The pectoralis major is the pectoral region’s most superficial muscle. It consists of a sternal head and a clavicular head and is big and fan-shaped. Deep or forceful inspiration activates the pectoralis major, but not expiration. The clavicular and sternocostal heads of the pectoralis major are into two parts: Clavicular head – arises from the medial half of the clavicle’s anterior surface.
The bigger of the two heads, the sternocostal head arises from the anterior surface of the manubrium and the body of the sternum, as well as the anterior surface of the superior six costal cartilages. The aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle’s superior portion.
The pectoralis major adducts medially rotate, and transversely adducts the arm at the glenohumeral joint with the origin fixed. At the glenohumeral joint, it aids in flexion of the arm (through its clavicular head) and extension of the arm (by the sternocostal head). At the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints, it depresses the shoulder girdle. It can help in lifting the thorax if the insertion is fixed. It is a secondary source of inspiration. Perhaps it can help support the body’s weight during crunch-walking or doing parallel-bar work.
Pectoralis major stretches
These stretches that follow offer a variety of ways to free up the front body and can be done at any time—not just after a workout. When done regularly, you’ll see and feel an increase in chest and shoulder flexibility and range of motion.
• Elbow-to-elbow behind-the-back
It’s terrific to stretch at any time of the day using the grip to perform.
Begin with your arms by your sides and shoulders pressed down away from your ears, whether you’re seated or standing. Broaden your chest by gently squeezing your shoulder blades together. Arms should be behind the back and gripped elbow to elbow.
• Above-the-head Stretching the Chest
Another stretch that may be done seated or standing is this one. Experiment with hand placement to draw attention to the shoulders and/or chest.
Interlock your fingers, bend your elbows, and lift your arms above your head whether seated or standing.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together and backward with your elbows and hands.
To draw attention to your shoulders and/or chest, adjust the height of your hands (hands behind head, hands on top of the head, hand a few inches above the head.
• Wall Stretch with Bent Arms
You can extend each side of your chest independently with this exercise.
At the end of a wall or in a doorway, take a split stance with your right leg in front and your left leg behind you.
Raise your left arm to shoulder height and place the palm and inside of the arm on a wall or doorway. The shape of your arm should resemble a goal post.
To feel the stretch, gently press the chest through the open gap.
You can extend different parts of your chest by raising or lowering your arm. Rep on the opposite side.
• Fingertips in Extended Child’s Pose
A child’s pose is a resting pose in yoga, but when the arms are extended, it becomes a very strenuous upper-body exercise while still providing stress relief to the low back.
Kneel down on the ground. Sit on your heels and touch your big toes together; then, separate your knees roughly as wide as your hips.
Bend forward from the hips and extend your arms as far as possible in front of you. Come up onto your fingertips as if you have a ball underneath your palms and melt the chest toward the floor with your arms extended and palms facing down.
• Arm and chest stretch lying side and parallel
This exercise allows you to work on each side of your chest separately, with a focus on the shoulders.
To make the letter T, lie prone on your stomach and extend both arms out to the sides, palms facing down.
By pulling yourself onto your right side with your left hand, begin rolling onto your right side. For stability, lift the left leg, bend the knee, and position the left foot behind you on the floor. Your right temple should be resting on the floor.
For balance, keep your left hand on the floor. Raise your left hand toward the ceiling for an extra stretch.
Rep on the opposite side.