Now that you’ve read Wednesday’s post and found this superpower muscle, how do you strengthen her so that she can support your shoulder? The serratus anterior is featured and awakened in the following Yoga Tune Up® poses: Side Plank, Dolphin Supinate, Plank with Serratus and Megaplank with Active Serratus.

What if you’re just getting started? I recommend doing Megaplank with Active Serratus against the wall. Using a full yogic breath, inhale and tubularize your core; then exhale actively and press both forearms and hands into the wall. As you do this you’ll protact both scapulae. Please cheer your serratus on as it responds.

You might be surprised to find that the support of the serratus anterior is more than physical. Amy Cuddy in her over-the-top TED talk and in her recent book, Presence (2015 Little Brown), demonstrated that holding power poses (open, expansive body positions) makes you feel both powerful and grounded at the same time. But here’s the amazing part. It’s not just feelings. Blood tests determined that the power poser’s hormone profile changes. As feelings of power increase, testosterone rises and your feel more assertive but cortisol, the stress hormone lowers, and you feel more grounded and less anxious. This hormonal profile, Cuddy argues, is perfect for feeling “present” in challenging situations.

Cuddy’s research demonstrated that job seekers who engaged in a power pose before heading into a job interview got the job more often! The support of the serratus anterior, a postural core muscle is crucial in establishing both the power and the support of a superwoman power pose.

So find and wake up your serratus anterior and you just might feel like Superwoman, but what’s more, you might find yourself feeling more powerful overall. Who wouldn’t want that?

Enjoyed this article? Read If You Must Carry the Weight of the World, at Least Use Your Serratus
AnnMerle Feldman

Hello, there! If you like my perspective on self care, please sign up for my weekly blog at When you sign up, you get a free e-manifesto that says who I am and what I stand for. I started yoga as a 50-year-old single mom: a stressed-out, sleep-deprived, achievement junky, suffering from constant pain and headaches. After that first eye-opening yoga class, I immersed myself in yoga, movement, and breath. I did all of Ana Forrest’s trainings, continued studying with Steve Emmerman and Talya Ring and now I’m completely thrilled with the Roll Model Method® and Yoga Tune Up® with Jill Miller and her mighty tribe of extraordinary teachers and trainers. Strength, breath, and mobility create a pain-free, vital body and this precious body is the starting point for the life you want to live. My classes and workshops help you to go inside; study your body and your breath; and learn that healing is within your grasp. I look forward to connecting with you!

Leave a Reply

21 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors
Sara Dewhurst

Thanks for the info. I’m happy to learn that feelings of power increases testosterone and decreases cortisol and that the mix helps us feel more up to challenging tasks.

Kristin Kandyba

Great info — recently learned that my serratus anterior is weak and want to increase awareness and strength. Thanks for the demo. And it helps that it’s easy enough to do anywhere!


Great article. I just nées to translate to Superman. I like the psychological aspect covered.

Denitsa Lilova

Hello AnnMarie! Great Post blog – So simple and clear explanation of this hidden treasure of functionality of the Serratus Antereior!

Amber Bilak

I think it is important to note that subsequent, more thorough studies were unable to replicate the findings Amy Cuddy discusses in her TED talk. In fact, one of the original study’s coauthors, Dana Carney, currently states on her faculty website at UC Berkley that she has come to believe that “the evidence against the existence of power poses is undeniable.”

Lezanne Swart

I had read about Cuddy’s findings. It’s so true, you can absolutely see someone’s inner state manifesting, usually unconsciously as their physical state. So cool that you made this connection between the serratus and feeling empowered!

Shelby Williams

That is so cool! It’s not just feelings. That is a true WHY of doing challenging poses. Thank you so much for sharing!


I love Amy Cuddy! And I love adding power poses to my class 🙂 great blog post!


Love Amy Cuddy – thanks for making the connection between the serrates, the power pose and Cuddy’s scientific findings re hormonal changes in the person moving! Strike the pose!

Julie Rosier

AnnMerle! you rock! I love this video. Your previous blog about the serratus is clear and inspiring.

Louise LeGouis

Go serratus, go yoga, and go women! Thanks for the useful approach to connecting with the serratus.

Katrina LK

It’s true! This is an awesome pose that helps solidify your core and activate your body. People don’t always realize how much the body affects the mind, a lot of people lack mindful embodiment. Thanks for writing about the role of the serratus anterior in power poses!

Valérie Lavigne

Ho! I love the link between super power pose that allow you to feel grounded and powerful!

Strenghten the serratus anterior to allow ourself to feel “present” in challenging situations”!

This is awesome! Thank you.

I love your blog post!


I struggle staying in Megaplank with Ative Serratus. Thank you for sharing this Megaplank wall variation. Will share with my students this week!

Jasmine Ellemo

Power poses for a powerful life! What an interesting link you’ve quoted in Cuddy’s research. Truly proof of how powerful the mind-body connection can be. I will make sure to share this information with all my students and let them experience how powerful and strong they can be when they awaken their serratus!


Interesting to read that the serratus anterior not only looks and feels like a superwoman muscle but that it also benefits for some cherishing and that its an important postural muscle.

Gail Portrey

Thanks for bringing attention to the bridge between the external and internal benefits of holding power poses.


Great video. I love the Ted talk reference and will be giving that a google, it is amazing how our feelings can be a mirror of our physicality and how we can move into a positive mindset with our bodies first. Thanks for the reminder!

Marie-Pierre Gauthier

Thanks, I didn’t know the name of that super muscle and the benefits on the anixiety.

Athena Vassilatos

Thank you for the idea of doing megaplank at the wall. I often get students who struggle to stay in this pose, this is a great way to help them find their serratus anterior and their external rotation in their shoulders without worrying about the weight.

Desiree Nett

What a great way to introduce beginners to this powerful muscle. I think I will have my students try this at the wall at my class this week as a way to wake those muscles up as they begin to strengthen them. I did the activity with you while at my desk and it already has helped calm my mind! Thank you AnneMerle!