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  1. #1
    Registered User LiveRipped's Avatar
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    Serratus Workout Help

    Hey I'm just wondering what exercises that I should be doing to build up my serratus muscles. (the muscles on the sides of the abs.) Not obliques! I'm not asking how can I get them to show more (I know, less BF%) but I want them to be more profound when I do cut for my show(s).
    The only exercise that I have heard works them is decline pullovers. And I'm guessing most ab exercises work them to some degree.
    So is there a best exercise for the serratus muscles and how many sets/reps? please and thanks,
    Zac
    Last edited by LiveRipped; 03-20-2012 at 09:38 PM. Reason: clarify
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  2. #2
    Registered User BigTruckGuy3500's Avatar
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    You can bench with your arms locked out. The serratus anterior is responsible for protracting the shoulders. So if you've ever done pushups where you just push with your shoulder blades sliding back and then you pushing them forward, that's the serratus anterior working.

    Not sure what rep ranges to work with, but try 10-12 reps/set, and maybe just 2-3 sets. You're probably already hitting them pretty good during normal chest workouts.
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  3. #3
    Registered User LiveRipped's Avatar
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    Hey thanks big truck guy i will try that.

    Speaking of that, i wonder if they will get sore???
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  4. #4
    Registered User k9pit's Avatar
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    My serratus are nice, but until recently I never really took a lot of time out to "build them" directly per say.

    Below are some moves that have silently built them up over time:
    Machine Pullovers for Lats
    Deadlifts
    Kneeling Weighted Cable Crunches
    Standing One Arm Cable Pulldowns for Lats

    Another move that will hit the Serratus directly and hard is doing the kneeling weighted cable crunches with one arm and pulling the right elbow down the left knee and left elbow to right knee. I'm currently shedding a few lbs and I've found these nice for better definition.
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  5. #5
    Doesn't Eat Enough Tillday's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by k9pit View Post
    My serratus are nice, but until recently I never really took a lot of time out to "build them" directly per say.

    Below are some moves that have silently built them up over time:
    Machine Pullovers for Lats
    Deadlifts
    Kneeling Weighted Cable Crunches
    Standing One Arm Cable Pulldowns for Lats

    Another move that will hit the Serratus directly and hard is doing the kneeling weighted cable crunches with one arm and pulling the right elbow down the left knee and left elbow to right knee. I'm currently shedding a few lbs and I've found these nice for better definition.
    All those exercises are opposite of what the serratus' function does.
    Movesment of Scapula

    Abduction [1, 2]
    Upward Rotation [2]
    Elevation (Weak) [1]
    http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/SerratusAnterior.html

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  6. #6
    Registered User BigTruckGuy3500's Avatar
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    I agree with Tillday. With the exercises k9pit listed, you might feel tension around the mid-upper thorax, but you're not actually hitting the serratus. The serratus anterior originates at the ribs, and attaches to the inner side of your shoulder blade. Fibers run essentially parallel to the ground, but not exactly. So you've got to do motions that work in the direction the fibers run, and that move the shoulder blades forward. That's a simple way of phrasing it, but I think you get the picture. Search youtube and I'm sure you'll see some good example (and I'm sure you'll see some bad examples as well).
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  7. #7
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    pullovers
    straight arm pull downs
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  8. #8
    Prepare Perform Prevail SuicideGripMe's Avatar
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    I've found supersetting lat pulldowns and cable pullovers really work well. It took a little tweaking of my form to really feel it though.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by LiveRipped View Post
    The only exercise that I have heard works them is decline pullovers. And I'm guessing most ab exercises work them to some degree.
    Nope.
    Originally Posted by LiveRipped View Post
    So is there a best exercise for the serratus muscles
    Probably not, there's rarely a best exercise for anything. Here's a list though: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/Che...l#anchor682036

    Originally Posted by LiveRipped View Post
    and how many sets/reps?
    No idea, like with anything you can experiment to find what works best.

    Originally Posted by BigTruckGuy3500 View Post
    You can bench with your arms locked out. The serratus anterior is responsible for protracting the shoulders. So if you've ever done pushups where you just push with your shoulder blades sliding back and then you pushing them forward, that's the serratus anterior working. You're probably already hitting them pretty good during normal chest workouts.
    I doubt most people are hitting the SA with bench presses, because the powerlifter mentality of retracting the scapulae (pinching the shoulderblades together) is infectious. Even without it, I think people might do it instinctively to help stabilize their base. About the only time I could see people significantly hitting the muscle while lying supine on a bench is when they're doing a movement specifically for it like this one.


    Originally Posted by k9pit View Post
    My serratus are nice, but until recently I never really took a lot of time out to "build them" directly per say.

    Below are some moves that have silently built them up over time:
    Machine Pullovers for Lats
    Deadlifts
    Kneeling Weighted Cable Crunches
    Standing One Arm Cable Pulldowns for Lats

    Another move that will hit the Serratus directly and hard is doing the kneeling weighted cable crunches with one arm and pulling the right elbow down the left knee and left elbow to right knee. I'm currently shedding a few lbs and I've found these nice for better definition.
    Your amazing serrati were probably built by other movements you're doing, like overhead pressing. SA tension would inhibit performance in these moves you listed.

    Originally Posted by Tillday View Post
    All those exercises are opposite of what the serratus' function does. Movement of Scapula: Abduction [1, 2] Upward Rotation [2] Elevation (Weak) [1] http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/SerratusAnterior.html http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/...lderRaise.html
    This.

    Originally Posted by The Shoeless Wonder View Post
    pullovers straight arm pull downs
    If you're feeling a scapular protractor while doing this, it's the pec minor or major, not the serratus anterior.

    Originally Posted by SuicideGripMe View Post
    I've found supersetting lat pulldowns and cable pullovers really work well. It took a little tweaking of my form to really feel it though.
    Why do people think they have such awesome muscle awareness of such a deep and hard to feel muscle that's so easy to confuse with other muscles?
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  10. #10
    Registered User k9pit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Your amazing serrati were probably built by other movements you're doing, like overhead pressing. SA tension would inhibit performance in these moves you listed.

    ......

    Why do people think they have such awesome muscle awareness of such a deep and hard to feel muscle that's so easy to confuse with other muscles?
    I don't know and I could have been wrong in my post above but whatever worked for me, I'll take it as a win regardless. I'm okay with being right for the wrong reasons....or wrong for the right reasons. In whatever case, maybe I'm doing the perfect storm of bad form. Muscle confusion 2.0.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by k9pit View Post
    I'll take it as a win regardless
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  12. #12
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    dumbbell pull overs , wide grib lat pull down.
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    Before I started weights I would do pushup workouts and my serratus would always be the sorest muscle the next day. I did dive bombers and squeezing pushups
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    Thanks guys. I think these muscles look really good when BF% is really low (then again so do all muscles haha). Thanks
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Why do people think they have such awesome muscle awareness of such a deep and hard to feel muscle that's so easy to confuse with other muscles?
    Maybe because over time you stop f*cking around on bodybuilding.com and trying to sound smart and actually learn how to focus on specific muscles while training.... Seriously.
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    Originally Posted by kidbrah View Post
    dumbbell pull overs , wide grib lat pull down.
    Pullover Works Serratus Anterior?
    Originally Posted by I would appreciate your feedback about putting the serratus anterior muscles as primary muscles in the bent arm pullover part of the demo site as i think this is important, what do you think?
    If you note the function of the serratus anterior, you will see these motions are virtually the opposite of the motion of the scapula during the concentric phase of the bent arm pullover. Contrary to what certain books suggest, the serratus anterior does not play an active role in this motion.

    In fact, the Serratus Anterior is involved in the opposite movement, such as in the front raise. During the pullover, the serratus anterior could be activated if the shoulders are raise from the bench somewhat like at the end of a pushup. The Serratus Anterior is also known as the boxers muscle because of the movement during the end of a punch. The Serratus Anterior is also involved during overhead presses.

    I can only speculate why this misconception came about. Older exercise guides (Pre-1970s) suggested performing pullovers while breathing deeply could expand the rib cage, particularly if performed in the teen years.

    The External Intercostals (involved in rib elevation) and the Internal Intercostals (involved in rib elevation during inhalation and rib depression during exhalation) are somewhat in proximity to the Serratus Anterior; but this is only my theory to explain a misguided idea.
    Dat grib.

    Originally Posted by Lee72 View Post
    Before I started weights I would do pushup workouts and my serratus would always be the sorest muscle the next day. I did dive bombers and squeezing pushups
    Both those movements would hit the SA, so this makes sense. That said, your muscle awareness is better than mine. I just feel "chest" or whatever. The soreness is so widespread I couldn't tell you what was serratus or whatever, lol.

    Originally Posted by SuicideGripMe View Post
    Maybe because over time you stop f*cking around on bodybuilding.com and trying to sound smart and actually learn how to focus on specific muscles while training.... Seriously.
    I do my best bro, but when you do compound movements that work multiple muscle groups which are adjacent to one another, trying to tell them apart is tough. So sorry if I can't tell if I'm working my vastus intermedius vs. my lateralis/medialis. I may know the terms for them but I honestly don't give a **** at this point. Focusing on small **** like that is for pros, it's a waste of time for beginners.

    The point here is: based on what science

    has determined about what muscles do, and what the serratus anterior does, it should not be active during pullovers and pulldowns like you've alleged. It's easier to believe you're feeling some other muscle than to believe your SA works differently than everyone else's.
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