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The Anatomy of the Chest Muscles

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anatomy of chest

Are you into bodybuilding? If yes, you must know that getting a bodybuilder body is to get hard massive muscles, especially in the chest area, or get six abs.

They undergo strict training and diet to get their desired physique. Besides, it is a chest that allows for pushing movements like barbell bench press or other daily activities. However, to get the chest you want or to get six abs first, you should be aware of the chest’s anatomy.

Keeping this in consideration, in this article, we will explain chest workouts and anatomy.

Muscles of the chest

The chest or scientifically termed as thorax, is located between the neck and abdomen containing the thorax cavity and thorax wall. However, in this section, our primary focus is on the chest’s anatomy or the main muscles of the chest. Four main muscles in the pectoral region exert a force on the upper limb. These include pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius.

Let’s have a detailed look at each of their types and functions.

·      Pectoralis Major:

It is the largest muscle in the upper chest and is present beneath the breast. It’s a large, thick fan-shaped muscle contributing to the bulk of the chest. Two significant muscles of pectoralis major are known as “pecs” and contribute most to the chest. It originated from several places, including the clavicular head, sternal end, anterior sternum, and inserts in the upper portion of the humerus.

During weightlifting or other bodybuilding exercises, the chances to injure the pectoralis major are high and put stress on the shoulders and chest.

Functions: Pectoralis major is used to controlling the movement of the arm. The pulling of the pectoralis major results in the lateral, vertical, and rotational movement of the arm. Moreover, it also pulls the trunk forward and upward to help with activities like climbing. Besides, it also facilitates the breathing process by pulling the rib cage.

·      Pectoralis Minor:

Present beneath its counterpart muscle pectoralis major, pectoralis minor is much thinner and triangular. Along with a pectoralis major, it forms a part of the anterior wall of the axilla region. It originates from the 5th rib and reaches up to the shoulder blade, although it is small but mighty and robust while also playing an essential role in the shoulder’s movement.

Function: It is important to stabilize the scapula (shoulder blade) by drawing it downward and anteriorly against the thoracic wall. Thus, helping to move shoulder down and forward.

·      Serratus Anterior:

Originates from the eighth rib serratus anterior from the outer surface is a thin sheet of muscles presents laterally in the chest. It forms the medial border of the axilla region and is inserted in the shoulder blade’s medial margin. However, keep in mind that it is not an actual part of the chest anatomy, but we studied it due to its presence near the ribs’ pectorals.

Functions: The serratus anterior’s primary function is to help with the forward and upward movement of the scapula. It allows the arm to raise over 90 degrees.

·      Subclavius Muscles:

Originated from the first rib, subclavius muscles are triangular in shape. They are present below the clavicle and are present horizontally. Moreover, it is inserted into the clavicle’s subclavian groove or states in the one-third of the bone’s inferior surface.

Functions: They help to anchor and depress the clavicle. Besides, they provide minor protection to the neurovascular structures in case of clavicle fractures or other trauma.

Exercises to build the chest muscles

Desire to get stronger and bigger muscles leads people to lift weights. Once you understand the chest muscles’ anatomy, it is easy to understand which lifts are best to build muscles in the chest. The good news is there are numerous exercises to build chest muscles. When one says exercises or lifts to build chest muscles, they talk about pectoral muscles or pecs. Check this out: what are the best exercises for the chest.

However, before starting lifts for the chest muscles, you have to make sure your chest routine consists of a mixture of exercises like the press, pulls, and lifts. Some of the best lifts for the chest muscles are:

  • Barbell bench press
  • Flat bench dumbbell press
  • Cable crossover
  • Pec deck
  • Pushups

Rest and recovery of the chest muscles

Usually, people get the wrong idea about bodybuilding and gaining muscles. They think that they had to go beyond their weightlifting limits and workouts to gain muscles, and rest means they are losing important time. However, the reality is just the opposite. Taking rest for athletes and bodybuilders is as important as lifting weights and following strict workout programs.

Keep in mind that rest and recovery is an integral part of the successful training programs. This rest time helps your muscles to relax. Thus, when planning your workout program, make sure to have maximum time to let your muscles rest and relax. Many people also read how do you rest and recover from growing a bigger chest.

Secondary supporting muscles

As its name indicates, secondary supporting muscles help the body’s main or primary muscles with movement. In simple terms, secondary supporting muscles assist primary muscles in movement. The secondary supporting muscles, in the case of the chest, are deltoids and triceps. Anterior deltoids help you to move your arm forward and to the middle of the body.

Workout programs

It is imperative to follow a proper workout program or routine to get your desired results. You can either develop your workout routine if you are confident or help some professionals create your workout routine.

Your workout program will explain which lift you have to do and how many sets. So, as for building chest muscles, you can go for any popular training programs like HIIT, 5×5 training, etc.

Final words

In this article, we were focused on chest workouts and anatomy. There are four main muscles in the chest that help with the upper body’s movement, like shoulders and arms. However, to build muscles, you have to lift weights, follow a proper workout routine, including adequate rest and recovery periods.