Thursday, October 21, 2010

Muscle Spotlight: Pecs

Occasionally I spotlight different muscles. Today I'm going to focus on the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor) aka "pecs". If muscles were animals, then pecs would be the king of the forest. At least that is what one would assume from watching people work out at the gym. Because pecs are one of the larger muscles, they seem to get a lot of attention.

People tend to focus on the muscles that they see when standing in front of the mirror. As a result, chest, abs, and biceps usually get a lot more attention than their antagonist muscles. Have you ever heard anyone talk about Taylor Lautner's back, hamstrings, or calves? I didn't think so.

Pecs are used in every day activities any time you push something with your upper body. Having strong chest muscles not only gives you a better appearance, but it can help you carry out physical tasks with greater ease. Strong pecs also help protect your shoulders since they stabilize the shoulder joint. 

Exercises that work the chest muscles include the bench press and it's many variations, pushups, flys, butterfly press, cable crossovers, and many swimming strokes. Remember when you work your chest, you also want to work out the opposing back muscles. It doesn't necessarily have to be during the same workout, but you just don't want to neglect opposing muscles and develop an imbalance.

Speaking of famous chest muscles, I thought I'd leave you with a video clip of Arnold doing dumbbell flys.


Emz said...

I'll take pecs #1 over pecs #2 [arnold].

Julie @ HotlegsRunner said...

It was hard for me to read this post. That pic of Taylor is VERY distracting! Haha!

Raymond said...

I personally look at abs, shoulders and back ( but don't tell anyone) yea I agree the usual arms, legs etc aren't such a benchmark anymore

Bryan said...

You're exactly right. The pecs get a lot of attention but their antagonists need equal billing to balance out the shoulders and improve posture. Let's hear for the upper back muscles!!

Michael McIntyre said...

Your right about that, Pecs are like the lion the king of the jungle, and the back is like the elephant, a herd of elephants would trump a herd of lions. With the mighty mane however, they are perceived to be king of the jungle much like the showy muscles of the chest