These 3 exercises will help to improve upward rotation of the scapula during shoulder elevation. We particularly like to use these exercises when motor control of the serratus anterior is the primary impairment. These movements allow you to find the serratus anterior muscle, which often does not fire appropriately.
Elbow to Ceiling
-Anchor the resistance band around your back. I use a CLX TheraBand in the video.
- Place the band over your elbow and trace it down your forearm to your hand.
- Begin by pushing your elbow up towards the ceiling while focusing on protraction of the scapula.
Option 1: Elevate the shoulder to 120 degrees of shoulder flexion and 30 degrees of horizontal abduction to maximize activation of the serratus anterior.
Serratus Anterior Uppercut
-Using the pectoral muscles is a common compensation when performing an uppercut. If your intent of this exercise is to target the serratus anterior here is a quick tip: externally rotate your shoulder as you elevate your arm. Your pectoralis major is an Internal rotator at the shoulder. External rotation will reciprocally INHIBIT the larger pectoralis musculature!
Ball in Pillow Case Swings
-As crazy as this exercise seems, it is a great way to get the scapular muscles firing. Really exaggerate the scapular motion during these movements.
-Frontal Plane Circles
-Figure 8 Swings
-Sagittal Plane Circles