How to Stretch Your Chest (AND HOW NOT TO!)

How to Stretch Your Chest (AND HOW NOT TO!)

January 6, 2020 100 By Bertrand Dibbert


Pec Major. Pec Minor. Both serious problems if you let these things
get tight. I’m going to show you today exactly how to stretch each one the best way. What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. Today we’re going to talk about the Pec Minor,
the Pec Major, neither of which are unimportant especially if you want to maintain healthy
shoulders in the gym. You see, these two muscles are going to wreak
havoc on your upper body, in your shoulders particularly, if you don’t stretch them enough, or more importantly, you don’t know how to
stretch them. So, I’m going to break out all the weapons to make sure that you do by the
end of this video. We’re taking out Raymond. I’m going to draw
all over my damn body, and I’m going to show you the stretches and exactly how you have
to do them to get the most out of this. Ok, so let’s take out Raymond here and look
at the function of the Pec Major, right. We know that there are 2 portions of the Pec
Major. There’s the sternal portion which is right
here off of the sternum. They come out here and they fan out to a place up here on our
upper arm bone, the humerus, right about mid sternum. So, right here is where they’re inserting,
ok. And then we have a clavicular portion that comes down and attaches to the same thing. So you can see that if these muscles were
to pull, they’re going to pull the arm across the chest. So now, like I said, I’ll write
all over my damn body. Don’t think I won’t guys. I hope these things do come out, though. If
we take our muscles here, and we look at them, they’re fanning out. They’re attaching to
that point that I told you about. And from the clavicle, they’re coming down.
They’re attaching to the point I told you about. So when I contract, you can see the
muscles underlying this. That’s what they’re doing. They’re bringing this across the body. Well,
now we’ve got to go across. Remember the functions of these muscles. Now, you can see that if this were to get
tight, in addition to being able to pull this across, it will also rotate this arm bone
in, right. If it’s attached to here and it gets tights,
shortens, it’s going to pull this in that way. So, that’s why when we get tight, we
have internally rotated shoulders like this. Internal rotation of our shoulders brings
the whole shoulder forward. Now, we move on to the Pec Minor. The Pec Minor is actually much more important
because we never address this muscle and this has I think far more deep-reaching implications
to our shoulder when we don’t because if you look at where the Pec Minor
goes, it goes from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th rib right here to the coracoid process right here.
Now, the most important part of that is the attachment because the coracoid process, if I spin this
guy around, you can see, it’s part of the shoulder blade. It’s literally part of your
shoulder blade. It’s just a point on the shoulder blade. So, what happens when this muscle’s tight?
And they go from here to here, and they’re tight, they’re going to pull down. So now
we get an anterior tilt of the scapula. So it’s going to go this way, down and in.
We’re going to get a downward rotation of the shoulder blade which is down this way,
ok, down that way. And then we’re going to get a protraction,
so the shoulder blade’s going to come around our body this way, and we won’t be able to
retract it. So again, look here. Now I’ve got my Pec Minor. So, I’ve got it coming down from inside here,
coracoid process down here. When it pulls in, it’s pulling my shoulder in protraction
forward. It’s pulling and tilting it down this way. So now we get this real tilt forward of the
shoulder. It’s not just an internal rotation that pec is giving us, the Pec Major, but
it’s actually giving us a pulling on our entire shoulder blade. Now go try to raise your arm up and guess
how much you lack in your ability to actually do that. A lot because you can’t. If your
Pec Major is tight, you’re going to fuck up your entire shoulder. And I’m sorry to say it so bluntly guys, but
this is the truth. Your shoulder’s going to take a beating if you don’t stretch this muscle
out. So what I wanted to do is now show you how
to stretch these knowing what these functions do because all you have to do when you stretch something is reverse the
motion that the muscle’s responsible for. Let me take you and show you how to do exactly
that. So, you want to upwardly rotate your scapula
that way, ok, here’s the outside. Go up. You don’t want to go down, so go up. You want to retract your scapula. You don’t
want it to protract. And you want to make sure that you’re posteriorly tilting your
scapula and not anteriorly tilting it. So we can do that. The way we do that is, we put our shoulder
up here against something sturdy. So inside of a wall would be perfect, inside of a door
jam, or a Squat Rack, Even as I’m doing here with a Smith Machine.
It doesn’t matter what you do it on. But you stabilize the front of your glenohumeral joint
here, pushing it backwards. So, I’m in a nice position here, ok, so it’s
nice and stable up against. Then, again, I’m on a wall here ideally, if I’m on a wall,
if not I make contact with the top of the rack. Now, I want to retract my scapula together
behind me. So, if I do that, you can see just here. All I’m doing is pinching my shoulder
blades back together. We’ve just taken away the protraction if I
do that. Now, if I allow this to slide up, then I get the upper rotation of the scapula
too which is what we’re looking for. Look what happens to the lines on my chest
when I do this. Here, I’m back. Here, I’m pinching. Here, I go into upper rotation.
Look at the distance now of the lines. They’re extremely far apart now because I’m
stretching the Pec Minor, and. I can feel a nice good stretch right in there. And again,
you hold it and you do your thing 30-45 seconds. Ok. Now we’re going to go into the Pec Major
and the thing here is that it’s very similar how we want to stretch it but there’s a few
things that you have to make sure you take note of because if you do this the wrong way, you
could actually wind up hurting yourself even more. If you look at the Pec, remember, all
we have to do to stretch the muscle is know where it starts and where it ends, and
we know it starts here and it ends here. And it starts here, and it ends here. So, if we
can bring those 2 points further apart then we can get an effective stretch on the pec. So, for the
Pec Major, you want to position yourself again here in this doorway or whatever you’re going
to be able to stabilize the front of your shoulder on because we don’t want to do this and this
too much. A lot of guys will find that when they do this, all they do is shoot the head
of the humerus to the front of the shoulder here and really start stretching out the interior shoulder
capsule. That’s not a good idea, especially if you’re a throwing athlete or somebody that’s
already had issues in your shoulder joint. So, what you can do is, make sure that that
doesn’t pop forward this way by staying back set in the shoulder joint. So, we can do that by pushing up against here
in the shoulder, you know, up against the door frame or Squat Rack, whatever you’re
gonna do. Then you raise your arm up to 90 degrees. So now I lean forward into that stretch, so
I lean through the doorway. This is keeping this set nice and back in the shoulder joint. And I lean forward and you can see the stretch.
If you want to intensify that, all you have to do is look away and down. So, by peeking away and down, I further stretch
out the chest from here to here. And it doesn’t make any difference in the world whether I
extend my elbow out here or I don’t. All you’re going to do if you do that is probably
cause more likelihood that you’re going to shoot that head of the humerus forward into
the shoulder capsule and cause a problem. So, what you want to do is keep it in here.
It’s sort of my same argument guys that you’re not getting any additional stretch by doing
a fly and having your arms spread out far because it’s not going to help with the chest
muscle, with the Pec Major. You’ve already reached the limits of its flexibility when
you got to this point. because this and this are as far apart as
they’re going to go. Doing that doesn’t do anything else for the distance between here
and here. So, you stretch this out. You do your Pec
Major stretch, and you hold it for about 30-45 seconds, and you continue to work on this
guys because if you ignore, like I said, these muscles here, they have a distinct command
on the structure and the function and the posture of your whole entire shoulder girdle. And if you do this and you allow yourself
to get tight, and you go back and do a lot of other upper body training, you’re going
to wind up screwing up your shoulder. So, I don’t want to see you do that. If you
guys found this video helpful, make sure you leave a comment and a thumb’s up below. I
know it’s in depth, but I think these are the kind of videos that
help you guys really understand what the hell’s going on in your shoulder after all so that
you can be more educated when you attack the gym. And guys, we take the educated approach here
at ATHLEANX. All of our workouts, all of our programs, every video we put up on this channel dedicated to helping to show you guys exactly
how to do it so you know better the next time. And all of our programs are dedicated to that,
too. If you want to follow them and put the science
back in strength, head to ATHLEANX.COM and get our ATHLEANX Training Programs, guys. I’ll show you how to train to get the quickest
results in the safest way possible. Alright guys, I’ll be back here in just a couple days. I hope you liked this one. I’m going to go
try to get this shit off me now. See ya.