Often when we talk about building shoulder muscles or working on posture, there is a heavy focus on pinching back and bringing the shoulder blades together. However, it is important not to forget the muscles that move the arm forward, especially the serratus muscle. The serratus anterior muscle wrap around ribs and moves the scapula forward. Watch as Point Performance’s Allison Haynes demonstrates some easy exercises to activate and strengthen the serratus.
This first exercise uses light weights. Begin on your back with knees bent to support you and arms fully extended toward ceiling. Then without moving your elbows and focusing on your shoulder muscles, reach up toward the sky, isolating the serratus muscles. Then slowly, with control, return to the starting position. You should not feel any strain in your neck during this exercise.
If you do not have weights, Haynes recommends modifications that can be done with no accessories. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Then, activate the shoulder muscles by pushing the ground away–you should feel your shoulders wrap around and down your ribs. Keep your neck neutral by looking straight down. To up the ante, you can perform this move in a full plank position as well by relaxing your shoulders and doing a shoulder push-up.