoga, dance, figure skating and other disciplines can benefit from mastering this Pigeon Pose Muscle, if target skills involve back bending.

There are many muscles that are being stretched in this pose as well as muscles that are being contracted to assist the pose. Let’s study them one by one.

Lower Body Muscles Lengthening

Rectus Femoris:

Rectus Femoris flexes the hip joint specially when the knee is flexed but in the Pigeon Pose, the hip is hyperextended and thus, Rectus Femoris is stretched.

Psoas:

Psoas muscles are also the flexors of the thigh at the hip joint and this is why they are also being stretched in executing this pose.

Iliacus:

Iliacus works with Psoas muscles in the flexion of the hip joint and this is why, they are being stretched.

Pectineus:

Pectineus is a flexor and adductor of the leg at the hip joint. So, just like other flexors it will also be flexed.

Upper Body Muscles Lengthening

Rhomboids:

Rhomboids retract, elevate and rotate scapula. During the execution of Pigeon Pose Rhomboids get lengthened.

Pectoralis Minor:

Pectoralis Minor draws the scapula down and medially and gets stretched during the Pigeon Pose.

Pectoralis Major (Sternal):

Pectoralis Major is a medial rotator as well as a flexor of the arm at shoulder joint. While executing Kapotasana, lateral rotation occurs in the humerus and that’s why sternal head of Pectoralis Major is getting stretched.

Latissimus Dorsi:

Another medial rotator as well as extensor of the arm at shoulder joint. Both of these movements are opposite to the movements occurring during the execution of the Pigeon Pose.

Subscapularis:

Subscapularis is also a medial rotator of the arm. Hence, gets lengthened.

Triceps:

Triceps extend the forearm at the elbow joint, but during Kapotasana the forearm is bent so Triceps get stretched.

Core Muscles Lengthening

Rectus Abdominis:

Rectus Abdominis helps the trunk to flex but here as you can see, the trunk is being extended so Rectus Abdominis is stretching.

External Oblique:

External Oblique also helps in flexing the trunk and so gets stretched during the Pigeon Pose.

Internal Oblique:

Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy

Another flexor of the core that will be stretched during Kapotasana’s execution.

Psoas Minor:

Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy

Psoas Minor, apart from being a flexor of the thigh, is also a weak flexor of the trunk. The extension of the trunk as a result of Kapotasana will stretch it as well.

Cervical Flexors:

Pose Flexors of the Cervical Spine

The neck will be extended back during the Pigeon Pose so the Cervical Flexors get stretched.

Lower Body Muscles Contracting

Gluteus Maximus:

Gluteus Maximus Pigeon

Gluteus Maximus extends the thigh backwards as seen in the picture. Thus, it will be contracting.

Hamstrings:

Hamstrings Pose Muscle

Hamstrings are prime extensors of the thigh and flexors of the knee. This is why they play a major role during the execution of the Pigeon Pose.

Adductor Magnus (Ischial Fibers):

Magnus Ischial Pigeon Pose

Ischial Fibers of the Adductor Magnus act as Hamstrings and extend the leg.

Upper Body Muscles Contracting

Posterior Deltoid:

Pigeon Posterior Deltoid

Posterior Deltoid extends, externally rotates and horizontally abducts the arm. Its contraction will play a big role in perfect execution of the pose.

Teres Minor:

Teres MinorPigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy

This rotator cuff muscle helps in externally rotating the arm.

Infraspinatus Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy:

Infraspinatus Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy

It is the main external rotator of the shoulder joint, this is why it is getting contracted during Kapotasana.

Serratus Anterior Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy:

Serratus Anterior

Serratus Anterior protracts and rotates the scapula upwards. Its cobtraction is important in position the arms like in the picture.

Trapezius Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy:

Trapezius Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy

Rotates, elevates and retracts scapula as well as extends the neck. Mostly, it will be contracting during the execution of the Pigeon Pose.

Read more Go to: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2021/10/25/side-splits-anatomy/

Core Muscles Contracting

Spinal Extensors:

Pigeon Pose Muscle Anatomy (Core)

Spinal Extensors will extend the spine and help in the execution of Kapotasana.

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Front Rack Position Anatomy

Front Rack Position Anatomy is a technique of holding the bar while preparing to do a front squat, lunge or overhead press. It allows to place the bar in a favourable position.

Not having the proper Front Rack form, prevents many lifters from reaching their true potential. Years ago, coaches drilled the techniques with naked bar or a stick, for many sessions. There was a belief that eventually proper technique will be established.

Next generation of coaches added basic stretching techniques. Sometime later, massage and release came into play. The last two modalities helped, some but not all athletes. The reason why basic stretches did not work is because most are taken from other disciplines such as yoga. However the Front Rack Position in lifting is very specific and need direct work to master it.

Before that, the correct knowledge about the muscles involved in the execution of Front Rack is important. So, let’s start with the anatomy behind Front Rack.

Muscles Lengthening

Subscapularis:

Front Rack Position Anatomy

It is a part of rotator cuff muscles that along with stabilizing the shoulder joint, also performs the function of internal rotation of the humerus. But, during the Front Rack Position, the arms have to be externally rotated so Subscapularis will be lengthened.

Middle Deltoid (Posterior Fibers):

Front Rack Position Anatomy

The posterior fibers of middle Deltoid act to extend the arm at shoulder joint. Thus, these fibers will be stretched.

Trapezius:

Front Rack Position Anatomy

Trapezius is a multifunctional muscle that can retract, rotate, elevate as well as depress scapula. Scapula usually protracts during the Front Rack, so it will be lengthened.

Triceps (Short head):

The short head of Triceps assist in extending the forearm at elbow joint. It will also be lengthened when the arms will be in Front Rack Position.

Flexors of Wrist and Fingers:

The wrists and fingers of both hands will be in extended position while in the Front Rack. The muscles that flex these joint will be stretched.

Supinator:

It is obvious that Supinator will be stretched as the arms are in pronated position during the execution of the Front Rack.

Muscles Partially Lengthening

Anterior Deltoid:

Anterior Deltoid performs two functions. First, flexion of the arm at shoulder joint and second, internal rotation of the arm. It will be stretched by lateral rotation and shortened by flexion of the arm during the Front Rack.

Posterior Deltoid:

Supinator

It extends the arm at shoulder joint and this is why it is lengthening here. But it will be shortened by it being a lateral rotator.

Teres Minor:

Front Rack Position Anatomy

Teres Minor will also be contracting as well as lengthening due to it being a lateral rotator and extensor of the arm.

Infraspinatus:

Infraspinatus

Also lengthens partially as it is involved in lateral rotation and horizontal extension (the opposite of what is happening here) of the shoulder.

Pectoralis Major (sternal and clavicular):

It is involved in flexion of the arm at the shoulder joint, thus shortens. In addition, it is also involved in medial rotation of the arm and that’s why, partially lengthens.

Latissimus Dorsi:

Latissimus Dorsi

Extends the arm, medially rotates it, as well as adducts it. And during Front Rack, lengthens partially.

Triceps (long head):

Triceps Long Head

Triceps perform elbow extension thus is lengthening and also performs shoulder extension, and hence shortening too during the Front Rack.

Teres Major:

Teres Major

Teres Major performs the extension and medial rotation of the arm and is a partially lengthening muscle here.

Rhomboids:

Rhomboids rotate the scapula downwards, hence shortening and also retracts the scapula and hence stretching here.

Muscles Contracting

Pectoralis Minor:

Pectoralis Minor draws the scapula downwards and medially, thus assisting during the Front Rack.

Pectoralis Major:

It flexes the arm at the shoulder joint hence contributing in the Front Rack Position.

Serratus Anterior:

Front Rack Position Anatomy

Serratus Anterior protracts the scapula, an important movement during the Front Rack Position.

Read more Go Here: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/27/front-rack-position-anatomy/

Anterior Deltoid:

Front Rack Position Anatomy

Also flexes the arm anteriorly and so, is contracting here.

Teres Minor:

Front Rack Position Anatomy

Laterally rotates the arm and for this reason, contracting here.

Infraspinatus:

Teres Minor  Position Anatomy

Infraspinatus, just like Teres Minor, is also a lateral rotator of the arm. That is why, it also shortens.

Triceps Front Rack Position Anatomy:

Triceps Front Rack Position

Triceps will contract to avoid excessive flexion of the forearm.

Pronator Teres Front Rack Position Anatomy:

Pronator Teres

It is a prime pronator of the arm. Pronation is a very crucial movement for the Front Rack Position. Thus, it is contracting.

Pronator Quadratus Front Rack Position Anatomy:

Front Rack Pronator Quadratus

Also protracts the arm, along with Pronator Teres.

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Developpe A La Seconde Muscle Anatomy

Developpe A La Seconde is classic technique seen throughout adagio and jumps. It is basically changing the position from the first to the other and the final position being the extension of the leg. ‘Developpe’ means ‘develop to the second’.

Developpe is a ballet technique of extending the leg to the side. It begins with the fifth position.

Strength, balance, control, awareness and of course flexibility are factors needed to extend the leg high, with grace. At the same time full control of the movement and holding the leg vertical is what all ballet dancers strive for.

This graceful move requires a ton of practice and proper progression in addition to the correct knowledge about the muscles involved. This article is all about the muscles that are involved in the Developpe , so let’s start.

Supporting Leg Muscles Contracting while Lengthening

Hamstrings (All four heads):

Hamstrings extend the hip joint while bending the knee as well and assist in hip rotation. The Hamstrings of the supporting leg while executing the Developpe A La Seconde, are lengthening while contracting eccentrically.

Gluteus Medius and Minimus:

Both these muscles are abductors, extensors and internal rotators of the hip joint. They are also undergoing eccentric contraction and being lengthened.

Deep six Lateral Rotators:

Lateral rotation of the supporting leg is a must to execute the Developpe A La Seconde perfectly. The six Lateral Rotators are also contracting eccentrically while lengthening.

Supporting Leg Muscles Holding

Soleus:

Soleus is a powerful plantar flexor. It will assisting to hold the position of supporting leg as shown.

Gastrocnemius:

Gastrocnemius is also a plantar flexor that will be holding the position in the supporting leg.

Supporting Leg Muscles Lengthening

Adductor Brevis:

Adductor Brevis helps in adducting legs together, and Developpe A La Seconde is the exact kind of move where it’s flexibility will be tested as it will be lengthening.

Adductor Magnus:

Adductor Magnus is the prime adductor of the leg. It will also get stretched just like Adductor Brevis.

Adductor Longus:

Another adductor muscle that will be stretched during the execution of this Ballet move.

Gracilis:

This strap muscle is also an adductor of the leg and here particularly, it is being lengthened.

Pectineus:

Pectineus is an adductor as well as a flexor of the hip joint. It is also getting lengthened in the supporting leg during Developpe A La Seconde.

Tibialis Anterior:

Tibialis Anterior dorsiflexes the foot but during the execution of Developpe A La Seconde, the supporting foot needs to be plantar flexed all the way, that’s why, Tibialis Anterior is lengthening here.

Lifted Leg Muscles Holding the Position

Quadriceps:

Quadriceps are the prime flexors of the thigh and their flexion is very important to hold the position of the lifted leg.

Psoas:

Psoas Muscles also help in flexing the thigh at hip joint and lifting it towards the body.

Iliacus:

Ilacus works with the Psoas muscles in flexing the thigh towards the core, hence a key muscle in Developpe A La Seconde.

Tensor Fascia Lata:

Tensor Fascia Lata is a flexor of the hip joint as well as an abductor of the leg. Flexion of the leg is our main focus here in Developpe A La Seconde, so it is doing it’s part.

Gluteus Maximus (upper fibers):

Upper fibers of Gluteus Maximus can abduct the leg as well as laterally rotate it.

Piriformis:

Piriformis does a very major function. It abducts the leg in the flexed position, assisting a ton during Developpe A La Seconde.

Gluteus Medius:

A La Seconde

Gluteus Medius also helps to hold the position by abducting the leg.

Gluteus Minimus:

A La Seconde

It is also an abductor of the leg that holds the position of Developpe A La Seconde.

Soleus:

A La Seconde

Soleus plantar flexes the foot and this is a major movement in the execution of a perfect Developpe A La Seconde.

Sartorius:

A La Seconde

It is a strap like muscle that helps in flexion of the thigh.

Lifted Leg Muscles Lengthening

Adductor Brevis:

A La Seconde

Just as in supporting leg, the Adductors of the lifted leg also get stretched. Adductor Brevis is one of them.

Adductor Magnus:

A La Seconde

It is the prime adductor of the leg that will also be lengthened.

Adductor Longus:

A La Seconde

The third adductor in the list, lengthening here.

Gracilis:

Muscles Lengthening

Gracilis is another adductor of the leg and a quite powerful one.

Pectineus:

A La Seconde

Pectineus is the also being lengthened for being involved in the adduction of the leg.

Hamstrings:

Muscles Lengthening

As the leg gets flexed during the execution of Developpe A La Seconde, the Hamstrings that are extensors of the leg get lengthened.

Tibialis Anterior A La Seconde:

Tibialis Anterior

Tibialis Anterior just like in the supporting leg will be lengthened for being a dorsiflexor.

Core Muscles Involved

Rectus AbdominisA La Seconde:

A La Seconde

Rectus Abdominis helps in forward bending of the trunk. It will assist in achieving the required position as shown.

Quadratus Lumborum A La Seconde:

A La Seconde

Quadratus Lumborum bends the spine sideways and assists in getting into the position the person executing the Developpe A La Seconde is in. While the opposite Quadratus Lumborum is getting stretched.

Read More GoTo: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/24/developpe-a-la-seconde-muscle-anatomy/

Spinal Extensors:

Spinal Extensors

Spinal Extensors extend the spine so that correct posture is maintained during this dance move.

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Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose Anatomy

(Gomukhasana / Cow Face Pose Anatomy) “Gomukhasana” came from three separate Sanskrit words. “Go” meaning “cow”, mukha” meaning “face” and “asana” meaning “posture”. It is a seated Asana requiring the practitioner to sit erect, the legs crossing each other in such a way that one of the knee is stacked over the other, raising one arm over the head and simultaneously bringing the other arm back and interlocking both hands.

This pose combines lower body and upper body lengthening positions into a single pose. When done on both sides, the Gomukhasana stretches virtually all the muscles of the shoulder and shoulder girdle. All the lateral muscles of the hip get the stretch as well.

People who try this pose often brand it as very easy or very hard. The former usually being naturally flexible people. The ones that struggle, usually are beginners or have little natural flexibility.

The muscles getting stretched are discussed in the next section.

Lower Body Muscles Lengthening

Gluteus Medius:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Gluteus Medius is an abductor and extensor of the thigh but while executing Gomukhasana, the thigh flexes and adducts thus this muscle is stretching.

Gluteus Minimus:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Gluteus Minimus works just as Gluteus Medius so also gets stretched during this move.

Gluteus Maximus:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Gluteus Maximus is a major extensor and abductor of the leg at hip joint and is lengthening.

Piriformis:

This muscle is special as it abducts the thighs when the hip joint is flexed thus gets stretched during Gomukhasana.

Hamstrings:

Hamstrings are prime extensors of the leg so the flexion of the leg stretches.

Adductor Magnus (Ischial Fibers):

Ischial Fibers of Adductor Magnus also act as extensors of the hip joint so get lengthened.

Upper Body/Lower Arm Muscles Lengthening

Biceps (Long Head):

Long head of Biceps flexes and supinates the arm. These movements are against what we are trying to achieve in the Cow Face Pose.

Anterior Deltoid:

Anterior Deltoid act by flexing the arm at the shoulder joint. It is also lengthening as the arm is hyperextending.

Serratus Anterior:

Serratus Anterior protracts the scapula as well as rotates it upwards. During Gomukhasana, the scapula retracts so this muscle is lengthening.

Trapezius (upper fiber):

Upper fibers of Trapezius elevates and rotates the scapula upwards and is getting lengthened on the side of the lower arm.

Top Arm Muscles Lengthening

Rhomboids:

Rhomboids help to retract the scapula and on the side of the upper arm, it gets lengthened.

Pectoralis Minor:

Pectoralis Minor draws the scapula down and medially. On the side of the top arm, it will be lengthened.

Pectoralis Major:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Pectoralis Major adducts, flexes and medially rotates the arm. During Gomukhasana, this muscle gets stretched.

Teres Major:

Another adductor and medial rotator of the arm, that will be stretched on the side of top arm because the required movement on this side is lateral rotation.

Latissimus Dorsi:


Lats also assist in adduction and medial rotation of the arm so as expected, get stretched.

Posterior Deltoid:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Posterior Deltoid helps in extending the arm but in the case of the top arm, the arm is being flexed. So, Posterior Deltoid gets stretched.

Subscapularis:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Subscapularis is a medial rotator of the humerus but to achieve the Cow Face Pose, top arm needs to be laterally rotated.

Upper Body Muscles Contracting to hold the position

Flexors of the finger Gomukhasana / Cow Pose :

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

The hands need to be interlocked for the pose to be executed in a right way, so flexors of the fingers will contract.

Teres MinoGomukhasana / Cow Pose:

Gomukhasana / Cow Pose

Teres Minor causes lateral rotation of the humerus, thus contracts on the side of the top arm during the execution of this pose.

Infraspinatus Gomukhasana / Cow Pose:

Infraspinatus

Infraspinatus is an external rotator of the arm and that’s why, the top arm muscle is contracting.

Read More GoTo: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/18/__trashed/

Subscapularis:

Subscapularis

Subscapularis is a medial rotator of humerus that will be contracting on the side of bottom arm.

Pectoralis Major (sternal):

Major Sternal

Sternal head of the Pectoralis Major act as an internal rotator of the arm so gets contracted on the side of bottom arm white executing the Cow Face Pose.

Lower Body Muscles Contracting to hold the position

Adductors:

Adductors

All the adductors will contract when the abductors are restricting.

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Toe Touch Dance move Anatomy

Toe Touch Dance move is a very elegant looking move that is also called a Straddle Jump. It is done by jumping in the air, with both legs abducted to the maximum and the arms extended over the toes.

This move is popular in Dance Cheerleading and Gymnastics. Dancers often find this move difficult to execute as it requires a great range of flexibility in the adductors of the leg.

To execute it to perfection, you first need to perfect the side split or the straddle position. Also, you need to develop strength in the legs to help you jump high enough.

There are many muscles you have to work on, before you can execute a perfect Toe Touch. You have to work on the flexibility and strength of the muscles of the leg and core in a correct sequence. So, let’s start with the anatomy of Toe Touch Dance.

Muscles Lengthening

Biceps Femoris:

Biceps Femoris is a flexor of the knee. But as you can see, the knee has to be extended straight for a perfect Toe Touch. Hence, it is getting lengthened.

Semitendinosus:

Semitendinosus is one of the medial Hamstring muscles whose action is to extend the thigh but here it will be stretched to achieve the position shown in the picture.

Semimembranosus:

Semimembranosus is another Hamstring muscle that also works to extend the leg.

Adductor Magnus:

The prime adductor of the leg will definitely get lengthened as the legs are being abducted to the maximum and this is the opposite of what Adductor Magnus does.

Adductor Brevis:

It is also an adductor of the legs at the hip joint. So, as expected it also gets lengthened.

Adductor Longus:

Another muscle of adductor compartment that will also get stretched during the abduction of thighs.

Gracilis:

Gracilis is a strong adductor of legs. It is a strap like muscle and during Toe Touch, it will be lengthened.

Muscles Lengthening while Contracting

Spinal Extensors:

To reach the toes, the trunk has to stretch, that’s why Spinal Extensors will be stretched a little but they will compensate by contraction against the stretch to limit further stretching.

Quadratus Lumborum:

Quadratus Lomborum

Quadratus Lumborum stabilizes the pelvis as well as extends the spine working bilaterally. It will also get lengthened while contracting just like Spinal Extensors.

Muscles Shortening while Contracting

Rectus Abdominis:

Toe Touch Dance

Rectus Abdominis flexes the trunk anteriorly. During Toe Touch Dance move, forward bending is important to reach the toes. So, it will be shortening.

Obliques:

Toe Touch Dance

Obliques also assist during the flexion of the trunk that’s why they also are shortening during Toe Touch.

Psoas:

Toe Touch Dance

Psoas Minor and Major not only flex the leg but also help in the flexion of the trunk, so they play a major role during Toe Touch Dance move’s execution.

Iliacus:

Toe Touch Dance

Iliacus works along with Psoas muscles to flex the leg at the hip joint.

Rectus Femoris:

Toe Touch Dance

Rectus Femoris is also a part of anterior compartment and a flexor of the thigh. It will also be contracting to assist the execution of Toe Touch.

Read More GoTo: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/03/straddle-planche-anatomy/

Quadriceps Vast iToe Touch Dance:

Toe Touch Dance

Vasti muscles act mainly on the knee joint to extend it. This movement is important for the perfect Toe Touch Dance move.

Sartorius Toe Touch Dance:

Toe Touch Dance

Sartorius will be acting as a thigh flexors making it easier to lift the legs up and touch the hands with the toes.

Tensor Fascia Lata:

Tensor Fascia Latae

It not only acts as a hip joint flexor but also a thigh abductor thus is getting flexed.

Gluteus Minimums:

Gluteus Miminus

Gluteus Minimus is also an abductor of the thigh. Its contraction will also be helpful in achieving the wider straddle during the Toe Touch.

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Scottish Highland Dance (1st Position) Anatomy

Scottish Highland Dance symbolises a celebration done for Scottish History. This dance is a mixture of flexibility, agility, strength, movement and beautiful costume. Unlike other dance styles, this particular type is danced solo and in competition.

Highland Dancing is a great workout for people of all age groups as it develops coordination, good posture as well as strength and stamina. It particularly targets certain muscles and makes them active.

In the First Position of Highland Dance, the feet are splayed at 90° from each other and the heels are joined together. 

It requires a lot of flexibility to execute the First Position as it requires to externally rotate both legs as far as possible till the angle between the feet is 90°. The muscles acting and lengthening will be discussed in this article so you can properly progress from a smooth Highland Dance.

Muscles Lengthening

Gluteus Medius (Anterior and Middle fibers):

Scottish Highland Dance

The anterior and middle fibers of Gluteus Medius medially rotates the leg. But the main goal in first position of Highland Dance is to laterally rotate the leg hence these fibers will be lengthening.

Gluteus Minimus:

Scottish Highland Dance

Gluteus Minimus is also a medial rotator of leg. It will also get shortened during the execution of this dance move.

Tensor Fascia Lata:

Scottish Highland Dance

It’s one of the function is to internally rotate the leg along with extension and abduction of the leg. Hence, it will be stretch.

Adductor Magnus:

Scottish Highland Dance

Another medial rotator of the thigh along with its function of being an adductor.

Adductor Longus:

Scottish Highland Dance

Medially rotates the leg just as it brother and is getting lengthened here.

Adductor Brevis:

Scottish Highland Dance

Adductor Brevis also rotates the leg internally.

Pectineus:

Scottish Highland Dance

It is an adductor and medial rotator of the femur. Just like all other medial rotators, it also will be stretched.

Gracilis:

Adductor Gracillis

This strap like muscle also performs the function of medial rotation thus, is getting stretched.

Semitendinosus:

Muscles Lengthening

It is one of the Medial Hamstring muscles. Surprisingly, it also acts as a internal rotator. That is why, it is in the list of muscles that are being lengthened during the lateral rotation.

Semimembranosus:

Muscles lengthening  Dance

Semimembranosus is the other partner of Semitendinosus. It also medially rotates the leg.

Muscles Shortening

Gluteus Maximus:

Gluteus Maximus

Gluteus Maximus is a major external rotator of the leg. It will greatly assist while executing the first position of Highland Dance.

More Read GoTo: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/13/scottish-highland-dance-1st-position-anatomy/

Deep Six Lateral Rotators:

These include Obturator Internus, Obturator Externus, Piriformis, Gemellus Inferior and Superior and Quadratus Femoris. They all will contract to achieve that lateral rotation we need.

Sartorius:

This flexor of leg and knee also performs external rotation of the leg and that is why it will be assisting a little during the first position.

Rectus Femoris:

Just as Sartorius, Rectus Femoris will also assist a little during the lateral rotation of the leg. Typically, it is a flexor of the hip and extensor of the knee.

Biceps Femoris:

Biceps Femoris can also rotate the leg externally. This is why it will be getting contracted here.

Gluteus Medius (Posterior Fibers):

The posterior fibers of Gluteus Medius, unlike the anterior and middle fibers, will be quite of a big help in lateral rotation of the leg and will be contracting here.

Muscles causing Postural Tension

Quadriceps Vasti :

The Vastii muscles are prime extensors of the knee. They will prevent the knee from bending and maintain postural tension.

Spinal Extensors Scottish Highland Dance:

Spinal Extensors will keep the spine straight that is a requirement for the first position of Highland Dance.

Transversus Abdominis Scottish Highland Dance:

Transversus Abdominis will maintain abdominal tension during the dance.

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Kurmasana Yoga Pose Anatomy

(Kurmasana Yoga) ‘Kurmasana’, also called as the Tortoise Pose or the Pancake stretch, is a move in Yoga in the practitioner lays on his belly, the legs get abducted maximally and the arms get under the legs. This is considered as an advanced Yoga pose requiring flexibility of hip adductors and extensors.

‘Kurmasana’, also called as the Tortoise Pose or the Pancake stretch, is a move in Yoga in the practitioner lays on his belly, the legs get abducted maximally and the arms get under the legs. This is considered as an advanced Yoga pose requiring flexibility of hip adductors and extensors.

Kurmasana has many benefits attributed to it, from toning of the internal organs to calming the nervous system. It is also a gateway to other more advanced Yoga poses and hand balances. Outside Yoga, other group of professionals can also benefit from it, for example Jiu-Jitsu practitioners can use it to increase the flexibility of their limbs so that it helps them when looking for various chokes and submission moves from the bottom guard. It also helps them to move the limbs around the opponent’s limbs from difficult positions. Besides the Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, other martial artists, breakdancers, gymnasts and pole dancers can get benefitted from Kurmasana once they master it.

A basic knowledge of the muscles involved in Kurmasana is important before you get into practicing it. So, let’s start with the anatomy behind Kurmasana.

Muscles Lengthening

Gluteus Maximus (more with narrower straddle):

Kurmasana Yoga

When the legs will be less abducted, Gluteus Maximus, which is an extensor of the hip, will be stretched because the leg will flexed at hip joint.

Piriformis (more with narrower straddle):

Kurmasana Yoga

Just like Gluteus Maximus, Piriformis is also an extensor of the hip and so, it will be stretched with narrower straddle.

Pectineus:

Pectineus

Pectineus is an adductor of the leg, which will be stretched during Kurmasana as the legs need to be abducted in this pose.

Inner Hamstrings (with wider straddle):

Inner Hamstrings

When the straddle will be wider, the Medial Hamstrings (Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus) will be lengthened as they are extensors of the leg at hip joint.

Outer Hamstrings (with narrower straddle):

Outer Hamstrings

The Lateral Hamstring (Biceps Femoris) that is also an extensor of the hip joint, will be stretched more during narrower straddle.

Spinal Extensors:

Kurmasana Yoga

During Kurmasana, the body is positioned such way that the trunk is flexed forward and thus stretching the Spinal Extensors.

Muscles Contracting

Gluteus Maximus:

Kurmasana Yoga

Gluteus Maximus assists in abduction of the leg and that’s why a very key muscle to achieve the Kurmasana pose that requires abduction to the maximum.

Gluteus Medius:

This muscle is also a prime abductor of the leg at hip joint. It will contract during the execution of Kurmasana.

Read More GoTo: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/10/kurmasana-yoga-pose-anatomy/

Gluteus Minimus Kurmasana Yoga:

Another abductor of the leg whose contraction will assist in getting into abducted position.

Piriformis Kurmsana Yoga:

Piriformis is also an abductor of the leg and along with other abductors, it will contract too.

Tensor Fascia Lata Kurmasana Yoga:

A relatively weak abductor of the leg but still contributes to the final positioning during Kurmasana.

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Elbow Lever Anatomy

Elbow Lever Anatomy is done by holding your body weight against the elbows meanwhile balancing on the hands with the body outstretched.


This pose is traditionally known to strengthen the abdominal organs. Anatomically, it develops wrist strength and awareness to the surrounding. It is also beneficial for developing strength of spinal extensors.

Along with strength, flexibility is also very important for the execution of this pose. Many people master this pose just by developing flexibility in shoulders, wrists and elbows without additional gains in the strength.

For a proper Elbow Lever progression, you need to know the muscles involved in its execution. This article is all about that. So let’s start with the anatomy behind Elbow Lever.

Muscles Lengthening

Trapezius:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

Trapezius rotates, elevates and retracts the scapula. In Elbow Lever, the scapula needs to protract so, Trapezius has to be stretched.

Rhomboids:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

Rhomboids also assist in retraction of the scapula and bringing the scapulae together but totally opposite happens during the Elbow Lever. Thus Rhomboids also get lengthened.

Muscles Lengthening while Contracting

Flexors of the wrist:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

Flexors of the Wrist contract while lengthening to avoid the wrist from being extended further back so that injury doesn’t occur.

Muscles Contracting

Rectus Abdominis:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

Rectus Abdominis supports the abdominal organs during the Elbow Lever by contracting.

Psoas Minor:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

Psoas Minor is a feel flexor of the trunk. It contracts during this pose.

Psoas Major:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

It is a flexor of the thigh and contracts during the execution of Elbow Lever.

Diaphragm:

Elbow Lever Anatomy

Diaphragm is the muscle of respiration. It contracts so that person can expire during this tiring activity. It also exerts pressure on abdominal organs.

Spinal Extensors (Lumbar):

Spinal Extensors

The Spinal Extensors of the lumbar region will contract to straighten the lumbar spine so that the body can be in a proper horizontal position.

Gluteus Maximus:

GluteusMaximus

Gluteus Maximus acts as an extensor of the hip to hold it in horizontal position against the gravity.

Adductor Magnus (Ischial Fibers):

Adductor Magnus

The ischial fibers of Adductor Magnus act as an extensor of the leg at hip joint and help in holding the horizontal position of the leg.

Hamstrings:

Hamstrings

Hamstrings are the prime extensors of the leg at hip joint. They will also help to keep the leg straight.

Gluteus Medius (Posterior Fibers):

The posterior fibers of Gluteus Medius also act as an extensor of the thigh and function the same as the other extensors in straightening the leg.

Intrinsic Hand Muscles:

Intrinsic muscles of the hand will act to flex the fingers to make more contact with the ground so that balance can be maintained during the Lever.

Anterior Deltoid:

Anterior Deltoid

Anterior Deltoid helps in flexion of arm at shoulder joint and it’s an important movement for Elbow Lever.

Pectoralis Minor:

Pectoralis Minor does the opposite of Trapezius and that is protraction of the scapula that assists a ton in Elbow Joint.

Pectoralis Major:

Just as Pectoralis Minor, its bigger brother also does the same function as protraction of the scapula specifically during the elbow lever.

Serratus Anterior:

Another protractor of the scapula that contracts during Elbow Lever.

Read More: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2021/12/30/pancake-spin-anatomy/

Subscapularis:

Subscapularis is one of the rotator cuff muscles and contract to support the shoulder joint to withstand all the weight of the body.

Coracobrachialis Elbow Lever Anatomy:

This muscle flexes the arm at shoulder joint that is important in for executing a perfect Elbow Lever.

Triceps Elbow Lever Anatomy:

Triceps contract so that the arm doesn’t get fully flexed at the elbow joint during Elbow Lever.

Elbow Flexors Elbow Lever Anatomy:

Elbow Flexors like Biceps flex the elbow when the angle at the elbow is 90°.

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Straddle Planche Anatomy

A Straddle Planche Anatomy is a move in calisthenics and gymnastics where the body is supported above the ground by arms and held in a horizontal position parallel to the ground. A Straddle Planche is a type of Planche where you have to abduct your legs to 180° along with supporting the body over the ground.

Straddle Planche doesn’t just need upper body strength for lifting the body up but also requires flexibility for a perfect abduction of the legs.

It not only helps you to have more control over your body but also a very good exercise to develop strength and flexibility in some main areas of the body.

The strength and flexibility of some particular muscles are the fundamentals for proper execution of any exercise. This article will enable you to work on specific muscles that are actually involved in Straddle Planche.

Muscles Lengthening

Adductor Magnus:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

Adductor Magnus is the prime adductor of the leg so the abduction of legs during the Straddle Planche will lengthened it.

Adductor Brevis:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

It is also one of the adductor muscles that will be lengthened while executing Straddle Planche.

Adductor Longus:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

The third adductor will follow the trend and also will be stretched as the other adductors.

Gracilis:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

Gracilis is a very powerful adductor of the legs hence will also will be stretched here.

Pectineus:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

Another adductor that will be lengthened during the abduction of the legs.

Quadratus Femoris:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

Quadratus Femoris is a lateral rotator of the leg and will also be the part of the muscles that are being stretched.

Muscles Contracting

Wrist Flexors:

Straddle Planche Anatomy

Wrist Flexors will be providing the protection against extreme extension of the wrists while bearing all the weight of the body so they are contracting.

Biceps:

Biceps

Biceps flex the forearm at the elbow joint. There contraction is also essential for the Straddle Planche.

Brachialis:

Brachialis

Brachialis works along with Biceps to flex the forearm. It is also contracting during this pose.

Brachioradialis:

The last flexor of the forearm will contract and assist during the Straddle Planche’s execution.

Anterior Deltoid:

Anterior Deltoid flexes the arm anteriorly so that the person performing the Straddle Planche reaches the ground to anchor his/her hands.

Middle Deltoid (Anterior Fibers):

The anterior fibers of Middle Deltoid will perform similar function as the Anterior Deltoid and get contracted during the pose.

Pectoralis Major:

PectoralisMajor

Pectoralis Major will protract the scapula that is an important movement during any kind of Planche.

Coracobrachialis:

Coracobrachialis

Coracobrachialis flexes the arm at the shoulder joint similarly to Anterior Deltoid. This way, they will provide strength to the arms to withstand the weight of the body.

Serratus Anterior:

It also protracts the scapula hence contracting during the Straddle Planche.

Cervical Extensors:

As the picture demonstrating, the neck has to be extended during the Straddle Planche so Cervical Extensors will help achieving this goal.

Spinal Extensors:

Spinal Extensors will keep the spine straight against the gravity by contracting.

Read More GoTo: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/03/straddle-planche-anatomy/

Gluteus Maximus (upper fibers):

The upper fibers of Gluteus Maximus assist in abduction of the legs. Their contracting is very crucial for perfect execution of the straddle part of this move.

Gluteus Medius Straddle Planche Anatomy:

Gluteus Medius is a prime abductor of the legs so you can understand how important its contraction is.

Gluteus Minimus Straddle Planche Anatomy:

Gluteus Minimus also abducts the legs along with other abductors.

Tensor Fascia Lata Straddle Planche Anatomy:

It is the last abductor of the legs and a powerful one. Its contraction is very important in achieving that 180° abduction goal.

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Pancake Spin Anatomy

(Pancake Spin Anatomy) Figure Skating, a sport where individuals perform some amazing manoeuvres and moves on figure skates. It’s is the first winter sport to be included in Olympic Games.

Spins are important element in Figure Skating. Pancake Spin is a type of ‘Sit Spin’ in which one leg is crossed over the other and the trunk is bent over it.

This incredible exhibition of balance and flexibility requires strength and flexibility in some important body muscles specially related to lower limb. This article will cover muscle anatomy behind Pancake Spin so you know which muscles to work on, for perfect execution of Pancake Spin.

Supporting Leg Muscles Lengthening while Contracting

Hamstrings:

Pancake Spin Anatomy

Hamstrings act to extend the leg at the hip joint. During the Pancake Spin, the supporting leg is flexed at the hip joint hence the Hamstrings are lengthening but to achieve that half sited position, the Hamstrings contract too.

Adductor Magnus (Ischial Fibers):

Pancake Spin Anatomy

The ischial fibers of Adductor Magnus act just like Hamstrings. These fibers also extend the leg at the hip joint and thus gets lengthened during Pancake Spin and during the lengthening, contracting to hold the position.

Gluteus Maximus:

Pancake Spin Anatomy

It is also an extensor of the hip. That is why just like the above two extensors, it also gets lengthened and contracted at the same time.

Gluteus Medius (Posterior Fibers):

Pancake Spin Anatomy

The posterior fibers of this muscle also follow the same trend of performing the same action and getting lengthened while being contracted.

Periformis:

Pancake Spin Anatomy

It is an external rotator and abductor of the leg and gets lengthened while contracting.

Soleus:

Pancake Spin Anatomy

Soleus is a strong plantarflexor of the foot. While executing the Pancake Spin, the whole body weight is on the supporting foot and it gets dorsiflexed a little and hence Soleus gets lengthened. But to limit the dorsiflexion, it has to contract.

Quadriceps Vasti:

Pancake Spin Anatomy

The Vasti muscles are responsible for the extension of the knee but in Pancake Spin, the knee has to bend but not much. This is why this muscle is stretching while being contracted.

Top Leg Muscles Lengthening while Contracting

Adductor Magnus (Ischial Fibers):

Just like the one in supporting leg, the ischial fibers of the top leg Adductor Magnus are getting lengthened while being contracted as the leg gets flexed.

Gluteus Maximus:

Gluteus Maximus

Here, Gluteus Maximus not only performing the extension of the hip joint and while doing so, getting lengthened in Pancake Spin, but it is also externally rotating the leg so is contracting.

Gluteus Medius:

Gluteus Medius

Extends the leg at hip joint against flexion. Gets lengthened in dling so. Contracts to hold the position.

Gluteus Minimus:

Just like Gluteus Medius, it also gets lengthened and contracted at the same time performing the same functions.

Piriformis:

Piriformis

As discussed above, it is an external rotator and abductor of the leg. It also gets stretched while being contracted.

Top Leg Muscles Lengthening

Quadriceps Vasti:

Vasti muscles that perform the extension of the knee are only being lengthened during this particular move in the top leg.

Read More: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2021/12/30/pancake-spin-anatomy/

Muscles Stabilizing Supporting Leg

Gluteus Medius:

Gluteus Medius doesn’t allow the leg to get fully flexed at hip joint by extending it thus supports the leg.

Gluteus Minimus Pancake spin anatomy:

Gluteus Minimus also supports the supporting leg due to it being a hip stabilizer. Secondarily, it also performs hip extension and thus stabilizing it more against gravity.

Muscles Stabilizing Top Leg

Hamstrings Pancake spin anatomy:

Hamstrings act on the top leg to extend it against the flexed position, stabilizing the top leg in the process.

Sartorius:Pancake spin anatomy

It is both a hip and knee flexor that acts to stabilize the top leg too.