Catching up on the latest from Rehab HQ

A Summary of Serratus

Let’s take stock of Serratus Anterior - a muscle surprisingly misunderstood and undervalued in the exercise and even allied health industries. Its the powerhouse of the active shoulder, and absolutely critical for overhead shoulder health.


Integrating Serratus Part II

Learn this complex integration exercise, guaranteed to increase whole body synergy, warm-up and a multitude of secondary benefits! 

Serratus Conductor

Train the brain to automatically include Serratus in movement. That’s the goal. Train the BRAIN. Here's how!

Serratus Seatbelt work: a peek from Practitioner

Enjoy using the Rehab Belt to activate and empower Serratus Anterior! 

Serratus Taping: a peek from Masterclass

Anyone can try this on clients. Who says you have to be a Physiotherapist to do this? Go ahead!

Serratus Q-mark Drill

Presenting the famous “Q-mark Drill” from Chris (actually it’s an upside-down Q-mark hahaha!) Use a towel or a swiss ball for this cute drill, teach your clients and make sure if they have any shoulder niggles they are doing 30-40 reps / day. NO compromise! ;

Iso-integrating Serratus II

Fire-up Serratus during elevation in the forward plane! Iso-integrating Serratus II is a “selfie” (a drill you do yourself)…so watch the video to learn!

Iso-integrating Serratus in Scaption - WTF??

If you can even understand what "Iso-integrating Serratus in Scaption” means, then boy oh boy! - you are no average Personal Trainer. Let’s unpack it to make sure this simple powerful concept doesn’t get lost in translation shall we?

The Serratus Plank with extras

Use Theraband tension to turn the simple plank into an “Iso-Integration” drill which Super-Activates Rotator Cuff and Serratus!

A Serratus Blaster for Chinese New Year!

Let’s take our Serratus Anterior work into new territory to deal with some of the more tricky and resistant types of athletic shoulder complaints: overhead impingement due to poor scapular positioning and control. Here are a few safety strategies!

Scapula Packing

How does Scapula Packing relate to Serratus Anterior function? Is Scapula Packing a functional movement? Are there times when it can be useful, or harmful? Enjoy the article today from our most experienced international educator Chris Mallac.

Sky Punching by Serratus Anterior

In this series a lot more than just Serratus is being targeted … in fact your abdominals may scream more in this series designed by Mark Davis and coached by Chris Mallac. Not for the faint-hearted.

Serratus with Thoracic Rotation Drills

You owe it to clients to educate them in how to use Serratus. Today’s video shows you a couple more cues helpful in the pushing movement and linking it to thoracic rotation.

Serratus Killer

Today we have a nice little Serratus Killer called the Supine High-Elbow Swiss Ball Push - full credit to Mark Davis for its subtle brilliance!

Serratus: The Upright Body Builder!

Here's a quick wake up for an inhibited or sleepy Serratus. Do 15-20 reps during a warm-up, in between sets, after a few hours at the desk or steering wheel. It’s my fool-proof Serratus for Dummies Drill.

Serratus: The Sleepy Body Builder Progressions

Are you ready to crack on a with a fantastic series of drills to wake up, integrate and empower yours and your client’s Serratus Anterior? Regardless if there is preexisting niggling pain in the shoulder or not, try each drill (check there is no pain of course when doing it) and see if you like it. 

Don’t worry I won’t try and turn you into a Body Builder! :)

Serratus: Powerhouse of the Shoulder

Today’s video gives a functional anatomy summary of what the role of Serratus Anterior is, with my good friends Chris and Mark using skeleton Bonezy to demonstrate protraction and upward rotation.

Poor Serratus - Poor Overhead Press

Overhead Shoulder Press is the pinnacle of shoulder movements in terms of functionality and optimisation of movements of the whole upper body. If you haven’t got every element of your kinetic chain in good working order and synergising well, something will breakdown with niggling injury and chronic pain frustrating you.

There's a lot to keep in mind, so click through to watch my example-rich explanation.

Poor Serratus - Poor Elevation

Painful shoulders and a DEAD Serratus Anterior! Watch my video on how poor Serratus can look - and how it can be trained to disappear.

Poor Serratus - Poor Push

Do you know how to check if a client has a weak Serratus Anterior? It’s EASY - simply watch them do a Push-up from the knees (actually the All-4’s position is perfect, especially if they are elderly or have pain in the shoulder). Guess what? you’ll see those “Wings” pop up straight away if their Serratus is poor!

Poor Serratus - Poor Posture

The challenge is for you to find the Brain Switch for Serratus Anterior in standing posture without load. Not easy… Read more to learn the different Cues I am using to help people learn it, depending on what works for them.

Cutting-edge Shoulder Answers

How much of a Shoulder Rehab Specialist are you really? Be honest.

Jump into this Serratus Quiz (with answers)!

A Cutting-Edge Shoulder Quiz

Today, as we launch our series on the critical shoulder muscle Serratus Anterior (also termed “The Boxer’s” muscle), let’s begin with a small "cutting-edge” QUIZ.

The Upper Trap Mystery Part II

Should we stretch OR strengthen Upper Traps for rehab?? Do Shrugs work even work for strengthening Upper Traps? Chris and I tackle this controversy and continue our exploration of the Upper Trap Mystery in Part II.

The Upper Trap Mystery

Tight upper traps can be the tip of whole iceberg of headaches, nerve symptoms, and limited neck mobility. Take an in-depth look with Ulrik Larsen and Chris Mallac to unravel this mystery today. Free your clients from their persistent pain!

If you don't ask - you'll miss it!

When you have finished interviewing your client with this form, you will know everything from their brief medical history, dominance, other nearby injuries, what sports they played as a kid, and the intensity of their main experience… this knowledge is power to help.

Personal Trainers Beware! Neurological Issues

Let’s not forget that the body does break down at times around the nerve system! There can be real damage to structures like discs, that crush fragile nerves, inflaming them and altering how the body feels and works.

Personal Trainers Beware! The Psyche will affect Pain

We all experience more pain if we are in a heightened state of (especially negative) emotion, and this may explain some client's pain levels. 

Some people have termed it broadly as “Stress Biology”, and it means that the negative events and stressors in our lives will actually trigger our brain, which then triggers chemical and physiological processes in the area where our normal pain is felt.

Here are the essential points every PT needs to keep in mind. 

PTs Beware: Older Shoulders

I’ve been looking forward to this! Rehab-Yoda Adam Floyd, in #6 of our "Musculoskeletal Conditions PT’s Need to be Aware Of”, brings more of his injury wisdom to the topic of “Older Shoulders”. 

I’ve often thought how freaked out I would be, being a Modern Personal Trainer... True! Client’s bodies are tricky, joints can easily be worn out and old injuries are so vulnerable to aggravation! Loading them up; forcing them to adapt and get fitter, stronger, more functional…all sounds so easy - unless, that is, you’ve been a Physiotherapist to umpteen Personal Trainers….

And worst of ALL the risky areas would have to be Older Shoulders

Shoulder injuries are tricky regardless of the age of your client (or yourself!), and certainly Adam’s down-to-earth knowledge and advice needs to be heeded by every PT - have a quick listen to this surprising research he has dug up, and critical advice to go with it:


Physiotherapists and Exercise Professionals often become concerned when they see a client or patient demonstrate a valgus collapse during squatting and lunging type movements. Typically, they will encourage the client/patient to maintain a knee over third toe position during all knee bending movements to protect not only the patellofemoral joint but also the anterior hip joint and even the medial ankle structures that will be subject to pronation.

However, is it sometimes favourable to have a valgus knee collapse during execution of a particular skill? If we look at the photos below, we can see some classic examples of high end athletes who do allow some medial knee shift or valgus knee collapse. 


Client’s generally DON'T DO their Home Exercises we give them. The good news is that there are many ways to improve “adherence” to home rehab programmes, and have a positive attitude about the challenge. See my 6 tips.  

Suspended Stretching - Anterior Chain

The most powerful on-going effects on your upright posture come from tightness somewhere in your Anterior Chain (these myofascial tissues include Quadriceps, TFL - Tensor Fascia Lata - and your anterior Adductors, to Abdominals and Psoas, right through to your Pec area.) Some of these parts of the Anterior Chain are so tight they really do feel pain when being stretched, so you have to really relax and deep breathe into those areas for them to let go!


Suspended Stretching - Posterior Chain

What a massive area of myofascial tightness most of us carry in our posterior chain! Whether that be hamstrings, adductors, piriformis or even glutes - any of them may have become too overloaded and tight, and consequently affecting negatively how your hips or low back perform.


Suspended Stretching - Lat Dorsi

Is there greater value in stretching the muscle you are about to train, or stretching to improve the biomechanics of the area? Find out in this video.


Suspended Stretching - Rotator Cuff

Suspension Trainers are seriously under-utilised as a stretching tool! Let me show you how to loosen up with some cool new ways to stretch the usual culprits that always seem to get tight.


Suspended Stretching - Pec

Always take care with joint position during passive stretching! What position is the shoulder in during the stretch? Is it lurched forward while your arm is pulled behind the line of the body, creating anterior shear in the glenohumeral joint? Learn to stretch safely with my video!


Personal Trainers Beware of Growing Pains

We’ve all heard of “Growing Pains” … well, finally you will learn a bit more about them in this the 5th of our Musculoskeletal Conditions PT’s Need to be Aware Of.

With any serious pain / injury in teenagers, you almost have to presume they have one of the conditions that Adam discusses in our video today.Guilty until proven innocent!


Personal Trainers Beware of Arthritis

Arthritis is often referred to as a single disease. In fact, it is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints.


Personal Trainers Beware of Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a structural fault or change in the lower lumbar spine, where the front and back of a certain vertebra level are not properly fused.  Learn what to look for, and what to do (and NOT do)! 

Personal Trainers Beware of Hypermobility

When someone displays even subtle hints of extra mobility in their shoulders, elbows, spines, or knees, then a slightly different emphasis needs to be given to their rehab and training. 

Personal Trainers Beware! #1

Each of these 10 conditions or musculoskeletal situations is important to have in your background knowledge - in order to counter unusual situations or referrals from Doctors or Physiotherapists, with confidence!  

Struggling to Recover

There are seasons of life when physical pain is your constant companion, and you are working hard to manage it and learn from it, and recover. What is it about turning 40 and being a man? Well, things are not like they used to be…  

Fear Wrecks Movement

Fears destroy our confidence, and the same goes for our clients when we are training (or treating) them. What might we or our clients be afraid of?  

Rehab Fitness Conference Topics Survey and some poetry

This time next week a few of us Rehab Trainer Educators will be gearing up to teach at Australia’s premier Fitness Conference: FILEX in Melbourne.  


In the world of 'body-work', injury and rehab we are dealing ultimately with the human body not the human robot. If certain exercises or treatment techniques work well, do we really know why?.  

Holding Pattern #8 - Lucky Last!

Our lucky last “Holding Pattern” - where we find clients suffering with all manner of lower limb injuries from achilles to knee problems - is Forefoot Pressure into the Ground. .  

Holding Pattern #7 - Closing the Groin

Over the years, the hip joint often becomes stiff, causing a ripple of problems up and down the kinetic chain so it is good to have up your sleeve a simple MOBILITY TEST to see how severe it is (learn a simple mobility test for the hip on the second of our videos today - it will give you an idea of how blocked or even degenerative the hip might be if there is significant asymmetry and sharp pain on the test.)  

Rehab Friday Rest

It's a personal rest and recovery kinda day today in many parts of the world so from the small team at Rehab Trainer we wish you all peace and joy. 

We are staying at a simple farm with friends looking out on this kind of view right now (see below). We're allowing a bit of soul rehab to happen and feeling stronger for it already!

May you find that space somewhere in your day too. 


Holding Pattern #6 - Elbows Back

Not many would consider that holding the elbows behind the line of the body is a sub-conscious "Holding Pattern”, but trust me it is - and it is very common in those with niggling and serious shoulder injuries.  

Holding Pattern #5: Chin Protrusion

In my days of treating athletes, chronic pain from this type of Holding Pattern was hardest to relieve. It is the underlying cause of most head, neck, shoulder and upper back pain.