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The Right Way to Stretch the Pecs

Written on January 10, 2009 at 6:00 pm, by Eric Cressey

Stretches to maintain length of both the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are really important — especially in the weight-training population, where Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are declared national bench press holidays in all 52 weeks of the year. Simply put, everyone presses too much and pulls too little.

However, what few people (including Mike and I, circa 2004) realize is that in the process of stretching out the pecs (particularly pectoralis major) in this fashion, you run the risk of irritating the anterior shoulder capsule, particularly if the shoulder blades aren’t stabilized. As the picture below shows, the attachment point of the pectoralis major is further down the humerus.

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  • I have found that doing the wall stretch indicated by the first video while adding greater elevation to the humerus and ensuring a retraction of the scapula releases the pec minor more efficiently than the prone scapular depression technique. Just my .02.

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