Serratus Anterior Activation (Upper-Body Dysfunction):
By Brent Brookbush MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS
Serratus Anterior Activation (Functional Anatomy Article Coming Soon)
- Origin: Outer surface and superior borders of the upper eight or nine ribs
- Insertion: Costal surface of the medial border of the scapula.
- Nerve: Long thoracic (C5 – C7 and somtimes C8)
- Action: Protraction and upward rotation of the scapula. The scapula also acts to approximate the scapula and ribs – stabilizing the shoulder girdle
Information above from Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain by Kendall, McCreary, Provance, Rodgers, and Romani
Signs of under-activity and a maladaptive increase in length:
Carefully assess dysfunction in every individual before suggesting corrective techniques.
Overhead Squat Assessment:
- Arms Adduct (Long/Under-active)
- Arms Fall Forward (Long/Under-active)
Manual Muscle Testing MMT:
Serratus Anterior MMT and Modifications:
- A common result indicating dysfunction is compensation (as pressure is applied the patient pulls into anterior tipping of the scapula indicating pectoralis minor dominance, adduction may indicate pectoralis major and subscapularis dominance).
Provocative testing – In my humble opinion the MMT traditionally used, even the “Preferred Test” by Kendall et. al, in not a particularly provocative exam. The inability to upwardly rotate with optimal shoulder girdle mechanics is lost well before an individual would test “weak” (4/5 or lower) or “with