Strengthening Yoga Poses: The Secret of the Serratus Anterior

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Kathryn Budig, a renowned yoga instructor, conducted a daylong intensive at the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco, attracting participants with high expectations. The intensive surpassed these expectations, offering a combination of challenging classes, inspiring lectures, and workshops.

The “Jackie Chan” Cue

During the afternoon workshop, Budig focused on poses that commonly evoke fear among practitioners, particularly those involving handstands. To address this, she introduced the “Jackie Chan” cue as a technique for activating the serratus anterior muscle.

The Serratus Anterior and Its Significance

The serratus anterior connects the front ribs to the shoulder blades, providing stability and protection to the shoulders. Engaging this muscle enhances the stability and strength of handstand poses and variations.

The “Jackie Chan” Movement

Budig instructs practitioners to mimic Jackie Chan’s signature kung-fu stance, characterized by bent elbows, biceps close to the body, and extended forearms. This motion facilitates the engagement of the serratus anterior, resulting in improved stability and safety during poses that require hand support.

Benefits of Incorporating the “Jackie Chan” Cue

By integrating this technique into their practice, yoga practitioners experience a significant improvement in their ability to hold and sustain poses that involve handstanding. The serratus anterior strengthens the upper body, promoting stability and reducing the risk of injury.


The “Jackie Chan” cue is a valuable tool for yoga practitioners seeking to overcome fear and enhance their skills in handstand poses and variations. By engaging the serratus anterior muscle through this technique, they can significantly improve their stability, strength, and safety during these challenging postures.

Credit and rights belong to OMG I Yoga.
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