If you look down at your phone all day, work on a computer, have small children and carry them frequently, have forward head posture or forward rotated shoulders etc, then this is something you will want to include in a weekly fascial health routine.
You will need a lacrosse ball for these two techniques.
Pec minor attaches to the 3rd, 4th and 5th ribs and draws the scapula forward and down, and elevates the ribs if the origin and insertion are reversed.
The primary actions of this muscle include the stabilization, depression, abduction or protraction, upward tilt, and downward rotation of the scapula. When the ribs are immobilized, this muscle brings the scapula forward, and when the scapula is fixed, it lifts up the rib cage. (Excerpt from healthline.com)
As you can see it plays a huge role in shoulder mobility. When overly tight it contributes to forward head posture, forward rotated shoulders and the pain patterns that arise from this (which include neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches etc).
These techniques can help address:
I don’t have a lot to add here that isn’t in the video, except this: for almost ALL of the above issues, you certainly want to address the chest (pec minor especially), but most require additional techniques for the best result. So be sure to check out this post on the single BEST technique to relieve upper body pain, as well as the two best techniques to relieve pain between the shoulder blades.
Make sure to check out the most AWESOME neck release EVER. It perfectly mimics what I do with my private clients and all of you with neck pain will LOVE this one…it “hurts so good” and gives instant relief! If you have TMJ pain, I have techniques coming for those as well in a month or so.
Also, something important to consider: if you are putting yourself into a forward head posture every day by being on a computer, your phone or anything else like this, chances are your upper back muscles are in fact overstretched and weak. To get the absolute best results, you’ll want to put your computer and phone at eye level whenever possible, and “posture up” by purposefully bringing your shoulders back and down and gently squeezing your rhomboids (the muscles between your shoulder blades). Though it may seem counter-intuitive, this will actually bring relief to the tension in the upper and mid back.
The more you can correct the “bad” habits that are the real cause of fascial restrictions and mobility issues the better!
In the video I show you how to perform a basic PNF stretch for pec minor. PNF stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Using muscle contraction and relaxation helps create a better stretch that actually lasts (versus static stretching) and is a lot easier on the body than static stretching (in my opinion).
Here are some tips to remember:
I always like to at least see how my front deltoid is feeling if I’m already going into the pecs. To be totally clear, we’re going after the fascial junction where the middle or medial deltoid meets the anterior deltoid. (We will not be addressing the posterior deltoid here).
If this area is sore, tender, and/or feels ropy/tight, then it could probably use some release. If it feels supple, soft and/or does NOT hurt when compression is applied with the lacrosse ball…there is no need to do perform the release.
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