ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Importance of the Serratus Anterior Muscle

Updated on August 21, 2013

Do you have chronic tightness in your upper back or shoulder blade regions?

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder blade region, upper back tightness, or having weakness in your shoulder you might have what is referred to as scapular instability. Scapular instability is caused by a number of shoulder and upper back muslces either becoming overactive or underactive. What this means is some of the muscles are shortening and contracting before they should and more often than they should. Leaving the muscle that performs the opposite motion to not fire and contract when it should.

Why an underactive Serratus Anterior leads to Scapular Instability

To put this into lea-mans terms even farther. If you have ever performed a bicep curl with a dumbbell before you, you could not have completed that motion of the arm, if the opposite muscle the triceps hadn't relaxed in the first place. This is what is called reciprocal inhibition. One muscle performing a task in which the muscle that performs the opposite function has to turn of and relax. If your rhomboids and upper trapezius muscles are always turned on, pulling the scapula then the opposite muscles being the serratus anterior and lower trapezius will relax to allow the motion to occur. Thus creating an unstable scapular motion in favor of the tight / overactive dominate muscles. This over time leads to chronic upper back tightness, shoulder blade pain, and will lead to stress and dysfunction of the rotator cuff muscles.

Now bringing us to the importance of the serratus anterior muscle. A muscle that most people have never even heard of before. The serratus anterior muscle is responsible for holding the scapula to the thoracic cage. When this is done correctly, this allows for a more stable base for the shoulder girdle muscles to pull from. Allowing more motion to come from the glenoid-humeral joint (shoulder joint). This creates a more fluid motion that is more successful with less strain on the nerves, vascular structures, and muscles of the shoulder, upper back, and chest.

A clear screen to show if your serratus anterior is indeed not activating properly is to get into a push-up position on your fingers and toes and hold that position while you have someone look for symtery between your shoulders. If one of the shoulders or both appear to be winging, this means your serratus weak. If you are able to hold this position for 30 secs or so, but then notice scapular winging this means that your serratus anterior muscles are weak. You will in both situations need to work on having a more active stronger serratus anterior muscle.

Below is a video that will show a simple yet effective way to strengthen your serratus anterior muscle.

Serratus Anterior Activation Exercise

Proper activation of this muscle will ensure that your rhomboids won't become over dominate leading to chronic upper back pain and shoulder instability. This video demonstrates an easy, but extremely effective way to better activate your serratus anterior muscle.

How many readers decided to try the exercise after watching the video and found the exercise effective?

See results

Resistance Band Workout: A Simple Way to Tone and Strengthen Your Muscles

If you bought the set of resistance bands I highlighted above, then when you combine them with this book you will essentially have a complete gym "in the comfort of your own home." haha couldn't resist using that tag line :)

All joking aside this book is a great resource on how to effectively use exercise bands to tone and strengthen a number of muscles. The book is well put together, and provides simple exercises. If you want to start somewhere simple, using resistance bands is that place and this book will help you learn how to really use resistance bands to your advantage.

Other Squidoo Lens / Health Info Written by Dr. Shepard

Piriformis Muscle - The Root Cause of Your Low Back Pain and Hip Pain
I will explain the importance the piriformis muscle, common places of trigger points / facial adhesions, and effective ways to treat an overacctive piriform...

How to get a better stronger low back while creating a stronger leaner core
For more exercises to improve function please visit my blog here. I have other exercises ranging from nerve flosses, dynamic stretches, and even how to get a better stronger low back while creating a stronger leaner core. Just click on the tab that says exercises.

For more information and videos about the Serratus Anterior Muscle
For more information and a link to where some of the information and video where gathered from.

Best Barefoot Running Shoes Review
I have been training for a marathon, and I have to say that I have gone through several brands and models of barefoot running shoes. I started wearing barefo...

The Importance of the Serratus Anterior Muscle
If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder blade region, upper back tightness, or having weakness in your shoulder you might have what is referred to as s...

Gluten Good or Bad?
After eating my typically 4th of July grilled meat smorgasbord with fruit, and the overabundance of carb high dishes. I want to write a post about a book ...

Trapezius Muscle - Cause of Neck Pain
The trapeziusm levator scapulae, and sternocleiodmastoid muscles are difficult to classify according to location. The trapezius is so large that is covers th...

Satay Curry Chicken Salad
I don't know about you but I love chicken Satay. I have made several version of it over the years, but this is the first salad I have made with it. There are...

Orange Lamb Burgers
The goal of this lenses is to give my readers or anyone searching online a healthy low carb recipe for burgers that they can make in 20 mins or less. If you...

What you guys think of this lense? Was the video helpful?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)