A major dysfunction of the shoulder is lack of shoulder stability due to a weak serratus anterior, also known as the boxer’s muscle. The serratus anterior is often confused with the ribs because of its shape (it looks like the serrations of knife) and location. It originates on the scapula and inserts onto the second to ninth rib. The muscle is easily visible just above the external obliques in the lean bodies in the photos.
The most common sign of weakness is when the scapula wings when moving or even at rest. For the serratus to function correctly, it requires the scapula to be firmly held against the rib cage, almost as if it is ‘wrapping’ the rib cage otherwise the shoulder joint is on the risk of injury.
Below are two exercises which I highly recommend. They will improve your shoulder stability, and consequently your general performance.
– Clubbell arm cast (see photo above)
Keep the body upright and head straight, maintaining a tight core. Bring the Clubbell to order position, keep the elbow in and shoulder packed ( depressed towards the ground, shoulder engaged . Bring the Clubbell back behind you and then bring it forward by driving the elbow down. Avoid arching of the lower back by using the abdomen to resist flexion. Further information about purchasing Tacfit Clubbells at www.ebay.co.uk or www.tacfitgb.com
– Narrow grip pull-up (see photo below)
Hang from a bar and pack your shoulders by pulling your shoulders down. Tilt the pelvis under, with the legs fully straight to assume the gymnastics hollow body position. From there, maintain your shoulder pack and start pulling yourself up until your head gets over the bar. Lower your body in 4 seconds without losing the form and scapula engagement.
Founder of The Field- Training Lifestyle Centre