Top 10 Muscle Imbalances And What To Do About Them #3

#3 Pectoralis Minor Dominates Over Middle/Lower Trapezius

Ahh, the ever popular rounded shoulders and lack of extension and rotation in the thoracic spine, freaky forward head carriage, arm internal rotation and protracted scapula. The monkey look. That’s a lot of chaos going on in there. Pretty much the standard posture of today.

Why is this so common? Think sitting at a desk all day long and mobile phones sucking the life out of you. Nobody looks up, extends, or rotates their body anymore. Transverse plane? What’ that? That’s where power lives my friend and most people don’t own it. They live perpetually rounded forward in a vulnerability posture closed off from the world.

Pectoralis Minor

The Pec Minor (PM) is often overworked and facilitated dominating over the weaker middle and lower trapezius muscles. The pec minor causes a shock and awe disaster to the scapula (shoulder blade). The scapula is supposed to be mobile AND stable. How much of each depends on the environment you put the body in. It changes based on need.

The PM protracts the scapula and is a functional opposite (works against) to the middle trapezius which retracts the scapula (shoulders back). Dominant PM prevents efficient return of the scapula to a centrated position.

The PM is a functional synergist with the lower trapezius and serratus anterior to depress the scapula. The PM downwardly rotates the scapula and is a functional opposite to the lower trapezius that upwardly rotates the scapula.

Dominant pec minor pulls the shoulder blade down and in, making it hard to raise the arm up overhead.


Trapezius Muscle

The pec minor dominates over the middle and lower trapezius leading to poor mobility in the shoulder and instability of the scapulothoracic region.

Faulty patterning and timing in scapulohumeral rhythm causes shoulder pain, impingement, and decreased efficiency in fascial force transmission of the superficial/deep arm lines and performance/functional lines.

This inability to transmit force efficiently decreases strength.

What to do about it?

Massage out the Pectoralis minor by hand or with a soft tissue ball (tennis ball, Rockball, lacrosse ball, etc) and remember to do each side for 2 minutes.

Rocktape Rockball

It’s important to do both sides due to fascial connections from left to right. Just because one side hurts doesn’t mean the other side is not involved.

  1. Lie on the ground. Bend your knees and put your feet flat. Place your arms out perpendicular to your sides with palms up and elbows locked.
  2. Lightly press arms down into the ground for 4-seconds (Concentric)
  3. Hold for 4-seconds (Isometric)
  4. Release for 4-seconds. (Eccentric)
  5. Repeat 4-times.
  6. Then bring your arms up higher like you are making the letter Y. Only go to what’s comfortable for the shoulder complex. Repeat the same cadence above

It’s called the CORE 4 MATRIX. The system of effective movements we teach in our courses. (Check them out on our website)

You may notice:

  • Decrease in pain or discomfort in the shoulder
  • Decreased popping and grinding
  • Sleeping better at night
  • Increase in strength production.

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Next up…

Neck extensors dominating neck flexors