Pectorals muscle, any of the muscles that connect the front walls of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder. There are two such muscles on each side of the sternum (breastbone) in the human body: pectoralis major and pectoralis minor.
Pectoralis major is a thick, muscle, which makes up the main part of the chest muscle. It lies under the bosom. It serves to flex, expand, and turn the humerus, the long bone of the upper arm. While, pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle located beneath the pectoralis major. It attaches to the ribs and serves to stabilize the scapula, the large bone of the shoulder.
Pectoralis major commonly referred to as pec muscle makes up the entire chest area of the body. Thus, for the proper functioning of the chest, stretching pec muscles is quite important. Apart from that, stretching of pec muscles can be beneficial for the following:
- Relieving upper back pain - Since the pec muscle keeps on working consistently as we move this can result in upper back aches, which can be relieved through proper stretching.
- Ease breathing - Stretching of pec muscles means inhaling more oxygen, which in turn results in more oxygen free blood free; causing the healing rate to rise.
- Stretching your pectoral muscles helps you recover from a workout, eases soreness and improves your posture.
So how to stretch the pec muscles correctly? Here are some of the options to improve the flexibility of your chest muscles.
Firstly, it can be done with the help of doorways. Begin by remaining amidst the entryway with one foot forward. At that point, twist your elbows to a 90-degree edge while setting your lower arms on the sides of the entryway. Put the majority of your body weight onto the front leg until the point when you feel a decent extent in the chest muscles. Remain in this situation for 15 seconds, from that point onward, unwind and turn towards the typical position. Repeat the steps 10 times for better results.
Most people hold a door jamb and lean forward to it, which can be a good stretch. However, this is only when the door jamb is not a stable one, and instead of turning the whole body, the movement is kept in a straight line, facing forward. This will enable the pec to open up easily, without twisting.
Secondly, pec muscles can be stretched while standing. For doing so, stand up with a straight back with your feet a hip-width apart. Interlock your fingers on your straight back, and keep them pushing up, towards the ceiling. While doing so, keep inhaling from the nose as you lift up your arm, hold on the position for 15-30 seconds once your arms can’t go any further and exhale through the mouth. When stretching, keep looking forward and do not bend your neck.
Lastly, you can also stretch your pectoral muscles of your chest using a towel. For this, stand straight and hold the ends of towel behind your back with both hands. Gradually, starts lifting the towel up and gently pull your shoulders into extension, until you feel a stretch in the frontal chest area. Hold this position for about 15-30 seconds and repeat 10 times with a rest gap in between the repeats.
Keep in mind that before starting any of the above muscle stretches, a warm-up session is highly required as warm up muscles stretches very easily and are less prone to injuries.
However, in order to prevent injuries, it is advisable to consult your doctor before starting any of these stretching exercises for the chest muscles. Also, taking few sessions with your physiotherapist before doing on your own is recommended.