Serratus Push-Ups Work Your Arms Better Than Regular Push-Ups When It Comes to Shoulder Stability, and They’re Easier To Do

Photo: Getty Images/ The Good Brigade
To anyone who takes the “don’t reinvent the wheel” stance, have you been to The Cheesecake Factory? Sometimes adding a little flavor and mixing things up can be a damn good thing. Cheesecake varieties aside, the same can be said for classic exercise moves.

Let’s take push-ups, for instance. You're probably already familiar with the classic push-up, perhaps the most famous exercise move of all time. But the push-up isn’t a one-trick pony; you’ve more than likely met her zen sister, the chaturanga push-up, in a yoga class. This is also called a triceps push-up because it specifically targets the triceps muscles on the back of your arms. Now let’s talk about another ~flavor~ of this old-school move—one that is easier to do and helps you align your posture and create greater shoulder stability. Allow us to introduce the serratus push-up.

Brief refresher (or 101): the serratus anterior muscle can be found on the upper sides of your ribs, under your scapula (it helps move your scapula) and is sometimes referred to as the “boxer’s muscle,” because it helps to power those punches. If you’ve ever felt sore under your armpits, it’s likely that you really worked your serratus. Speaking of…

As you probably guessed, the serratus push-up targets the serratus muscles on your sides, just under your arms and shoulder blades. It’s sometimes called a shoulder shrug, and one of the most alluring parts of this kind of push-up is that you can 100-percent do them on your knees (well, you can do the others on your knees as well, but the serratus push-up was really made for this position), or standing and doing them with the support of a wall in order to perfect your form.

These shoulder-shruggers will help you create better posture, strength, and mobility. Try them out in a 15-minute posture-perfecting Pilates routine lead by Chloe de Winter. Grab a mat, a towel, and a bottle of water, and get ready to work those serratus muscles.

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