How To Activate The Serratus Anterior Muscles In Down Dog

In this post:


Transcript:
Nick Ortego here and today I’m
going to show you how to activate the
serratus anterior muscle while you’re in
down dog yoga position, so the serratus
anterior muscle, these little
finger-like muscles. You can see them
from the front side here, but they
basically attach on the ribcage and they
also attach to the inside border, the
medial border of the shoulder blade,
the scapula. So they’re kind of like
under. They lie underneath the shoulder
blade and wrap around the back of the
rib cage, and they’re big time shoulder
stabilizers. By anchoring the shoulder
blade to the rib cage, which is huge for
all of your movement patterns that
involve the upper extremities, the arm,
the shoulders. A lot of times in down
dog you get some substitution patterns
where the upper traps are getting tight.
The rhomboids between the shoulder
blades are getting tight and carrying
excess tension because the shoulder
blades aren’t anchored to the rib cage.
So there’s a way to do the downward
facing dog that activates those and the
way that you do it is as always you make
sure your hands are facing forward,
middle fingers point directly forward.
Hands are about shoulders distance apart, they can be a little bit wider. I like
to take them a little bit wider and then
as you’re grounding into your arms
elbows are straight you create force
where you’re rotating the elbow creases
forward, The elbows don’t flare out to
the side like this for down dog.
Rotate them forward as you push,
you keep that rotation going so it’s
kind of like with your arm you’re
thinking about rotating movement.
But your hands are planted so
you’re not gonna be pushing your hand
forward you’re gonna be pushing your
hips back. From the side it looks kind of
like this. Hands are planted, rotate. See
once I do that I’m already getting a
little bit of activation there. Tuck the
toes lift the hips up, and this is key:
let the back of your neck relax. So that
you’re not gonna be activating the upper
traps muscles back here and what you’ll
see is this is the down dog position, but
if I really engage the rotation and then
at the same time push my hips up and
back, as if I’m pushing the ground
forward. Back of the neck is relaxed. You
can see this is where I’m just kind of
like letting the elbows flare out, not
engaging the shoulder rotation. Plant the
hands straighten the elbows at the back
of the neck relax and then and again.
I try to hold that throughout the five
breaths or however long I’m in the
downward facing dog position. You can
kind of see those muscles activate,
big-time shape shoulder stabilizers. Give
that a try. If you’ve got any benefit from
this video leave a comment below if
you’d like to get any content not
available on the blog or the regular
YouTube channel then click the link
that’s connected to this video you’ll
have a chance to sign up for the run
better now VIP club. Thank you.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

Serratus Anterior Isolated Activation Exercise

In this post:


Video Transcript:
Hey it’s Nick Ortego here. Gonna show
you how to activate the serratus
anterior muscle. Muscle that attaches to
the ribcage and attaches to the inside
edge of the shoulder blade, wraps around,
goes under the shoulder blade, attached
to the inside edge. Key muscle in
anchoring the shoulder blade and
therefore the shoulder and arm to the
ribcage and the thorax. If it’s not active
enough, it tends to manifest in a lot of
different shoulder problems. One of the
main functions of the serratus is to
protract the scapula. What I’ve found though
is that if you try to load up this
movement like with planks or holding a
dumbbell or push-up position, the PEC
minor tends to get overactive. If you’re
having trouble activating your serratus
anterior, there’s a good chance that your
PEC minor is already overactive, so
anything you do that also loads the PEC
minor is gonna just facilitate the PEC
minor taking over. So what I like to do
is just lay down on the when you’re back
elbow out to about shoulder height, with
the arm rested on the ground. Find the
serratus anterior it’s on the edge of
the ribcage. In someone who has a good
development, there you’ll see like some
little fingers, something like that. And
what you want to do is let your arm just
lay there and elbow just about even with
the shoulder, hand resting on the floor
if it’ll go there. And then you think
about tilting your shoulder blade the
top side of the shoulder blade back into
the floor.
And the bottom side of the shoulder
blade tilting it away from the floor so
we’re effectively taking the PEC minor
out of the mix.
Another way to think about it is that
I’m slightly pushing my wrist into the
floor and slightly lifting my elbow away
from the floor so it looks kind of like
this. You can see the activity here. You
can place your fingers in that area and
when you activate the muscle you’ll know
that you’re activating that muscle
because you’ll feel the muscle firm up
like a contracting muscle. That’s what it
looks like. Also try to be sure that
you’re not activating your lat
right here. The lat is pretty inactivate.
If I do activate the lat you’ll see that
that going on or feel the lat.
May feel the teres major as well up on
the shoulder blade. But all this, you try
to let it stay relaxed. The upper trap,
try to let it stay relaxed and just
activate that serratus anterior
Tune your attention into that area. It’s
good to place the hands there. So just
isolating the activation of the serratus
anterior before you integrate into them
into any other movements. Try to do a lot
of reps usually like three sets of
twenty several times a day just to get
that frequency of the serratus anterior
firing. Got any benefit from this video,
leave a comment below. If you’d like to
get more content not available on the
blog or the regular youtube channel, then
click the link that is connected to this
video you’ll have a chance to sign up
for the run better now VIP club.

Author:
Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel