Pec Minor Stretching
By Chloe Sandberg – CC’s Staff
Pec Minor Stretching–Open Up That Chest!
To continue with our recent blogs related to cervicogenic/posture related headaches, upper crossed syndrome, and deep neck flexor training, I am going to discuss briefly why stretching the pectoralis minor muscle can give you major bang for your buck!
The pectoralis or “pec” minor is the smaller pec muscle that lives underneath our big pectoralis major chest muscle. It is aligned anatomically to pull the scapula/shoulder blade down and forward. This line of pull is a result of it’s attachment sites on the coracoid process of the scapula/shoulder blade and onto ribs 2 through 4. When you hear the words “rounded shoulders”, this tiny but mighty muscle is likely involved, and more often than not, in a tight/locked position.
Let’s do a little check together to quickly, visually assess if you might have pec minor tightness. If you are sitting (or standing, actually) right now, I want you to look down at your sternum/the middle of your chest. Are your shoulders creeping forward into your visual field? Are your shoulders lining up with your chin or you ear lobes? Ideally, the shoulder joints should align under the ear lobes. You might notice one side/one shoulder sits farther forward than the other. This is commonly seen as everyone has a dominant arm, or is primarily right or left handed.
A simple doorway stretch is going to allow you to apply the much needed stretch force through this little, strong pec minor muscle to increase it’s muscle length! Like the picture above, stand with one arm against a door frame; start with shoulder at about a 90 degree angle, but don’t be afraid to adjust this by sliding your elbow down or up for comfort; having the elbow bent at a 90 degree angle is also most comfortable; now turn your body away from that arm, even turning your toes to face the opposite direction if needed; avoid leaning your body weight forward through the doorframe; you should feel a juicy, intense stretch across your chest; you might even feel a bit of a burning sensation and that is okay, it just means that pec minor is veryyyyy tight; if you get any numbness or tingling into the fingers that is okay, too; the pec minor lies on top of the brachial plexus, which supplies the nerves of the arms, hands, and fingers. Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds. Switch sides, lather, rinse, and repeat! 😉
If anyone would like a video demo of this stretch, please reach out and Chloe would be happy to provide you with one! Now everyone, go stretch!
Post Author: Chloe Sandberg
Chloe is a PT, wife, new mommy to sweet Leigha, MN to ND transplant, exerciser obsessed with food, Star Wars and Game of Thrones fangirl.