T Nation

Serratus Anterior and Lower Trapezius Fibres


Instead of hijacking the 'Protruding Scapula' thread, I'll post my question here.

From what I've read/studied, the Serratus Anterior and Lower Trapezius fibres are quite important for scapula positioning/control/posture.
Does anyone train them directly as part of their normal program? How?



good luck getting some help on this... I didn't. But I did look around to try and find some exercises to help my situation out. Here's some possibly helpful links:

Neanderthal No More III (which has links to parts 1 and 2)

Look at the portion called "Right Winger"

And I've read somewhere that just keeping the shoulder blades tight and retracted, chest up and out throughout the day is a good help too.

good luck!


Hey CU,

Thanks for the input.
I actually have some shoulder issues so I bit the bullet and am getting physio treatment.
My uni has a physio clinic where the 4th years practice under supervision - cheap, thorough and a great learning experience for me (just started studying physiotherapy).

The exercises in the rehab articles here didn't really help me that much: my problems were mainly posterior capsule tightness, anterior capsule laxity, the head of my humerous wasn't sitting in the shoulder socket and my lower traps suck - my other muscles like to take over. Professional treatment/guidance has been very helpful.

I asked the initial question because I'm not sure how much serratus anterior involvement there is during a bench press.. nor how much lower traps are involved during chins/rows. If these muscles aren't involved much in common exercises then could that be why postural issues/shoulder injuries seem relatively common?


Damn dude, you're a mess, but it sounds like you've got a good grasp on the problem; which is key.

The more I've been looking into shoulder balance, the more I see that all these little muscles holding them in place properly are virtually never worked. Right now to fast track my progress for example I've devoted about 20 minutes a day to shoulder health.

Good luck dude; let us know what you find out.


Once you get the immediate problems under control, very strict OH pressing (front or back) w/ depressed scapulae is a great way to keep things healthy (unless contraindicated for another reason).