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Strengthening Serratus Anterior Help


Hey, ive tried scapula push ups and it seems i do the correct form but i dont feel any kind of feeling that its working, i've also tried scapula bench press where you simply only protract and retract the shoulder blades to move the weight and i felt somefeeling around the scapula on my back which im not sure was the serratus anterior because that is apparently located on the side of the ribs. does anyone know any tips tohelp me feel this muscle or any good excercises?



Sounds like your proprioception sucks. I had/have issues with scapula winging I sort of developed after an injury. Scap push ups work for me now, but they didn't for a long time because I literally could not activate them. Two exercises helped with that. One is simply holding a ridiculously light weight (like 1-3kg) and doing intensely focused protractions lying on a bench (or the ground). Make sure you maintain intense focus, do one arm at a time and hold the contraction for at least 3 seconds. Don't worry about weight, this is not a strength exercise. Force the protraction as hard as you can, try to touch the ceiling.

Another one that helped me is pushing against a wall with a tennis ball between your palm and the wall. Again, forcefully protect your scapula (try to force yourself away from the wall). With that arm, draw circles or an X to start out with. You could even write out the alphabet, though you will probably fatigue very easily initially. Im sure you can find some youtube videos if you can't visualise the exercises. These exercises with a high frequency (everyday at least, could progress to twice per day if you want, they are not taxing at all, though after the first session you should feel some soreness) for a few weeks should get you ready to progress onto scap push ups and all the strengthening exercising. Good Luck bro


wow thanks, finally a decent answer.

i tried that bench idea and its great at first i was trying too heavy weight and all power was coming from my arm or shoulder or w.e it felt like i was forcing my arm up through my arm, but now ive lowered the weight and started to focus on it coming from under the armpit area and its really helping. thanks a lot man!


If you are going to be performing scapular punches off a bench, I recommend laying offset on the bench so the working shoulder/scapula sits off the side of the bench. With the working scapula/shoulder off the bench, it allows for a full ROM from retraction and protraction, without the retraction being blocked by the bench.


ok ive done a few sets of dumbbell punches on bench focusing on protraction and i tseems i can now lift weight only using the scapula which is good, but i dont feel any kind of doms or pump in the serratus anterior to know its getting trained properly, is this a muscle you feel when you've worked? im currently doing 2 kg dumbbells in each hand and was wondering what is a good weight to get up to before my serratus anterior is strong again and fully working?


In my experience, its quite tough to feel it working at the start, thats why you need to force the contraction (force yourself to reach the ceiling) for at least 3 seconds. Hopefully you should feel some burning sensation (it feels like its coming from the lats area for most people) and hopefully get some doms. But remember this is about proprioception, and actual damage to the muscle fibre membrane is minimal.

But you need to keep at it for at least a week, preferably two, than progress from there. I would keep the tennis ball drill though, I have kept that one in my program for two months now, because I really feel it wakes my serratus up before I hit so plus push ups


aha nice, when i've strengthened this muscle will i actually be able to work my back muscles better on excercises like dumbbell rows because i cant really feel scapular movement doing rows atm