The serratus anterior originates on the first through eighth ribs and attaches to the scapula. It's responsible for moving the shoulder blades around the ribcage (protraction) and plays a big role in stabilizing the shoulder during overhead lifts.

Not only is this muscle group important to develop for pressing strength, but visually, being able to see a well-developed serratus anterior will make you feel like you're a superhero straight out of a 1990s Todd McFarlane comic book.

Anatomy

The best way to work this muscle is by keeping the elbow straight while protracting the shoulder both horizontally and vertically. Below are some bodyweight exercises with varying degrees of difficulty that will beef up your serratus and give you some strong, mobile, and healthy shoulders as well.

Scap Push-Up

  1. Begin in a plank position with your core tight and elbows straight.
  2. Protract your scapula by pressing yourself away from the floor so your upper back rounds. You should feel a stretch in your upper back and a hard contraction through the serratus anterior and core.
  3. Hold at the top position for a couple seconds, drawing your abdomen inward creating a "hollow body" position.
  4. Keeping your elbows straight and core braced, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  5. Repeat for 5-10 controlled reps.

One-Arm Scap Push-Up

  1. Same setup as regular scap push-ups, but begin with your feet slightly wider to maintain balance.
  2. Bring your free arm out to the side so you don't use it for support.
  3. Do 3-5 controlled reps per arm.

This exercise has the added benefit of training anti-rotation core stability.

Handstand Scap Push-Up

  1. Begin in a handstand position against the wall with your core tight and elbows straight.
  2. Keep your elbows straight and press yourself away from the floor so that you gain height on your handstand.
  3. Hold at the top position for a couple seconds. Keep your ribcage down and abdomen drawn in tight.
  4. Keeping your elbows straight and core braced, depress your shoulder blades so that you lose height from your handstand.
  5. Repeat for 5-10 controlled reps.

One-Arm Handstand Scap Push-Up

  1. Begin in a handstand position against the wall with your core tight and elbows straight.
  2. Straddle your legs and shift your hips so they stack above the arm you're using.
  3. Press down firmly into the floor with the hand you're balancing on and lift onto the fingertips of the opposite hand.
  4. Gradually lift your fingers one at a time until you're balancing on one hand. It should feel like your free hand "peels away" from the floor.
  5. Once you're on one hand, press yourself away from the floor so that you gain height on your handstand. Hold at the top position for a couple seconds bracing your core tightly.
  6. Keep your elbow straight and core braced as you depress your shoulder blade to lose height from your handstand.
  7. Repeat for 3-5 reps per arm.

Related:  Train The Serratus

Related:  How to Build Your Serratus