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Pectoralis Major and Minor SA Active Stretch

The Pectoralis Major and Minor SA Active Stretch is a targeted stretching exercise designed to increase flexibility in the pectoral muscles of the chest. This exercise involves extending both arms out straight in front of the body, then pulling the arms back towards the body and across the chest with an overhand grip on the elbows. This allows for an increased range of motion, as well as improved posture, breathing and circulation. Through regular practice of this stretch, the strength and control of the chest

Transcript

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This is Brent, President of B2C Fitness, and in
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this video we're doing our active pec
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stretch. So that's an active stretch that's going to concentrate on
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increasing extensibility of both our pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor.
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I'm going to assume at this point that we've already done our release
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techniques, as well as done static stretching to return this muscle to
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optimal length. Now, active stretching we're going to use to help increase end
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range strength of our functional antagonists, which in this case are going
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to be our mid and lower traps, as well as to start returning optimal or normal
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reciprocal inhibition back to our upper body mechanics. I'm going to have my
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friend, Leanne, come out and help demonstrate this technique. Some of
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you have seen protocols for active stretching, and obviously all we need to
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do is take a muscle to its end range and then try to activate the functional
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antagonists. However, it is often helpful to use gravity to create a little bit
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extra overpressure, a little added force, to our active stretches. In this case, to
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increase the amount of force on Leanne's pecs, I'm going to go ahead and use
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gravity while she's in a supine position to help push a little further. So the
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first position we're going to use here, is I have Leanne on a foam roll. You
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could use a half foam roll, or a yoga mat balled up to help
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elevate her off the ground. This is going to help to position her spine so that we
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get a little bit of thoracic extension. That thoracic extension is going to help
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put our scapula in the place they need to be, which is going to be posteriorly
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tilted. So if we end up in thoracic extension of the scapula,
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a little bit posteriorly tilted, she's then going to take her arms and put them
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back behind her head like this. This is going to further posteriorly tilt her
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scapula, as well as upwardly rotate. Now, if you remember your functional
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anatomy, pectoralis minor does downward rotation and anterior tipping. So already
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at this point I have her at a static pectoralis minor stretch. We know her
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pectoralis major, as well, is on stretch because I am horizontally abducted, as
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well as fully externally rotated in this position. Now, from here, all Leanne has to
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do is squeeze her shoulder blades back together trying to
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get her elbows to the floor. She's going to hold that position for 2 to 5
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seconds, and then she's just going to relax, and she's going to do this anywhere from
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8 to 15 times. Now, there are a couple of variations we could do to this
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stretch. If this did not work for Leanne, I can have Leanne put her hands on the
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floor. So she's in the shape of a big T, or maybe a little bit more like a
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Y, we still want a little bit of elbow above the shoulder, we still want to keep
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her hands up just a little bit to ensure upward rotation of the scapula, but she
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can do the same thing here. All she's going to do is, she's going to retract
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her scapula and try to kind of flatten her forearms against the floor. She's
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going to hold for 2, really try to open up, and she's going to relax.
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Make sure you're drawn-in. Be very careful that when you have them put their
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hands out like this they don't start doing this, that anterior tipping. That's
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a sign that their pectoralis minor is very tight ant heir trying to compensate around it.
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Obviously if that's what we're trying to stretch, we want to ensure that she stays
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down and back in her shoulder blades, posteriorly tipped, we want to ensure that
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she is retracting around this foam roll, and that she is in fact lengthening her
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both pectoralis minor and a major by reaching up, out and down towards the floor. So
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there you guys have it, that is your pec active stretch for both pectoralis minor
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and major. The protocols for active stretching are always the same, it's
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going to be 2 to 5 second holds at end range, contracting those functional
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antagonists, which in this case was mid traps and lower traps, and you're going
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to do 8 to 15 reps, or you're going to continue doing reps until you
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see a little bit of an increase in extensibility. I hope you enjoyed
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this video, I hope you enjoyed the technique. Thank you Leanne, and we'll see you