F.I.T. Tips: How To Effectively Strengthen Your Serratus Anterior

With Gavin Buehler


To effectively stimulate and strengthen a muscle, you need to know its functions so that you can activate and load it appropriately. Here’s a quick recap of the serratus anterior actions:


• Scapular protraction & ribcage retraction,

• Scapular upward rotation, posterior tilt & stabilization.

• Rib internal & external rotation.

• Accessory breathing muscle providing rib cage movement.

• Upper provides upper contralateral thoracic rotation.

• Lower provides lower ipsilateral thoracic rotation.


Keeping these actions in mind, in the video below I’m going to introduce you to a One-Arm Scapular Wall Glide as a movement to find and activate the serratus anterior, and my absolute favorite strengthening exercise, the Kettle Bell Bottom’s up 90 degree Isometric Hold that was spawned from Eric Cressey’s Kettle Bell Bottom’s Up Carry. I also provide a resistance band variation as an alternative option.


As always, this video is for educational purposes only. Please consult a health professional before attempting new exercises or protocols, as the following suggestions may or may not be appropriate for you.


Recommended Protocols:

One-Arm Scapular Wall Glide(2:37 in the video) this is a great warm-up or movement prep. exercise.

  • 2-3 sets, 5-8 reps/side at 4 seconds up and 4 seconds down tempo.

Kettle Bell Bottom’s Up 90 Degree Hold (4:45 in the video) this can also be used as a preparation movement with lighter loads performed non-fatiguing. Or it can be incorporated as a main or accessory exercise.

  • 2-3 sets, 4-6 reps/side with 5-10 second holds.

Resistance Band Variation - (6:40 in the video)