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Warrior III (Hands to Sides) – Right Leg


  • Holding the Standing Guard position, shift your weight onto one leg and find your balance.
  • Raise the opposite foot at the same time.
  • Hands remain by the sides.
  • Bend from the crease of the hip, straightening the raised legs, until the torso and raised leg are parallel to the ground.
  • Rotate the working leg inwards to ensure the hips are parallel to the ground.
  • Engage the core and lengthen the rear heel as well as the crown of the head in opposite directions.   
  • This pose may also be used as a transition to Warrior III. Circle the arms to the sides and then forward.

General and Boxing-specific Benefits

The Warrior III pose strengthens the core and shoulders. It develops body-awareness for hip-alignment and balance. Boxers benefit by developing a subtle sense for the centre of gravity, key to maintaining balance when applying boxing techniques.

Cautions and Modified Versions

Be careful not to “dive” forward with a rounded back. If the chest and hamstrings are short and tight, make sure to maintain the correct alignment and form before going deeper into the posture.

Students with balancing difficulties may keep the hands by the sides, or use a chair, a wall or a ballet bar for support. Those with shoulder issues or neck problems may keep their arms to the sides. Do not let participants remain in the Warrior III for too long, no more than 30 seconds.

Anatomical Focus

Spine/Core Spinal extensors, psoas major, abdominals

Upper limbs Trapezius, serratus anterior, triceps brachii, rotator cuff, pectoralis major/minor, middle deltoid, biceps brachii

Lower limbs Gluteus maximus/medius/minimus, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, quadriceps, intrinsic foot muscles,

Study and Reflection

What do you find most challenging about the Warrior III? Try engaging the muscles of the standing leg, spreading the toes, dropping the chest while raising the back leg, aligning the body from the head to the raised heel. What visualization exercises would help you improve balance in this pose?

What steps would you take in guiding others to perform this pose? What advice would you give to those struggling with this pose?


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