Many people tend to neglect the serratus anterior during their workouts. This muscle is located in the shoulder girdle, connecting the thoracic cage (which is the middle and upper back) and the shoulder blade. This muscle works to stabilize the scapular. If your serratus anterior becomes weak, you will no longer have this stabilization, leading to multiple possible dysfunctions. Instead of allowing this muscle to become weak through neglect, consider make it stronger by the following 8 serratus anterior exercises.

8 Great Exercises You Should Try

If your serratus anterior muscles become weak, this can lead to rotator cuff issues, neck problems, lymphatic return in the armpits, poor circulation and numbness down your arm. So you should try the following exercises so this muscle can remain strong.

Ab Extensions

You can use several different devices for this serratus anterior exercise, but you should always make sure it is secured firmly and hangs down to your shoulders when you kneel on the ground.

  • Begin by kneeling on the floor while firmly grasping the hanging device. Pull down slightly so the tension of the line becomes firm.

  • Keep your arms locked and elbows slightly bent while slowly leaning forward, pivoting from your knees.

  • Continue leaning until you create a 45-degree angle with your body. Hold it for 2 to 3 seconds while maintaining tense abdominal and back muscles and keeping your back straight.

  • Apply tension to your hanging device to return your body back to the starting position perpendicular to the ground.


Hanging Serratus Crunch

Begin by holding a pull-up bar in an overhand grip, hanging from it.

Start to move your legs side to side upwards slowly in a controlled manner. Move them up to one side, bring them to the center, and then move them up to the other side. Try to target your serratus muscles since this is one of the greatest serratus anterior exercises.

This video demonstrates how to properly do a hanging serratus crunch:


Barbell Pullovers

  • Lie down on a bench with a barbell over your forehead, pressing your weight upward (in a similar way to a bench press), keeping it over or behind your head.

  • Lower your barbell so it goes behind your head traveling in a smooth arc. Keep your arms mostly straight.

  • Lift the barbell in another smooth arc so it is once again above your face.

Watch the video to learn about correct form during a barbell pullover:


Rope Pull

  • Add a rope attachment to a cable machine, setting the pin high. Take both handles of your rope extension and get into a kneeling position.

  • Start with the rope behind your head and then pull your torso down so your forehead moves towards the floor.

  • Once your body is parallel to the floor with a slight curve of the spine, hold the position 1 or 2 seconds. Return your torso to your starting position.


Inclined Pushups

This is one of the serratus anterior exercises that can be done with a barbell or dumbbells as a way to work your serratus anterior, triceps brachii, anterior deltoids and pectoralis major.

  • Begin in a plank position so your feet are on the floor and your hands are on a stair step or other stationary platform.

  • Bend your elbows, slowly lowering your body before returning to your starting position.

  • Remember to keep tension in the lower back and avoid letting the upper back sag. You will have less resistance when using higher platforms.

This video will show you how to complete inclined pushups:


Dumbbell Punches

During serratus anterior workout, your serratus anterior will experience static exertion by controlling the dumbbell.

  • Hold dumbbells and bend your knees slightly so you are in a quarter squat position.

  • Do boxing punches with the dumbbells tightly in your grasp.

  • Work this muscle even more by rotating your body to a small degree and dropping the shoulder that isn’t engaged back.

The following video can help show you how to do a dumbbell punch:


Medicine Ball Power Drops

Medicine ball power drops work your shoulder, abdomen, chest and arm muscles in addition to the serratus anterior muscles and you need a training partner.

  • Begin by lying on the floor so your head is close to an exercise bench and you are perpendicular with it. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on top of the floor while extending your arms so they are vertical above the chest.

  • Ask your partner to stand on the exercise bench, holding the medicine ball. He will drop it down into your outstretched hands and you should catch it using both hands, letting it fall to your chest but controlling the deceleration.

  • After the ball gets to your chest, push it explosively away from the chest and have your partner catch it.


Press Strengthening Exercise

There are many versions of this on our list of serratus anterior exercises. 

One version of the exercise is wall press. It begins with you facing a wall, standing arm distance away and your palms on the wall at shoulder height. Lean forward so your torso goes towards the wall but do not bend the arms. You should notice the shoulder blades getting closer to your spine as you stretch the serratus and flex your rhomboids.

The other version is the floor press. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs crossed and feet on the ground. Put your palms on top of the floor with straight arms so they are by your hips. Use your serratus anterior to press the body from the floor. Even if you only gain a few millimeters, you should keep practicing. Eventually, try to move your feet into the air if your torso is high enough.


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