Can’t Straighten Arms In Wheel Pose

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Flexible woman in white yoga pants on a yoga mat - Can’t Straighten Arms In Wheel Pose.

You are not alone if you can’t straighten your arms in a wheel pose. There are several reasons this may occur. However, a lack of shoulder and spinal mobility and strength is the most common reason. 

Wheel pose is a very common pose in most yoga practices. It is a difficult and uncomfortable move, however.

It can feel discouraging when you are not able to perform this move with your peers. Keep reading to find out why you are unable to accomplish this and what you can do to improve your capabilities. 


Is this Common?

Yes, being unable to straighten your arms in a wheel pose is common. Wheel pose is not a natural position for the human body. Because of this, when practitioners first attempt to do the pose, straightening the arms can be quite difficult.

Wheel pose is something that all practitioners must slowly work up to. While doing the wheel pose is very common in yoga practice, it is also known for being a difficult move to accomplish.

It requires strength and flexibility in several different areas of the body, including the shoulder muscles and even down the spine.


Why Can’t Some People Do it?

Some people cannot do wheel pose because they lack the strength and flexibility to do it. As mentioned, the wheel pose requires many different areas of the body to work together. Therefore, most people lack the necessary capabilities at first. 

However, some people, due to the natural limitations of their bodies, will never be able to straighten their arms in a wheel pose. This could include things like how their spine is curved, the natural stiffness of the shoulders, and many other things.

Luckily, the majority of people do have the capability. Time and practice should eventually allow the body to gain the necessary strength and flexibility, and you will then be able to straighten the arms during the wheel pose.


How Can You Practice Doing it?

You can practice doing your wheel pose through various other yoga techniques. While wheel pose requires all parts of the body, focus on your spine and upper body. Those are the areas to work on when trying to straighten the arms. 

To practice, you can add some different poses to your practice that will focus on spine strength and flexibility, such as:


  • Bridge
  • Camel
  • Upward Dog


For shoulder strength and flexibility, focus on poses such as:


  • Dolphin
  • Extended Puppy Pose
  • Thread the Needle


How Long Can it Take to Straighten it?

How long it takes to straighten your arms in wheel pose depends on your natural capabilities. For example, a lot of people have natural shoulder flexibility, while others have little to no. The same goes for spinal strength and flexibility. 

Straightening your arms is dependent on the openness of your shoulders and the front of the body. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks of practice to a few years if you can accomplish it all. The key is to not lose heart and keep practicing. 


What if You Still Can’t Do it?

If you still cannot do the wheel pose after practice and time, you may be unable to do it at all. Some people simply cannot gain that level of shoulder flexibility and strength. However, it is possible for most people, and it just may take a lot of time.

It can take years for yoga practitioners to be able to do the wheel pose with straightened arms. The key is to keep practicing and strengthening your upper body. It is a difficult pose and will take time to accomplish, even with a natural flexibility in that area. 


Final Thoughts on Can’t Straighten Arms In Wheel Pose

Wheel pose is a seemingly easy move that requires a lot of mobility in multiple body parts. Therefore, it can be frustrating to still not be able to perform this move after what seems like a lot of practice.

However, time and patience are key. This move is difficult even for more experienced yoga practitioners. However, if you keep practicing, you will improve and most likely be able to gain the ability to do wheel pose as time progresses.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do the wheel pose after practicing; your body may just be unsuited for the motion and pose.