Lesson 7: Muscles of the Scapula

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Lesson 7: Scapular Muscles Lecture

Study Guide - Quick Reference - Muscles of the Scapula

Note: If you intend to do the activities below do not open the "Study Guide" - all the answers are already filled in.  The study guide is just a quick reference tool, similar to flash cards - great for preparing for an exam.


In this lecture we will be discussing:

What joint do these muscles cross?

These muscles originate on the rib cage (axial skeleton) and insert into the scapula, and may be referred to as Axial Scapular Muscles.  These muscles are responsible for motion of the scapula and shoulder girdle (occasionally referred to as the scapulothoracic joint, but actually the combined motion of the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints - for a review head to Lesson 4).  Note: these muscles do not cross the shoulder/glenohumeral joint! Before we start analyzing the function of each muscle, make a word bank for yourself.  What are the joint actions of the scapula? The muscles in this lecture must perform joint actions in this word bank... they cannot perform any other actions.  For example, there is no such thing as flexion of the scapula.

  • Frontal Plane Joint Actions:
  • Transverse Plane Joint Actions:
  • Sagittal Plane Joint Actions:

You did a similar exercise in a previous lesson Joints of the Shoulder Girdle and Scapular Joint Actions:

Serratus Anterior:


    • serrate (adj.) "notched," 1660s, from Latin serratus "sawlike, notched like a saw," from serra "a saw,"