You probably entered the world of yoga without the thought of strengthening your serratus anterior. Or maybe, you are completely blind about what this muscle does or where your serratus anterior is positioned.
Reinforcing the different muscle groups, even if its name is hard to pronounce, is advantageous of yoga. The quick but essential serratus anterior stretch acquires strength, form, and flexibility through various yoga styles, poses, and sun salutations.
Serratus Antetior: What is it?
A serratus anterior is a small, flattened muscle that is positioned on your chest. To be more precise, it runs from the ribs’ cross surface, walks rearwardly around the chest, and positions on the thoracic surface on the scapula’s vertebral body. You may sense this muscle by putting tension underneath your armpit.
Serratus anterior allows your body to forward, elevating the arm more and draw the scapula further around the rib cage. Because of its crucial role in calming the scapula, it supports to improve your shoulder’s health effectively. However, whenever weakened, it can be felt when your scapula is winging or having a feeble scapular control.
It’s also known as the “boxer’s muscle” because of its usefulness in protracting or extending the scapula. Not only does this muscle have a unique name, but it also has an array of arm movements, such as open-chain movement – for grabbing something out from the fridge, or punching – or a closed-chain training – for planks, downward dog pose, headstands, pushups and many more.
Three Operational Channels
There are three diverse channels of the serratus anterior: the superior, the middle, and the inferior channel.
The Superior: This part shares the first and second ribs that insert into the scapula’s superior medial angle. This channel serves as the foundation that enables the scapula to twist and turn when the arm is elevated high up.
The Middle: The middle channels of the serratus anterior share from the third to fifth ribs and insert on the scapula’s medial border, working to extend the scapula even further.
The Inferior: The inferior channel shares from the sixth all the way to the ninth ribs and inserts on the low medial angle of the scapula. This channel also has the role of extending the scapula while rotating the low medial arch upward and sideward.
How Yoga Poses Helps
The term “abduction” is used when the blades of your shoulders separate. This abduction offers stability whenever you’re doing an arm strengthening asanas such as handstand, downward-facing dog, and crocodile pose.
The serratus anterior is also beneficial when you change from upward to downward facing-dog while doing sun salutations.
Yoga poses that adds weight to your arms improve the serratus anterior on so many levels. These poses demand robust upper body assistance, and broadening of your shoulder blades is a must.
Poses like an upward-facing dog, handstand, headstand, upward bow reinforces the serratus anterior. Kick-off with a short period and increase it in the poses as your muscle power enhances.
The serratus anterior, like all other muscle groups, benefits from stretching poses. When you enhance the flexibility of your serratus anterior, you intensify your shoulder motion control.
Perform yoga poses like intense side stretch, cow face, wide-legged forward bend c with a noose. Maintain the deep breathwork as you rest into the poses for two to three minutes of serratus anterior stretch.
The Serratus Anterior Stretch in Yoga
If you feel your side ribs tighten, this may be due to your serratus anterior. The serratus anterior muscles are found on the upper part of the ribs – eighth to ninth – and your shoulder blades.
It supports numerous diverse movements like those executed in shoulder shrugs, shoulder presses, and even pushups. Moreover, it helps your shoulder joint and maintains the shoulder blades ready to use.
People who undergo strengthening needs to release the tension of the serratus effectively by stretching.
Kick-off with a warm-up
Doing any kind of exercise while your muscles are cold can lead to physical injuries. Always begin by warming up the body with a gentle motion. Take a seat in a comfortable cross-legged pose. Place your hands on your knees. Draw your torso ahead, and start creating circles on your chest. After a few seconds, do it in the other direction.
Keep warming up while your shoulders rolling, shrug your shoulders near your ears, and drift them back against the wall behind you. After a few seconds, you may move your shoulder in the other direction.
Stretch the serratus anterior
The cow-faced arm is a kind of yoga stretch that supports to stretch the serratus anterior and extends the shoulders. Begin in a comfortable sitting or standing pose. Install a strap or a belt across your right shoulder. Raise your right arm high up, bend your elbow, and meet your hand down to your back. Reach on to the strap.
Touch your left arm up to your back and grasp on to the strap. Calm your upper shoulders. And if you can clasp your hands, skip the strap. Maintain for three to six breaths and do it again on the other side.
Move to the Side
Side bending is beneficial for the serratus anterior. This adjusted side bend can make your ribs a deep stretch feel. Begin by coming on to your knees while your torso is upright. Stretch your right knee and rest your foot on the ground.
Draw your toes and knee to the right side. Place your right elbow on the right knee and raise your left arm overhead. For a deeper stretch, install a yoga block behind your right knee and rest your right hand on the block. Maintain for three to six breaths, and do it again on the other side.
Pressing it up
The upward-plank pose lengthens and stretches the serratus anterior stretch. Avoid practicing this stretch if you have an existing shoulder or wrist injury. Begin by sitting while your legs are extended in front of you.
Rest your hands on the ground against you while your fingers are placed toward you. Install your heels securely into the ground as you lift your hips.
Aim to make a straight line from your heels to your head. Meet your shoulder blades altogether and prevent your hips from dropping. Maintain for three to six breaths, as far as it’s convenient. Namaste.