Utthita Trikonasana: Anatomically explained

Utthita Trikonasana (also known as Extended Triangle pose)

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) | LaptrinhX / News

  1. The pose starts standing with the legs about 2-2.5 hip widths apart, beginning on the right side.
  2. The right leg is externally rotated such that the right toes are pointed towards the right side of the body. The left leg is parallel with the left toe pointing towards the front of the body.
  3. From this position, both arms are abducted to shoulder height.
  4. The body is then laterally flexed to the right with the arms maintaining in one line.
  5. The neck turns to look towards the left thumb. 

The muscles that are identified in this asana1, 2, 3 are listed in this table:

Name Function (based on performing the asana on the right side)
Sternocleidomastoid (Unilateral contraction of the right side) Rotates the head towards the left arm
Trapezius Depression of scapulas
Serratus anterior Abduction of scapulas
Deltoids Abduction of both shoulder joints
Triceps Extension of both elbow joints
Erector Spinae Extension and lateral flexion of the spine
Internal and external oblique (Unilateral contraction of the right side) Lateral flexion of the trunk to the right
Iliopsoas (Iliacus and Psoas Major) Flexion of the right hip joint
Gluteus Maximus Stabilization of the left leg, external rotation of the right hip joint
Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Medialis Extension of both knee joints
Rectus femoris Extension of both knee joints and flexion of the right hip joint
Hamstrings (Bicep Femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus) Extension of the left hip joint
Tibialis Anterior Dorsiflexion and inversion of the left ankle joint
Peroneus Longus and Peroneus Brevis Plantarflexion of the right ankle joint

Please just take this as a guide and do other cross-references before using any information from here!

— Mandy, 3 May YTT 2021