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  • How To “Sculpt” Your Serratus Anterior

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    In this video, the focus is on the serratus anterior muscle, often overlooked in fitness routines. The serratus anterior is a fan-shaped muscle located over the ribs, playing a vital role in shoulder blade protraction and upward rotation. This muscle is essential not just for aesthetics, enhancing the look of a well-developed midsection, but also for functional movement, stabilizing the shoulder blades during arm elevation. Weakness or poor activation of the serratus anterior can lead to various shoulder dysfunctions, including postural issues, scapular winging, and potential injuries like rotator cuff tears or shoulder impingement.

    The presenter highlights three key exercises for strengthening and activating the serratus anterior:

    1. Push Up Plus: Enhances the serratus anterior’s protraction function. Research shows that adding a protraction (plus) component at the top of the push-up significantly increases serratus anterior activation. External rotation of the shoulders during this exercise can further boost activation.
    2. Serratus Jabs: Involves upward punching motions using a band or cable setup, effectively integrating both protraction and upward rotation of the scapula. The exercise promotes functional movement relevant to overhead lifts.
    3. Wall Slides: Rated highly for serratus anterior activation, especially at higher arm elevations. This exercise involves sliding the arms up a wall with a foam roller, maintaining protraction of the shoulder blades.

    The video emphasizes gradual progression, starting with push-up plus exercises, moving to serratus jabs, and finally to wall slides, depending on individual comfort and pain-free movement. These exercises not only improve midsection aesthetics but also enhance overhead stability, strength, and long-term shoulder health. The presenter suggests incorporating these exercises into existing workouts for comprehensive benefits.