Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)One of the most powerful of yoga asana, warrior 2 strengthens the muscles of the upper back, shoulders and arms. Finding balance in this posture calls on abdominal strength and requires use of the adductor of the hips, quadriceps, calves, and ankles for stability. Abducting the arms in this posture strengthens the supraspinatus muscle of the rotator cuff. This muscle is the most commonly torn of the four rotator cuff muscles. When strengthened, the supraspinatus will have a harder time tearing if misalignment, overuse, or misuse occur.
Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)Proper alignment in warrior 3 requires a flat back while reaching arms forward and lengthening the extended leg on the same level as the rest of the body. As strenuous as this action is to maintain, there are tremendous benefits. Warrior 3 strengthens the spinal column and surrounding muscles such as the erector spinae group that runs from the cervical to the lumbar spine. This posture tones the arms, shoulders, upper back, and requires strong legs, ankles and an adequate amount of abdominal strength.
Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)This posture requires immense abdominal and leg strength in order to support the body for balance. Abducting the arms away from the body strengthens the muscles of the arms, chest, obliques, and lattisimus dorsi located on the middle back. The gluteus medius contracts and adducts the lifted leg while stabilizing the supporting leg. The focus and balance required for the fullest expression of this posture is what makes this an overall body changing posture.