A tight pectoralis major muscle that contains trigger or tender points may give you pain in your chest or shoulder.
Additionally, if this muscle is too tight it fosters a round shouldered posture.
Especially in men it is well known and popular as it, if well trained, gives them a strong looking front.
Trigger points in this muscle – shown as “Xs” in the picture under “Attachment points” – can send pain to the red marked areas displayed below.
The deeper the colour, the more prone it is to experience pain in the respective area when trigger points in the pectoralis major are present.
The points X1 and X2 mainly give you a painful shoulder, whereas the other points send pain mainly to the chest itself, and to the upper and inner side of your forearm.
This muscle can contribute to…
A very tight pectoralis major will definitely contribute to an impaired flexibility in your shoulder – e.g. when reaching behind – as it pulls the whole system forwards and keeps it there.
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From the outside the pectoralis major looks like one big muscle.
But actually it consists of three parts.
Every one of the three parts has its own and separate origin, while all the muscle fibers fuse together at the same spot, namely at the upper side of your arm pit –.
The three parts are named after the location of their origin.
This muscle has many functions.
As a whole, it adducts the arm and rotates the shoulder inwardly.
The lower/costal fibers can pull down the shoulder joint, whereas the upper/clavicular fibers can elevate/raise the arm in front of you.
Furthermore the muscle protracts the shoulder.
If you are a desk criminal that spends hours and hours in front of your computer or writing, you may get issues with this muscle.
Why? Because you are prone to be working in a round shouldered position where your pectoralis is constantly contracted and your shoulder rotated inwardly, respectively.
This means that the muscle will be constantly in a “shortened” position, which eventually may lead to tender and trigger points.
On the other hand you can overstress it with too much exercise or activities that you are not used to.
Doing excessive chest workouts at the gym can be a reason for trouble in this muscle.
Yes, chest workouts are fun and the results can look awesome, but I recommend balancing it.
Give yourself also some rest and keep up your shoulder mobility.
You can massage this muscle best with a massage ball or with your fingers.
If you use the latter, pay attention not to strain them, as they are delicate “tools”.
Your hands come in handy especially at the outer part of your pectoralis as you can pinch its fibers and work them extremely precise.
Here, it is important to inspect the whole area from right next to your nipple all the way up to your arm pit.
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