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Serratus Anterior Activation

 

Serratus Anterior Activation (for Upper Body Dysfunction):

By Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, H/FS

For a complete review of origin, insertion, innervation, action, integrated action, arthrokinematics, motor behavior, subsystem involvement, and trigger points you check out the Functional Anatomy & Human Movement Science of the:

  • Serratus Anterior

For an introduction to activation exercise including a list of commonly activated muscles, the goal of activation exercise, activation circuits, progression, acute variables, order of activation exercise and PDF of the “Integrated warm-up template.”

  • Introduction to Activation Exercise

Signs of under-activity and a maladaptive increase in length:

Carefully assess dysfunction in every individual before suggesting corrective techniques.

Overhead Squat Assessment:

  • Arms Fall (Long/Under-active)
  • Shoulders Elevate (Long/Under-active)

 

Manual Muscle Testing (MMT):

  • Serratus Anterior Manual Muscle Testing (MMT) for an Active Population (1):
    • A common result indicating dysfunction is compensation. As pressure is applied to the arm the patient anteriorly tips the scapula; indicating dominance of the pectoralis minor, adduction and/or internal rotation of the shoulder may indicate dominance of the pectoralis major and subscapularis.

 

Overactive Synergists:
Article: Overactive Synergists Cheat Sheet – for more on this concept and a complete list of under-active muscles and their synergists. Release and stretch prior to activation & cue joint motion to reciprocally inhibit these muscle during activation exercise.

  1. Pectoralis Minor - release (inhibit w/ posterior tipping, thoracic extension, and retraction)
  2. Subscapularis - release (inhibit w/ external rotation)
    1. Child's Pose is an effective stretch for both muscles

 

Isolated Activ

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