How To Activate The Serratus Anterior Muscles In Down Dog

In this post:

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
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Author: Nick Ortego is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and assisted stretching.
Also find more on the Nick Ortego Fitness YouTube Channel

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