Massage for the Serratus Anterior Muscle

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Massage Serratus Anterior Muscle

General Information about the Serratus Anterior

The Serratus Anterior (SA) is sometimes known as the “Boxer’s Muscle” as it is well developed on boxers since it stabilises the shoulder blade (scapula) when landing a punch. The word serratus refers to the serrated shape of the muscle as seen above. Anterior simply means at the front even though this muscle is more on the side and back of the body it is more anterior than the Serratus Posterior. It is also in front of (anterior to) the scapula.

Origin and Insertion

The SA originates along the medial border of the anterior scapula and inserts onto the first through ninth ribs (as seen in the image above). Because different sets of fibres attach to different ribs, when this muscle is well toned each section of fibres looks quite distinct. On women some of the serratus fibres will be hidden under the breast tissue.

What actions does the Muscle perform?

The SA muscle abducts the scapula. That is, it takes the shoulder blade away from the mid line of the body. If you reach your arm out in front of you as far as you can, the last part of the movement will engage the SA in order to get a little bit of extra reach. This also happens when fighters are throwing a punch and need the most reach possible. 

Common injuries

The SA may become damaged from overuse when rowing since it is engaged and released over and over again. The SA Muscle may be injured by the following activities: 

  • Boxing / Martial Arts
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • HyperventilationSevere
  • coughing
  • Chin ups
  • Push ups
  • Weightlifting
  • Gymnastics

Best massage techniques for releasing the Serratus Anterior

Due to the fact that the proximal fibres of the serratus anterior are underneath the scapula (shoulder blade) and with women much of the distal fibres will be underneath the breast tissue, trigger point and stretching are good option for releasing the serratus anterior.

I have a problem with my Serratus Anterior… How can I book a massage with you?

You can book a massage by calling 0449 264 980 or 

If you feel you have an issue with your Serratus Anterior, please mention it in the custom notes for the booking.

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Remedial Massage Therapist

Oak McIlwain is a Remedial Massage Therapist from Fremantle, Western Australia. He has been refining his massage skills for over 7 years after his corporate exodus. You can read his Bio or find him on or Facebook

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