All About The Serratus Anterior

The serratus anterior muscle is a great one to focus on for shoulder strength and health.  It’s also known as the boxer’s muscle. Not only does it keep your shoulder blade stable on your rib cage, it also helps with shoulder protraction and upward rotation.  These actions maintain space in your shoulder joint when you reach or raise your arm. After all, nobody likes the pain of a pinching shoulder.

Where is Serratus Anterior located?

The serratus anterior muscle looks like knife serrations at its rib attachments and connects to the inner border on the front side of your shoulder blade. If you’ve ever heard “your shoulder blade is winging”, the serratus is a likely culprit.  When the shoulder blade is not controlled, the weight of your arm (and whatever you’re pushing/pulling/lifting/carrying) pulls the shoulder blade forward and “wings” it off your back.  The serratus anterior plays a big role in counterbalancing that weight.  

How to strengthen Serratus Anterior

Are you ready to get this muscle into shape? Here are a few of my favorite serratus anterior strengthening exercises:

Forearm Wall Slides

Serratus Punches

Pushup Plus – Easier (from knees)

Pushup Plus – Harder (from plank)

If you have shoulder pain or can’t figure out the correct form for strengthening your shoulder, please reach out to your physical therapist.

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