Pectoralis major muscle

(Redirected from Pectoralis major)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Template:Muscle infobox

WikiDoc Resources for Pectoralis major muscle


Most recent articles on Pectoralis major muscle

Most cited articles on Pectoralis major muscle

Review articles on Pectoralis major muscle

Articles on Pectoralis major muscle in N Eng J Med, Lancet, BMJ


Powerpoint slides on Pectoralis major muscle

Images of Pectoralis major muscle

Photos of Pectoralis major muscle

Podcasts & MP3s on Pectoralis major muscle

Videos on Pectoralis major muscle

Evidence Based Medicine

Cochrane Collaboration on Pectoralis major muscle

Bandolier on Pectoralis major muscle

TRIP on Pectoralis major muscle

Clinical Trials

Ongoing Trials on Pectoralis major muscle at Clinical

Trial results on Pectoralis major muscle

Clinical Trials on Pectoralis major muscle at Google

Guidelines / Policies / Govt

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on Pectoralis major muscle

NICE Guidance on Pectoralis major muscle


FDA on Pectoralis major muscle

CDC on Pectoralis major muscle


Books on Pectoralis major muscle


Pectoralis major muscle in the news

Be alerted to news on Pectoralis major muscle

News trends on Pectoralis major muscle


Blogs on Pectoralis major muscle


Definitions of Pectoralis major muscle

Patient Resources / Community

Patient resources on Pectoralis major muscle

Discussion groups on Pectoralis major muscle

Patient Handouts on Pectoralis major muscle

Directions to Hospitals Treating Pectoralis major muscle

Risk calculators and risk factors for Pectoralis major muscle

Healthcare Provider Resources

Symptoms of Pectoralis major muscle

Causes & Risk Factors for Pectoralis major muscle

Diagnostic studies for Pectoralis major muscle

Treatment of Pectoralis major muscle

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

CME Programs on Pectoralis major muscle


Pectoralis major muscle en Espanol

Pectoralis major muscle en Francais


Pectoralis major muscle in the Marketplace

Patents on Pectoralis major muscle

Experimental / Informatics

List of terms related to Pectoralis major muscle

The Pectoralis major is a thick, fan-shaped muscle, situated at the upper front (anterior) of the chest wall. It makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

Origin and insertion

It arises from the anterior surface of the sternal half of the clavicle; from breadth of the half of the anterior surface of the sternum, as low down as the attachment of the cartilage of the sixth or seventh rib; from the cartilages of all the true ribs, with the exception, frequently, of the first or seventh and from the aponeurosis of the abdominal external oblique muscle.

From this extensive origin the fibers converge toward their insertion; those arising from the clavicle pass obliquely downward and outwards (laterally), and are usually separated from the rest by a slight interval; those from the lower part of the sternum, and the cartilages of the lower true ribs, run upward and laterally, while the middle fibers pass horizontally.

They all flat in an end tendon, about 5 cm. in breadth, which is inserted into the crest of the greater tubercle of the humerus.


This tendon consists of two laminae, placed one in front of the other, and usually blended together below.

  • The anterior lamina, which is thicker, receives the clavicular and the uppermost sternal fibers. They are inserted in the same order as that in which they arise: the most lateral of the clavicular fibers are inserted at the upper part of the anterior lamina; the uppermost sternal fibers pass down to the lower part of the lamina which extends as low as the tendon of the Deltoid and joins with it.
  • The posterior lamina of the tendon receives the attachment of the greater part of the sternal portion and the deep fibers, i. e., those from the costal cartilages.

These deep fibers, and particularly those from the lower costal cartilages, ascend the higher, turning backward successively behind the superficial and upper ones, so that the tendon appears to be twisted.

The posterior lamina reaches higher on the humerus than the anterior one, and from it an expansion is given off which covers the intertubercular groove of the humerus and blends with the capsule of the shoulder-joint.

From the deepest fibers of this lamina at its insertion an expansion is given off which lines the intertubercular groove, while from the lower border of the tendon a third expansion passes downward to the fascia of the arm.


The more frequent variations include greater or less extent of attachment to the ribs and sternum, varying size of the abdominal part or its absence, greater or less extent of separation of sternocostal and clavicular parts, fusion of clavicular part with deltoid, and decussation in front of the sternum.

Deficiency or absence of the sternocostal part is not uncommon.

Absence of the clavicular part is less frequent.

Rarely, the whole muscle is missing. This may accompany absence of the breast in females. (See Poland Syndrome).


In addition to being one of the primary pushing muscles of the upper body, the pectoral is a frequent target for bodybuilding. The flat, barbell bench press is the most popular exercise. The pushup is a popular bodyweight exercise targeting the pectoralis major. The muscle is generally worked in compound movements that involve pushing, where the triceps brachii and deltoid muscles are also activated to varying degrees. Exercises that bring the arms together (such as pectoral flies) also work the pectorals, somewhat more selectively.

Flat and declining movements generally work the sternal fibers (often called the "lower" or "inner pecs") while inclining movements generally work the clavicular fibers ("upper pecs.") The opposite is true for pushups, where declining (chest below legs) pushups use more clavicular fibers; they are also more difficult than flat or incline pushups due to the increased responsibility of the (smaller) deltoids and the weaker line of pull for pectoralis.

The following exercises target and work "the pecs:"

Isolation exercises include:

Additional images

External links


Template:Muscles of upper limb

de:Musculus pectoralis major id:Otot pectoralis major he:שריר החזה הגדול nl:Musculus pectoralis major fi:Rintalihas sv:Stora bröstmuskeln

Template:Jb1 Template:WH Template:WikiDoc Sources