The serratus anterior is a muscle that plays a vital role in stabilizing the shoulder blade. Strengthening this muscle can help prevent shoulder injuries, improve posture, and enhance athletic performance. Here are some of the best exercises to target the serratus anterior and improve shoulder blade upward rotation.
Best Serratus Anterior Exercises
We will cover
- Serratus Wall Slides
- Abduction in the scapular plane
- Reverse Bear Crawls
- Half Kneeling Landmine press
#1 Serratus Wall slides
The foam roller forces you to push into the wall, creating tension where you need it. As you lift the arms up think of the elbows DRAGGING away from you. You can use a towel or furniture slider if you want to focus on just one arm. You should feel tension in the arm pits.
2-3 sets of 15-20 reps
#3 Shoulder Abduction
Perform this in the scapular plane, not out to the side, to increase scapula upward rotation. The elbows are the key here as well, so think about keeping them AWAY from you to keep tension in the serratus area.
2-3 sets of 10-15 reps
#2 Reverse Bear Crawl
Hands on the ground is a different way to train, but an easy and full proof way to
- load the shoulders
- force scap upward rotation
When you crawl backwards, pretend you’re in a tight hallway so you aren’t overusing your lower body and actually PUSHING through the arms.
2 sets of 10-20 yards. This will smoke your lungs more than your shoulders.
#4 Landmine Press
This works similar to the reverse crawl. The half kneeling position will keep tension in the trunk, so you can totally isolate the REACH with the arm. One of my favorite shoulder exercises.
2-3 sets of 6-12 reps.
What is the Serratus Anterior?
Serratus Anterior Location
The serratus anterior is a muscle that originates on the upper eight or nine ribs and inserts on the inside border of the scapula. Its primary job is to keep the shoulder blade attached to the ribcage, which is necessary for overhead movements of the arm. It is also protracts (forward movement) the scapula.
Summarizing Serratus Anterior Exercises
The serratus is often my go to to target shoulder dysfunction. Rotator cuff strength is important, as well as general shoulder stre\ngth, but addressing the serratus anterior and scapular upward rotation is key for shoulder function.
Tired of your shoulder hurting?