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Secret to looking extra ripped? your Serratus Anterior

serratus anterior

The Serratus Anterior, AKA ‘The Boxer’s Muscle’

The Serratus Anterior is one of the lesser known muscles that we normally target when we exercise but is one that adds extra definition to your body when it shows. The muscle is situated in the shoulder belt, joining the thoracic cage, which is the central and upper back, and the shoulder edge. Utilizing these muscles is not an easy task, and requires concentration as well as dedication.

Serratus anterior muscle

Serratus Anterior – The finger-like muscles along the ribs

Also known as the boxers muscle, the serratus anterior’s primary function is to keep the scapular stable in mobility functions such as pushing and pulling. When flexed they spread the ribs for breathing in. The greater the inhale, the higher the internal pressure in the body. This pressure develops a firm support for action and stability. If these muscles become weak, it can lead to different possible problems like neck problems, rotator cuff problems, poor circulation, lymphatic return in the armpits, and numbness of the arms. On the aesthetic side, they add additional definition to your core and complements your obliques and abs when properly developed


To get started, pick 2 – 3 of these serratus anterior exercises and incorporate it into your work out before you finish for the day


Dumbbell Punches

They don’t call this the boxers muscle for nothing. Hold a pair of dumbbells to your side, bend your knees and punch away.  Keep the dumbbells tightly in your hands and rotate your body and fist as you punch.


Shrug Push-Ups

Start in the pushup  position and begin by lowering your body beneath your shoulders as if you’re shrugging/sinking. Rise back up by releasing the shrug back into starting position. Your arm should be static within the entire exercise as your serratus activates to push your body back up.


Shrug Dips

Much like the shrug push-ups. Stand your arms on dip bars with a slight bent and begin to shrug to allow your body to sink beneath your shoulders. Rise back up by releasing the shrug back into starting position. Don’t allow your triceps to do any work as you’re rising back up and you should feel tension right below the bottom side of your chest where the serratus is.


Vertical Medicine Ball Throws

Grab a mat, lie on the floor and get a medicine ball by your side.  Let it sit on top of your chest and explosively push it above you in a controlled motion, extending your arms as much as possible and keeping it outstretched until you catch the ball back in your hands.  If you have a partner, be sure to let your partner catch and release the ball for more control.


Cable Punches/Raises

Punches: Much like the dumbbell punches, have a light controlled weight setting on the cables and punch with your arm outstretched one at a time.

Raises: With a light weight setting and one arm at a time, grab the cable handle and start with the arms 3/4 raised. Begin by fully outstretching your arms above your head and lowering it back to the 3/4th starting position and repeat.  You should only be raising it a couple inches.


Dumbbell Pullovers

Lie down on your back to the bench and grasp the dumbbell from the side of the bench with both hands and positioning it above the chest. Begin by lifting the dumbbell over and beyond the head and back up over your chest to complete the movement.  See EXRX’s video for a demonstration.


Having your serratus anterior show will require time and dedicated as much as any other muscle group.  A healthy diet is also needed to maintain a good body fat percentage and is good to make sure your protein intake and daily supplements are on point.

See our recommended list of fat burners.

Know any other exercises that will develop this? Let us know in the comments below.

MPB Editors
MPB Editors

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