Pec Minor Release

Many people don't realize that the "pecs" are composed of two different muscles: the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Pectoralis major is bigger and more superficial, while the pectoralis minor is deeper and a little smaller. That said, both of these muscles have very important roles for our upper body movement and strength. 

However, like most muscles that have a variety of functions, these ones are prone to injury, especially overuse injury. Furthermore, a tight pec minor is a major contributor to poor posture, potentially resulting in debilitating neck and shoulder pain. Therefore, it can be helpful to know how to release a tight pec minor, which can often help reduce pain in the chest, shoulder, and neck region.

Pec Minor Stretches

There are two main stretches for the pec minor that are simple and easy to do. For the first one, all you will need is a corner of a room, or a doorway narrow enough that it is just a little more than shoulder-width apart. All you need to do is stand facing the corner of the room very close to the wall. With your arms hanging down by your side with straight elbows, place your palms against the wall and step in just a bit. You should feel a stretch around the front of your chest and shoulders, and having your arms in this position will target your pec minor.

Once you feel comfortable with the feeling of stretching the pecs, you can further target pec minor by slightly adjusting the position. However, the coracoid process that is mentioned in the video below is often tender with when there is a lot of pressure on it, but with a nice distribution of force you can avoid any significant pain. In general, the stretch may feel a little uncomfortable, especially if you are new to stretching, but if you feel any pain, especially sharp pain, then back off.

Another way you can stretch this muscle is by doing a similar stretch, but bringing your upper arm up so it is parallel with the floor and bending your elbow so that your forearm is vertical. In other words, the shoulder/arm/hand position you may use when waving hello to someone.

Similar to before, find a corner of a room or a doorway narrow enough to make contact with both arms, gently step into the stretch towards the wall or doorway, and you will feel a nice stretch across the front of your chest. Similar to before, the stretch may feel slightly uncomfortable, but you should not feel any sharp pain. Additionally, this stretch won't target pectoralis major as much, but you have a more well-rounded stretch of both the pec minor and pec major in exchange.

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