Most people have heard the term “pecs” thrown around at the gym, which is usually used as a vague reference to the pectoralis major, or the big superman chest muscles. You know, the ones that only the classiest of fellows try to woo women with by flexing them.
What I want to do today is to more thoroughly define the term by taking a look at the pectoralis major’s shy little brother, the pectoralis minor. Pectoralis minor lies deep to the pectoralis major and covers a much smaller area, originating at the third, fourth, and fifth ribs, and inserting on the coracoid process of the scapula (that little beak-like protrusion of the scapula which reaches into the front body and lies below the acromion process).
While pectoralis minor isn’t as showy and easy to find as pectoralis major, it is a key muscle to bear in mind when dealing with issues of protracted and downwardly rotated scapula. This causes the frequent posture gripe from people of feeling like the inferior angle of their scapula is “sticking out,” and their shoulders are rolling forward, creeping on to their front body.
This scapular position cannot be addressed and corrected without freeing any overly tight pectoralis minor fibers. Because the pectoralis minor can be difficult to palpate through or underneath the pectoralis major, I recommend putting your Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls to use, which can penetrate through the big bulky major fibers to the pectoralis minor below. The best times to break out the Therapy Balls for the pectoralis minor are after a long day on the computer, a long day driving, or if you chronically carry a bag around on one shoulder. All of these very common actions contribute to shortening of its fibers. So if you want to be liberated from bad posture, roll out that pectoralis minor!