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Serratus: Trio of Support

Serratus: Trio of Support

There are 3 different Serratus muscles:

Serratus Anterior (“Anterior” means front), Serratus Posterior Superior (“Posterior” means back, “Superior” means high, above), and Serratus Posterior Inferior (“Inferior” means lower, below).

Cultivating images of these muscles in your “mind’s eye”, and a “body-felt awareness” of them may take practice. Even thinking about them/holding images of them can help the muscles begin to fire, and this can help them begin to strengthen.

Serratus Anterior:

(Look at a previous Facebook post or Google it – kenhub is good for images)

This muscle (a matched set, one on the right, one on the left) begins on ribs 1-8, basically where the sides of the body meet the front of the body. These sections of the muscles are called “fleshy slips”, or “fingers”. These fingers start on the ribs and wrap across the sides of the ribs to the back of the body, traveling across the back of the body, going in front of each scapula (shoulder blade) to finish. (It can be easier to get a sense of them if one imagines them beginning in front of each scapula, traveling across the back to the sides of the body, and wrapping around the sides of the body to finish on ribs 1-8, basically where the side of the body meet the front.)

In your mind’s eye, see if you can picture this, or look at an image of it- can you imagine you feel this muscle wrapping gently, but with strength enough to support your ribs? What happens if you keep this image in your mind’s eye as you stand? Walk? Sit down and get up? Turn or reach?

Remember, it may take some practice to hold the image, and perhaps even more practice to start to have a “body-felt sense” of what you are imaging.

Serratus Posterior Superior and Serratus Posterior Inferior:

(Again, look at a previous Facebook post for images, or Google)

This is the pair of the three Serratus muscles that begin, and remain, on the back (posterior) side of the body.

Notice the shape/pattern the “fingers” of each of these 2 muscles make, and notice the relationship/pattern these 2 muscles have to each other.

Serratus Posterior Superior starts on the spine, and runs at a downward diagonal to the ribs, providing a different kind of support than Serratus Anterior does, in part because the structure it supports is different from the structure Serratus Anterior supports.

Take a moment, and bring your mind’s eye/your body-felt awareness to this muscle. As you did before, can you imagine you are feeling this muscle, gently but with strength, supporting the area it spans? Can you stand and keep your awareness of this muscle? What happens if you walk? Sit down or get up? Turn or reach?

Serratus Posterior Inferior also begins on the spine, but it runs basically on an upward diagonal to finish/insert. Note that it is more broad, or wide, than Serratus Posterior Superior- as the ribs are more broad and wide in their lower portion.

Can you take a moment and explore this muscle as you have done the others?

What happens if you hold an image in your minds’ eye/have a body-felt sense of the pair of Serratus Posterior Superior and Inferior? Explore this for a moment – what, if anything do you notice now?

Often people find that thinking of /holding an image in their mind’s eye/having a body-felt sense of this pair of muscles allows them to feel a strong yet easy support of their torso, taking away strain in the mid and lower back, and allowing the “core” muscles to provide an ease-filled support that allows for ease in movement (instead of a sense of “clutch and grab” which restricts movement).

This pair of muscles is designed to actually help our body breathe in and out with more ease.

Now try thinking of /holding an image in your mind’s eye/having a body-felt sense of all 3 of the Serratus muscles at the same time.

Once you begin to develop the ability to do this, you might find that your head balances more easily atop your neck, and that your neck feels more pliable, less tight; and that you have an even more increased sense of easier torso and core muscle support/engagement.

Bringing our awareness to different areas on our body, whether specific muscle, bones, etc., or just an “area” can help us begin to bring more ease and balance into how we are move and rest in stillness.

See the Movement page on my website, or contact me for more information.

Bodywork Beyond


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