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gordon mckendry 05-04-2004 07:25 PM

Trying not to be a pain, but I can't seem to find a description of the DL High Pull. Would someone be kind enough to provide or point me to a description?

On an entirely unrelated topic, is anyone familiar with a condition known as winging scapula? I have this on my right side and have been told that my thoracic nerve does not fire correctly resulting in atrophy of my serratus anterior. The sports physician said there is nothing that can be done. It's really a pain in the *** condition.

Mark Roughton 05-04-2004 09:52 PM

Gordon, there's a little bit about this condition at

Brian Hand 05-05-2004 04:04 AM

On the list of corrective exercises at ExRx, the only one that specifically targets the serratus is the Incline Shoulder Raise (shrug). The other exercises might be targeted at strengthening supraspinitus and external rotation, which they list as weaknesses that make the problem worse, but IMO there are better choices there (whether you want to go with compound or single joint exercises). Another exercise that I have been fooling with that might hit the serratus better than that incline shrug is the overhead shrug. The scapula is not pressed against a bench. See hrug.mpg

This is an unusual movement, everyone seems to have a tough time keeping their elbows locked. I have been trying it one-handed too.

Overhead presses also strengthen the serratus but IMO direct work first is the way to go, although reasonable people disagree on this (that's another thread).

Barry Cooper 05-05-2004 05:45 AM

A deadlift high pull is really just a clean or snatch without the catch. The weight just goes straight up, to your chest, or chin, or forehead, depending on the weight and your strength. I try and do all my high pulls at least to my throat. If you're practicing cleans, I think a pull to the chest is probably enough. There are O-lift specialists on this site that may want to add to that.

I have no clue as to the scapular thing, but there is a book on shrugs by the guy that wrote Powerlifting, Texas Style. I believe the last name is Kelso. He apparently swears by it as a method for bumping up your bench.

Brian Hand 05-05-2004 07:46 AM

I haven't read the book but I've read some articles by Paul Kelso, I think the main exercise (he took the liberty of calling it the Kelso shrug) is scapular protraction "shrugging" the bar upward with straight arms, lying supine on the flat bench. I believe this would generally be more pec minor than serratus anterior. This movement can also be done with bodyweight by doing it in the pushup position, which would eliminate the issue of the bench interfering with the free movement of the scapulae. If you're going for a big bench, the Kelso shrug would allow heavy weights and might make sense; if you're trying to make the shoulders move properly, the pushup version seems like a better bet.

Brian Hand 05-05-2004 07:49 AM

By the way, the ExRx notes say that short (tight, inflexible) pec minor and weak rhomboids contribute to the winging scapula, but I'd think these two might be switched - weak pec minor and tight rhomboids. I'm pretty sure stretching the rhomboids is going to help.

gordon mckendry 05-05-2004 03:48 PM

Thanks much to everyone. While I know next to nothing about neurology, it's my understanding that if my thoracic nerve is not firing, then my serratus anterior necessarily is inactive. Does anyone know if that's correct? I appreciate all the input.

Lisa_S 05-10-2004 04:14 PM

a favorite mneumonic:
"C5-6-7 raise your wings up to heaven":

that is:
C567 injury causes inability to raise arm past 90 degrees up to heaven, and results in a winging of the scapula.
Long thoracic nerve roots (567) innervate Serratus anterior.

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