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Serratus Involvement in Incline Press


When I do incline bench pressing and especially when i do incline DB pressing, my "rib cage" feels like someone hit me with a sledge hammer the next day. My serratus anterior gets incredibly sore (not immediately after, DOMS) every time I incline press, but no one I have ever trained with experiences this "problem."

My serratus is thick and well developed relative to the rest of my body, I am just curious if anyone else experiences this and if someone could explain why the serratus is recruited so heavily during these movements. Thanks.


It probably wouldn't get as sore if you tucked your shoulder blades really hard for the whole set.


It has nothing to do with my form, every time i press i use textbook movement



Obviously it has nothing to do with your form since "no one that you've ever trained with his experienced this"

it cant be your form since you're, apparently, the only person who's experiencing this.


no i experience it as well...

as long as your upper chest is sore too...why is it a problem?


The serratus allows you abduct your shoulders past 90 degrees or so and bring your arms above your head. If you are inclining, you are obviously past that point and your serratus is going to necessarily be active. If it's getting that sore, then it's probably really weak.


HeavyTriple, at first i thought it was because my serratus was too weak, but it has been going on for several years so I figured it must be something else.

D Public - its not a problem, like I said, my serratus is thick and well developed, I was just curious if anyone else experienced this. Good to know someone else experiences this though.

Gregron - as usual, a wrong and unhelpful post.


It could just be that you get the best stimulation of that muscle in the incline. But like I said, it's very much active in raising the arm above the head, so it's no surprise that it's getting sore. I wouldn't worry about too much. Like the other guy said, If inclines are working for your chest as I imagine they are, you can just consider this a nice bonus.


Guys when I squat my calves get really sore the next few days.

But my form is picture perfect so that can't be it.



Is this seriously going to turn into a flame thread? I've been training for 4 years, and compete as a powerlifter i am pretty sure my form is spot on. It isn't a problem, I am just curious if others have experienced this. I can post a pic if necessary but i would rather just hear from someone who is knowledgeable about the recruitment of the serratus during pressing moves, or no one at all.


Thanks Heavytriple.


When I incline press to my neck (Incline Guillotine Press) I get severe DOMS in my serratus, more-so than even Serratus Crunches give me. This subsided though after a few IGP sessions. IGP is now a staple in my chest training regimen. The serratus pain only comes with heavy incremental weight increases.

More an observation than a recommendation, however I hope this helps in some capacity.


EDIT: nevermind


Thanks dave, i guess i just needed some reassurance that it wasn't completely out of the ordinary. I've never done guillotines on an incline ill have to give those a shot.


Do you have short arms? I experienced something kind of similar with a trainee, but he got it a little more in his pec minor. I had him do pullovers across a bench (not along, across so that your hips must be held up with the head barely off the bench) and at the end of each set I would have him do partials out of the bottom (from fully stretched to just barely passed the forehead). This really helped to stretch out his pec minor and serratus. And when in the fully stretched position, try to dip the hips a little bit, assisting the stretch(hence why I like the across bench setting). Hope this helps.

Best of lifting


It absolutely happens to me too. And my son. Something about the angle of the torso, I think. If I do high volume military presses, a bit sore. But heavy incline presses, esp. with dumbbells..major serratus soreness.

Flat bench, not so much.


this is a pic i took a few weeks ago that i think shows my serratus pretty well, just so the guys who gave me their input can see what im talking about.


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Whoa--your left arm does look a lot bigger than your right.