This article will explain the physical structure of pectoral muscles, their function, and exercises to tone and strengthen them.
The pecs consist of two muscles which are the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is the fan shaped muscle which is situated in the chest area of the body, and makes up the bulk of the chest muscle in males. In females this muscle lies under the breast. Under the pectoralis major muscle, the pectoralis minor muscle is found, which is a thin triangular muscle. The pectoralis minor muscle is situated in the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major. When one performs chest exercises regularly, the pecs stand out.
The function of pectoralis major muscle is to push the arms forward. It also helps in lowering the arms downwards and to turn them inwards. These muscles lend power to the arm to execute the full range of motion involved in an exercise. The function of the pectoralis minor muscle is to bring the shoulder blades down. This movement is necessary for the body to push down on something, using the arms.
Peck Deck Fly
This workout focuses on the major and minor pectoralis muscles. For this exercise sit with the upper part of your body supported by the backrest. Then place your feet on the floor, and the forearms behind the pads or grasp the handles in such a way that the forearms are vertical and the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Now, start pulling the grips together in front of the body till they touch.
Slowly and simultaneously open your arms. In the end position, the arms will be at the sides of the body.
Perform 2 sets consisting of 8 repetitions of this exercise.
For this exercise you don't need any equipment. Keep your whole body completely straight and stretched while performing this exercise. Maintain the tips of your toes and the palms resting on the floor. The hands should be placed under the shoulder axis and flat on the floor, with your arms bend slightly.
Now lower your body evenly, and in the end position the arms are bent at a right angle. Go back to the starting position and perform 2 sets of 8 repetitions.
To perform this exercise, lie flat on your back on a bench. Then bend your legs and place the feet on the end of the bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in a vertical position above your shoulders, keeping the arms slightly bent.
Now, slowly lower each dumbbell out to the side in a semicircular movement, while making the downward movement the arms should be bent more and the dumbbells shouldn't reach behind the axis of the shoulders.
Perform two sets of 10 - 12 repetitions.
While working on chest muscles, it is important to perform back exercises as well. Pecs help to push and the back muscles help to pull. If only one side of the body is worked upon, the other side will bear the extra strain. This can lead to an injury and a disproportionate appearance. Hence, work on both the back and chest muscles equally. If you experience any muscle strain while working out, then take a break and allow the muscles to rest and heal. If you have swelling you can apply an ice compress to bring the swelling down.
You can follow the above exercises to build pecs. Make sure you follow a proper form and appropriate amount of repetitions to avoid any muscle injuries or strain.
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