Pectoralis Major Stretches

Pectoralis Major Stretches

Pectoralis Major

The Pectoralis Major is a very powerful horizontal adductor of the shoulder and arm. This movement is required for bench press, push-ups, throwing, pushing and punching. Desk workers often suffer an over-contracture or heavy tightness of this muscle which can result in a postural condition known as ‘rounded shoulders’. This places muscle strain, tension and pain within the upper shoulders and neck, which is the most common complaint of upper back pain.

Pectoralis Major (upper fibres) StretchStretching

Option 1 ~ Standing 90 degrees to a doorframe, wall or anchor, the three different sets of pectoralis major muscle fibres need to be stretched with different shoulder positions:

Upper fibres (clavical head) – With elbow flexed, forearm and palm resting upon the anchor, abduct the shoulder away from the body to 60 degrees and lean forward (chest out) past the shoulder into the stretch. To increase the intensity of the stretch, lean the chest further forward.

Pectoralis Major (middle fibres) Stretch

 

 

Middle fibres (sternal head) – With elbow flexed, forearm and palm resting upon the anchor, abduct the shoulder away from the body to 90 degrees and lean forward (chest out) past the shoulder into the stretch. To increase the intensity of the stretch, lean the chest further forward.

 

Pectoralis Major (lower fibres) Stretch

 

 

Lower fibres (costal head) – With elbow flexed, forearm and palm resting upon the anchor, abduct the shoulder away from the body to 120 degrees and lean forward (chest out) past the shoulder into the stretch. To increase the intensity of the stretch, lean the chest further forward.

 

 

Option 2 ~ Standing within a door frame, perform the stretches as above upon both pectoralis major at the same time by placing the arms upon each side of the door frame at the same time and using the three steps as detailed above.

Stand at Ease StretchOption 3 ~ ‘Stand at Ease’ stretch. Detailed within blog post:

https://fibretense.com/massage-resources/homecare/stand-at-ease-ease-shoulder-neck-tension/

Anatomy

Origins ~

  • Made up of three different sets of muscle fibres.
  • Upper fibres (clavical head) – Medial ½ of clavical.
  • Middle fibres (sternal head) – Anterior sternum.
  • Lower fibres (costal head) – Costal cartilage of ribs 1 – 6.

Insertion ~

  • Crest of the greater tubercle of humerus and the lateral lip of the bicipital groove.

Actions ~

  • Adduction and medial rotation of the shoulder, horizontal adduction of the shoulder and the upper fibres also assist in shoulder flexion.