Horse Stance Anatomy

Holding a horse stance is a common foundation exercise in many martial arts styles. There are many variations in the way stance is performed:

  • Some styles have a high stance and some have a low stance.
  • Some have feet wide and some feet just wider than shoulders.
  • Toes can be pointed in various directions.

In this blog post, we will cover basic horse stance anatomy. "Basic" meaning that only superficial muscles will be discussed.

The Wide Horse Stance


We chose one specific way to perform a horse for this analysis. This is a wide stance.

In this variation of the horse stance, the knees are wide apart. Large emphasis is placed on adductors (inner thigh) flexibility.

Muscles Involved

  • The primary muscles that work in any horse stance are the quadriceps.
  • Gluteus Maximus comes second.
  • Deep muscles under the glutes will fire, in a wide stance to keep the legs in horizontally abducted position (knees wide apart).
  • Gluteus Medius and Minimus will activate with medial rotation.
  • Unlike narrow leg horse stance where spinal extensors will work hard to keep the torso up.
  • In a wide leg horse stance, the pressure on the two row of muscles running along the spine is minimal.

How To Achieve It

If you want a wide horse stance, adductors flexibility is a must. Needless to say the same muscles that are required for a side split, are also required for a perfect wide and low horse stance.

Click on the Picture below to Improve your Stances



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