Serratus Crunch

Great exercise.

Frank Zane
Frank Zane.
Whilst poring over Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding this morning I noticed this exercise - the Serratus Crunch. And yes, it involves the chinning bar.
The Serratus (sometimes known as the 'boxers' muscle) is perhaps best thought of as the '3 fingers' on your side, below each arm. Its job is to hold the scapula (shoulderblade) against the thoracic wall (rib cage). The Serratus Crunch comes in two main forms, each of which is described below.

Hanging version
This is the one described in Arnold's book, and the one most likely to find a place in my own routines. Hanging from a chinning bar (using a shoulder-width, pronated grip), simply raise your legs directly to one side, and then the other. Lift them as high as possible, and try to keep the movement slow and under control.

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Lying version
Christiane Lamy performing Serratus CrunchI came across this in Christiane Lamy's article 9 Ab exercises for more sex! (seriously, that's what it's called). In this version a standard crunch is performed, with the only difference being the position of the arms; they are held vertically and holding a dumbbell, kettlebell or other heavy object in each hand.

Warning: they're harder than they look. Enjoy.

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 37) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

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