By: Alana Ouazzani

The Serratus Anterior is a mysterious muscle, that is not widely spoken of probably because it is a mouthful to say; but this muscle is important for your Right Hook (in case you need to throw a punch), pushups, doing Pikes and long stretches on the reformer, and your golf swing. It is also referred to as “The Big Swing Muscle”, or the “Boxer’s Muscle” for the importance of it in the Sport of Boxing.  The Serratus Anterior muscles look like powerful claws.  They originate on Ribs 1 through 8 on the sides of the chest and insert on the entire anterior length of the medial border of the scapula.  The Serratus Anterior’s job is protraction of the scapula.  It pulls the scapula away from the midline and around the ribs forward.

Serratus Anterior is also an upward rotator of the scapula. If the Serratus Anterior is weak, the scapula literally cannot get out of the way.  This leads to pinching at the top shoulder.  The other function the Serratus Anterior does is anchor the shoulder blade to the Thorax with use of the arm.  If the Serratus Anterior is weak, it puts more pressure on the Rotator Cuffs and the Rotator Cuff Muscles must work harder.  This can lead to Rotator Cuff Tendonitis.

How can I strengthen my Lazy Serratus Anterior?

  1. Protraction of the Shoulders. Hold the Arms straight in front of you and reach like you are reaching toward someone you love to give them a hug. The point is to let the scapulas move away from the midline of the back and around the ribs toward the front of the body. On the Inhale. On the Exhale, pull your arms and shoulder blades back to a neutral position. 10- Reps
  2. Scapula Pushups- Set Up like Regular pushups, or Lady style pushups, or you can also do push ups against a wall. Keep your arms straight. Push away (protraction of scapula), then Retraction of Scapula, (Scapula’s together in back) 10-Reps