How Pectoral Muscles Work and How to Build a Bigger Chest

Parts of the Pectoral Muscles

The pectoralis major, commonly known as the pecs, is a large muscle that spans across the chest. The pectoralis serves to produce the majority of the pushing motions in the upper body. Understanding the Pectoralis Major isn’t difficult when you also understand the supporting muscles and bone structures. There are some intricacies due to the muscle having two separate parts, which are referred to as the upper and lower pectoralis. 

Chest Workouts

When focusing on the upper chest, you’ll be focusing on the pectoralis major muscle. Specifically, the portion right under the collarbone is called the clavicular head. Take full advantage of your bench press by adjusting the depth of the incline so you can decide exactly how to work your pecs.  

Challenge yourself by doing a set at one incline setting on the bench and then change it to the next. Continue to change the incline so you can hit the chest fibers differently with each set. Use a decently heavy weight but don’t lift to the point of intense shoulder pain. Adjusting your bench press depth accordingly can help mitigate potential shoulder pain.

Which muscles are involved when performing a pushup? 

We need to first take a look at the major shoulder girdle muscles: the pectoralis major muscle (large chest muscle) is the most crucial muscle that is worked throughout the movement of a pushup. The main function of the pectoralis major is the adduction of the arm back to the torso, which basically means moving your arm back towards your chest, keeping it close to the body. Aside from the Pectoralis Major, there are many other muscles within the shoulder girdle that work together to perform a pushup. So, what muscles do push ups work? Here are three of the other main targets of a pushup:

  • pectoralis minor muscle (small chest muscle)
  • serratus anterior muscle
  • deltoideus muscle (shoulder muscle)

How to do a pushup?

When performing a pushup, your elbows should always face backwards and stay close to your body. Keep a straight back, and don’t allow your butt to get high in the air. Always make sure to go down to the point of making your chest or nose touch the ground. This ensures that you’re getting the maximum range of motion out of your exercise.

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