In my previous article, Confessions of a Former Sensation Junkie, I reflected on my personal experience of working to heal repetitive stress injuries through Yoga Tune Up®. It has taken years for me to realize that by doing the same movements over and over again, I had created many body blind spots and compensation patterns in my movement and posture. It’s not just enough to move — one must also move well. YTU has served as a way to unlock my potential for self-healing and has helped me to discern what kinds of movement and positioning are best for me. In the continued process of healing a shoulder injury, I have used the information and scope of this practice to gradually increase strength and stability in my shoulders and core. My favorite Yoga Tune Up® pose for building strength and stability in these areas is Megaplank with Active Serratus. This pose involves engagement of the entire body, and highlights the serratus anterior muscle, which acts to help in stabilizing the shoulders during weight bearing.
Begin practicing Megaplank with Active Serratus by watching the video below!
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L’apprentissage de cette pose, la Mégaplanche avec Active Serratus, va révolutionner ma façon de pratiquer et d’enseigner la planche, une pose que j’utilise souvent pour renforcer les abdos. Tout d’abord, garder les mains parallèles à la même largeur que les coudes, pour éviter une rotation interne des épaules. Ensuite, la bascule postérieure du bassin est tellement importante pour protéger le bas du dos. Enfin, la protraction des omoplates et l’activation du Serratus en “refermant la fenêtre” donnent une toute nouvelle perspective et intensité à cette pose de planche. J’avais l’habitude de faire la planche sur les orteils, et aujourd’hui, même appuyée sur les genoux, tout tremblait tellement le travail musculaire était intense. Wow!
Thank-you Amanda for highlighting this move and how you have used it to help with your recovery. The Serratus Anterior is not often mentioned and using this pose to strengthen the shoulders and core in conjunction is one I’m going to try.
I love this pose! It has changed so much of the way I hold myself now. If my lower back pain is really bad and I don’t have much time, I will drop and do the megaplank and bridge lifts and it really gets my core going removing some of the weight and stress off of my back.
I love doing megaplank for my own shoulder rehab as well. This movement has been a game changer with many of my clients as well. Actually they have more of a hate at the moment but love me after. Blindspots, WOW they are found in what one would think they don’t have anything there. Wrong, I have been doing the yoga tune up balls for a while and I am still finding blindspots in my body just from a car accident that I had years ago.
I have found this pose to be a great warmup for movements like pullups and overhead presses, and really helps to keep the shoulders in a neutral position. Thanks for the article!
Great exercise to call attention to the serratus anterior and assess shoulder stability. Also, part of the fix for scapular winging which is a hard problem to fix without the strength in the serratus anterior.
Amanda, love the way you said you were a sensation junkie. I too suffer from this and accident injury. I love the video because it shows how to activate the serrated anterior and really stable the shoulders. Thanms
I love this exercise too. I find that any position where I’m loading body weight into my hands I constantly remind myself to engage the serratus. I’ll never forget how sore I was the first time I did serratus push-ups, an eye opening moment when I could really since the referral of the movement from my shoulder blades into my core.
We learned this pose in teacher training today. What a powerful pose! I too am discovering my many blind spots from poor body mechanics. Time to heal this body!
I was recently speaking with another yoga teacher training classmate of mine about how we often lose sight of these muscles when practicing yoga. In fact strengthening them makes us put less pressure on other muscles, i.e. the psoas, quads, hamstrings, when practicing poses like triangle pose and side angle pose. Boat pose is another great way to strengthen the core including the obliques and rectus abdominus.
This is one of my favorite poses especially since it is a full body one. If you aren’t shaking, then there is a muscle group that is not activated!
I had a similar experience. I’ve been doing lateral lunges at the gym for years and yet Prasatita Lunges from Yoga Tune UpⓇ series deepened my understanding of performing it.
I also had a loss of function in my postural core that were the cause of so many compensation patterns and other chronic injuries. This pose is great! It has helped me get stronger and more stable in my core which has translated to feeling better in my hips, shoulders, and lower back.
I look forward to embodying megaplank and pass this video to some yogi peers I know. We are always looking for ways to strengthen the serratus anterior.