Learn Yoga Anatomy

 

Learn yoga anatomy to help understand the human body and the relationship with yoga asana. It should serve anyone wanting to know the basics of anatomy.

Written and compiled by Mark Giubarelli.

 

 

A list of major muscles are listed below.


Muscles That Act On The Neck and Head

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Back Muscles

Multifidus
Rotators
Quadratus lumborum
Erector spinae - spinalis
Erector spinae - iliocostalis
Erector spinae - longissimus

Longissimus Cervicis  -
Longissimus Thoracis - Extension, lateral flexion of vertebral column, rib rotation
Longissimus Lumborum - Extends & rotates vertebral column

Iliocostalis Lumborum - Extension, lateral flexion of vertebral column, rib rotation
Iliocostalis Thoracis - Extension, lateral flexion of vertebral column, rib rotation
Iliocostalis Cervicis

 


Anterior Muscles That Act On Shoulder

Serratus Anterior (Protracts and stabilizes scapula, assists in upward rotation)
Serratus Posterior Superior (Used for Breathing - Inhalation)
Serratus Posterior Inferior (Used for Breathing - Exhalation)
Pectoralis Minor ( Draws  the scapula round the ribs forward toward the ribs  and lifts the ribs during inhalation)

 

Pectoralis Major (Adduction, flexion and medial rotation of arms)

Posterior Muscles That Act On Shoulder

Levator Scapulae
Trapezius (Elevation, depression and retraction of the scapula)
Rhomboid Major (Retraction and depression of the scapula. Holds the scapula to the thoracic wall)
Rhomboid Minor (Retraction and depression of the scapula. Holds the scapula to the thoracic wall)

 

 

Muscle That Act On The Arm

Deltoid (Abduction, extension, lateral rotation, flexion and medial rotation of arm)
Pectoralis major
Biceps brachii
Coracobrachialis
Subscapularis
Teres major
Latissimus dorsi (Ddduction, extention and medial rotation of the arm.  Retraction and depression of shoulder)
Supraspinatus
Infraspinatus
Teres minor
Triceps brachii: long head

Shoulder Joint

Rotator Cuff Muscles

 

 


Muscles That Act On The Abdomen

 

 


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Leg Muscles

Anterior

Iliacus (Hip Flexion)
Psoas major (Hip Flexion)
Tensor fasciae latae (Internal rotation)
Sartorius (Hip Flexion) (Hip abduction)
Rectus femoris (Hip Flexion)
Pectineus (Hip Adductor)
Adductor longus (Hip Adductor)
Adductor brevis (Hip Adductor)
Adductor magnus (Hip Adductor)
Gracilis (Hip Adductor)
Vastus lateralis (Knee extension)
Vastus medialis (Knee extension)
Vastus intermedius (Knee extension)

Posterior

Gluteul Region (Cadaver video) 
Gluteus maximus (External Rotation) (Leg Extension) (Adducts)
Gluteus medius (Hip abductor) (Internal rotation)
Gluteus minimus (Internal rotation) (Hip abductor)
Gemellus muscle (External Rotation) (Leg Extension) (Adducts)
Obturator externus (External Rotation) (Adductor when the hip in flexion)
Piriformis (External Rotation)
Quadratus femoris (External Rotation)
Obturator externus (Hip Adductor)
Obturator internus (External Rotation)
Superior gemellus (External Rotation)
Inferior gemellus (External Rotation)
Biceps femoris - long head (knee flexion, internal and external rotation, and hip extension)
Biceps femoris - short head (knee flexion, internal and external rotation, and hip extension)
Semimembranosus (Extension of ‎hip‎ and flexion of ‎knee)
Semitendinosus (Extension of the thigh at the hip, Flexion of the leg at the knee, Internal rotation of the leg at the knee)
Gastrocnemius (Plantar flexing the foot at the ankle joint, flexing the leg at the knee joint)
Plantaris ( Plantar flexes foot and flexes knee)

The deep six


pranayama

 

Muscles Involved in Inhalation
Sternocleidomastoid, the scalenus anterior, medius, and posterior, the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, the inferior fibres of serratus anterior and latissimus dorsi, the serratus posterior  iliocostalis cervicis

Muscles Involved in Exhalation
Rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, external oblique muscle and internal oblique muscle


 

Movements Of The Body

FlexionThe angle between two bones decreases - bending.   

Extension: The angle between two bones increases - straightening.  

Horizontal flexion: The angle between two bones decreases  on the horizontal plane.

Horizontal extension:  The angle between two bones increases on the horizontal plane.

Lateral Flexion: Away from the midline of the body.

Abduction: Away from the midline of the body. 

Adduction: Toward the midline of the body. 

Circumduction: This is a movement where the joint is the pivot and the body segment moves in a combination of flexion, extension, adduction and abduction.

Protraction:  Increasing space between the shoulders.

Retraction: Scapula pulling together decreasing space between the shoulders.

Elevation: Scapula raising up.

Depression: Scapula moving  downwards. 

Rotation: Twisting turning movement.  Medial and lateral rotation.

Medial rotation:  Rotates  inwards towards the midline . 

Lateral rotation:  Rotates  outwards away from the midline of the body. 

Hand Supination:  Hands palm turned facing upward or forward anteriorly.

Foot Supination: – combination of inversion, plantar flexion and adduction of the foot.

Hand Pronation: The palm of the hand faces downward or backward posteriorly.

Foot Pronation: – combination of eversion, dorsiflexion and abduction of the foot.

Plantar flexion:  Is moving the top of the foot away from the shin or ‘pointing’ the toes. 

Dorsiflexion: Is moving the top of the foot toward the shin or ‘raising’ the toes.

 


 

Spine (Cervical)

Flexion
Extension / Hyperextension
Lateral Flexion (Abduction)
Reduction (Adduction)
Rotation

 


Spine (Thoracic, Lumbar)

Flexion
Extension / Hyperextension
Lateral Flexion (Abduction)
Reduction (Adduction)
Rotation

 


Scapula & Clavicle

Abduction (Protraction)
Adduction (Retraction)
Depression
Elevation
Rotation Upward (Superior Rotation)
Rotation Downward (Inferior Rotation)

 


 

Shoulder (Glenohumeral)

Adduction
AbductionFlexion
Extension / Hyperextension
Transverse Adduction
Transverse Flexion
Transverse Abduction
Transverse Extension
Medial Rotation (Internal Rotation)
Lateral Rotation (External Rotation)


 

Elbow Flexion - Bending Arm

  • Prime Mover:  Brachialis , Biceps brachii, Brachioradialis

 


Elbow Extension - Straighten arm at elbow

  • Prime Mover:  Triceps brachii

 

 


Forearm (Radioulnar)

Pronation
Supination

 


Hip Extension - Straighten across hip

  • Prime Mover:  Gluteus maximus
  • Synergists: Biceps femoris , semitendinosus, semimembranosus, posterior head of adductor magnus
  • Antagonists: Psoas, iliacus, tensor fascia latae, rectus femoris, pectineus, sartorius

 



Hip Flexion - Bend at Hip

  • Prime Mover: Psoas
  • Synergists: Iliacus, tensor fascia latae, rectus femoris, anterior adductors (especially pectineus), sartorius
  • Antagonists: Gluteus maximus, biceps femoris (long head), semitendinosus, semimembranosus, posterior head of adductor magnus

 


 

Hip Internal Rotation

  • Prime Mover: Gluteus minimus
  • Synergists: Gluteus medius, tensor fascia latae, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, anterior adductors
  • Antagonists – Gluteus maximus, posterior fibers of gluteus medius, biceps femoris (long head), posterior head of adductor magnus, deep six rotators, sartorius

 

 


Hip External Rotation

  • Prime Mover: Piriformis
  • Synergists: Deep six rotators of hip, gluteus maximus, posterior fibers of gluteus medius, biceps femoris (long head), posterior head of adductor magnus, sartorius
  • Antagonists: Anterior fibers of gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, tensor fascia latae, semitendinosus, semimembranosus.

 


Hip Abduction

 


Knee Flexion:

 


 

Ankle

Plantar Flexion
Dorsi Flexion

 


 

 

 

 

Scarred Tissue