The triceps brachii presents a three-headed muscle on the back of the arm. The medial and short heads originate from the humerus. The long head originates from the inferior border of the glenoid. All three heads combine to form one distal tendon, inserting on the olecranon process of the ulna (forearm bone).
Contraction of all three heads produces extension ofthe elbow (as in downward facing dog pose). Contraction ofthe long head with the forearm fixed rotates the scapula upward (by pulling on its origin). This rotation increases contact ofthe humeral head with the shallow glenoid, stabilizing the joint. This contraction ofthe triceps also moves the acromion process medially and away from the humeral head, preventing impingement ofthe acromion on the humeral head. This protects the rotator cuff muscles in poses like the backbend and dog.
Contraction ofthe triceps opens the front ofthe elbow (antebrachial fossa) and relieves blockages in the minor chakra ofthe elbow. Weakness in the triceps limits the ability to perform the various arm balancings.
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