T Nation

to Ian King

When are the serratus the most involved in the bench press movement?

In the last portion of the pressing movement, in the last 2-3 inches up to the lockout.

To give you a more complete answer, the serratus anterior is involved in scapular abduction (or protraction). This movements occur when the arms and shoulders move in front and away from the body while the scapula move away (sideways) from the spine.

The SA also upwardly rotates the scapula; this happens when the humerus is abducted past the horizontal <------ Probably pointless information unless you are rehabbing the the SA, but I just thought I’d throw it out there.

I don’t recall ever seeing Ian post anything on this forum. The answers given from the previous posts cover it all though. What is the reason for your question?

In addition to those two ROMs, Dave Tate and Don Alessi have both written about a weak serratus affecting bench strength, the serratus is a stabilizer of the scapula (duh) and it inserts on the medial border of the scapula, that is the side facing the spine. If your serratus is too weak to hold the scapula in place while the blades are retracted it will “wing” or the medial border will protrude outwards from the back, this affects bench strength as when I started strengthening the serratus the bottom part of my bench was much stronger, I had a firm base to press from, hope that addition helps.

Thanks all, the reason why I asked is I am competing in the Natural Nationals in Oklahoma City, March 15&16. I am only gonna do bench. Thanks again.