Basic Anatomy of Stretching the Pecs

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Basic Anatomy of Stretching the Pecs

This week I want to take a look at the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor aka pecs more in depth to help understand why tightness or stiffness in these muscles can create shoulder issues as well as why the stretches are they way they are.

The pec major attaches from your collar bone, your ribs, and your sternum and attaches to your arm bone. When it is tight, it will pull your shoulder into internal rotation. This makes it mechanically more challenging to lift overhead easily.
The pec minor is deeper than the pec major and travels from a few of your ribs onto your scapula. when it is tight it will pull your shoulder blade into a position that isn't advantageous to good overhead lifting.
So combined, if both the pec muscles are tight or overly developed compared to your upper back muscles, it will make it more challenging to externally rotate your shoulder and position your shoulder blade in a position that supports your overhead lifts.
Point being, they are muscles that frequently do well with stretching / rolling / mobilizing but their anatomical attachments make them function differently. They don't attach to the same bones and they don't create or prevent the same motions.
The angles and motions you would use to stretch them are a bit different, as discussed in the video.
I also prefer to stretch them more actively, in that when I am stretching them, I try to use my upper back muscles to assist. Check the video for more details on that.
If you want to see how I would go about putting more pieces together for stretching the pecs, check out my video on a better way to stretch the pecs.


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