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  1. #1
    Registered User AFIrensde's Avatar
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    Serratus Anterior

    What exercises do you guys recommend for working the Serratus anterior...?

    I have heard that they flex the shoulders up (like reaching at the end of a press move) and that they help rotate the shoulder joint (like pullovers)

    What exercises do you use?
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    Originally Posted by AFIrensde View Post
    What exercises do you guys recommend for working the Serratus anterior...?

    I have heard that they flex the shoulders up (like reaching at the end of a press move) and that they help rotate the shoulder joint (like pullovers)

    What exercises do you use?
    both good ones. hold a barbell up and protract your shoulder blades. up and down. i also feel them getting worked when i do dips.
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  4. #4
    Get Real NY Money Mike's Avatar
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    I do pullovers but I also really feel then from wide grip dips and most of all from "stright arm pulldowns" if you depress your shoulder blades and focus there I feel it. Also try "chops" or reverse chops
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    Shoulder presses hit them. Pullovers are also good, they are pretty much the only thing that keeps your arms from being ripped off your torso in that position.
    It's UriEl btw

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  6. #6
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    The best way to hit them directly is through protraction, aka, the "reaching" part. With overhead pressing and pullovers, the serratus is more of a secondary, stabilizing muscle.

    Doing it with a barbell works alright. Pushups are very good as well. Focus on the last part of the ROM, like youre trying to stretch your shoulders as for forward as possible. On the eccentric part, allow your shoulder blades to retract. During this type of pushup, your elbows arent going to bend.
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    Originally Posted by AFIrensde View Post
    What exercises do you guys recommend for working the Serratus anterior...?

    I have heard that they flex the shoulders up (like reaching at the end of a press move) and that they help rotate the shoulder joint (like pullovers)
    Ummmm...no


    What did google tell you?
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    Function of the serratus:

    1.) By itself - Protracts the shoulder blade. Imagine being seated in a chair, and stretching your arms/shoulders as far forward as possible.


    2.) When combined with lower traps/upper traps - Rotates the scapula upwards.

    This is much more of a stabilization movement.

    3.) It also plays a more static role in keeping the shoulder blade in its proper position, aka. preventing scapular winging.


    #s 2 & 3 arent much use from a pure hypertrophy standpoint.
    Last edited by Mtguy8787; 08-08-2007 at 03:40 PM.
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  9. #9
    Registered User AFIrensde's Avatar
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    thanks to most...(w8isgr8...did you just get on to say "youre an idiot"? i asked for a reason...not to mention i WAS right)

    great info, ill incorporate some of your suggestions!

    reps on recharge
    Last edited by AFIrensde; 08-09-2007 at 05:05 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Mtguy8787 View Post
    Function of the serratus:

    1.) By itself - Protracts the shoulder blade. Imagine being seated in a chair, and stretching your arms/shoulders as far forward as possible.


    2.) When combined with lower traps/upper traps - Rotates the scapula upwards.

    This is much more of a stabilization movement.

    3.) It also plays a more static role in keeping the shoulder blade in its proper position, aka. preventing scapular winging.


    #s 2 & 3 arent much use from a pure hypertrophy standpoint.
    A lot of huge serratus out there would beg to differ...
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Uriel_da_man View Post
    A lot of huge serratus out there would beg to differ...
    protraction/retraction will provide the greatest benefit in terms of specific hypertrophy.
    If what I see does not amaze me, I am not looking hard enough.

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  12. #12
    110% natural, no anacin Dwizzo's Avatar
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    What about the Serratus moves in the Arnold book?

    1) Using gravity boots, hang upside down and do dumbbell raises...
    2) Cable pulldowns to the floor using a rope while on your knees
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Dwizzo View Post
    What about the Serratus moves in the Arnold book?

    1) Using gravity boots, hang upside down and do dumbbell raises...
    2) Cable pulldowns to the floor using a rope while on your knees
    1) ummmmmm why not just stand upright and do a 1 arm pulldown
    2) depends on how you do them. if you emphasize the protraction and rotational aspect of the move...
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    110% natural, no anacin Dwizzo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by I dont work at Ballys View Post
    1) ummmmmm why not just stand upright and do a 1 arm pulldown
    Probably the same reason Arnold recommends free-weights (dumbbells) over machines (cables)... (no sarchasm)
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    Originally Posted by I dont work at Ballys View Post
    protraction/retraction will provide the greatest benefit in terms of specific hypertrophy.
    I don't think it'll make a huge difference. That's like saying what will give you a bigger coracobrachialis, chin ups or the pec dec? In theory the pec dec works it directly, but on such a small muscle it can't make such a big difference.

    Besides pullovers and shoulder presses also work the opposing muscles (traps), and protracted shoulders are already pretty damn common among weightlifters without having to train shoulder protraction...
    It's UriEl btw

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    Originally Posted by Uriel_da_man View Post
    I don't think it'll make a huge difference. That's like saying what will give you a bigger coracobrachialis, chin ups or the pec dec? In theory the pec dec works it directly, but on such a small muscle it can't make such a big difference.

    Besides pullovers and shoulder presses also work the opposing muscles (traps), and protracted shoulders are already pretty damn common among weightlifters without having to train shoulder protraction...
    i agree. just saying if trying to isolate them IMO thats the best way to put "size" on them.
    If what I see does not amaze me, I am not looking hard enough.

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    Originally Posted by Dwizzo View Post
    What about the Serratus moves in the Arnold book?

    1) Using gravity boots, hang upside down and do dumbbell raises...
    2) Cable pulldowns to the floor using a rope while on your knees
    ive got that book, thats why i asked cause ive seen so many different things...im sure they all work, im just gonna try em all out and see what makes me hurt the most.
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    Pushup variations, especially the decline.
    Meet PRs 430/285/525, Gym 440/295/550

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    110% natural, no anacin Dwizzo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AFIrensde View Post
    ive got that book, thats why i asked cause ive seen so many different things...im sure they all work, im just gonna try em all out and see what makes me hurt the most.
    Watch your mouth son!! How dare you call it "that book"??? It's called one of three things:

    1) Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding
    2) The Arnold Book
    3) The Bible of Bodybuilding

    Call it anything else and you're looking for negs!
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  20. #20
    Registered User phat_endo's Avatar
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    Here's my question, is frequent overhead pressing enough to keep the serratus anterior strong enough to properly stabilize and rotate the scapula?
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    Registered User Mandein's Avatar
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    Reviving an old post, but since this post appears high on the google crawl list, it's also helpful to note that when you protract your shoulder blades with your arms extending maximally forward, a good body cue that you can associate with working your serratus is the rounding of your upper back (nice to have a mirror around while doing this). Keeping your hands in neutral position, such as with your fingers extending laterally in the pushup position, is also more appropriate for serratus anterior activation.

    If you look around, you'll find plenty of resources talking about how the serratus anterior, lower trapezius, and upper trapezius form an important stabilizing triad during shoulder flexion, which is basically when you press your arms above your head. It's important to keep the serratus anterior and lower trapezius (and mid trap) strong in order to oppose the action of the upper trap during this movement.

    Also thinking about the serratus anterior in terms of hypertrophy is fine but not really appropriate in regards to its function. The serratus anterior isn't one of your prime movers, rather its main function is to act as a scapular stabilizer.
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  22. #22
    Registered User FltDoc06's Avatar
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    Plank "pushups" focus on the serratus. In plank position, keeping your back straight and elbows in a fixed position, allow your shoulders to retract (collapse backward), lowering your face to the floor and pinching your shoulder blades together in the back. Then rotate your shoulders anteriorly, pushing your upper body away from the floor. Hold 4-5 sec at top. Repeat.

    Boxers have great serratus development because the punch rotates the shoulder via the serratus. You can replicate this with the cable using a punch movement. Be sure to focus on rotating the shoulder to the front as you punch (not just punching with the arm), or it doesn't work the serratus maximally.

    Pushup "plus" also works. Assume the pushup position with the arms fully extended. Keeping arms straight, lower your chest toward the floor, then raise up, using only shoulder movement (rotating the shoulder anteriorly). Hold at top for 4-5 sec; repeat.

    Also bench press "plus" works serratus. From the flat bench, push up on the weighted bar until both arms are fully extended. Keeping arms straight, raise the bar by rotating the shoulders anteriorly. Hold at top for 4-5 sec, then retract shoulders, pinching the shoulder blades in the back, and repeat.
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