Did you know that strong pecs are partially responsible for improving your posture?
Usually, when clients come see me with pain from tight shoulders, they want me to work on their upper back and the area around and in between their shoulder blades. This is a good area to work on for tight shoulders and shoulder rubs feel wonderful! However, if all you work on is this area, then you're missing a key set of muscles related to tight shoulders. We have to remember to work on the "front" of the shoulders: the Pectoral muscles.
The pectorals are made up of two muscles on each side, the pectoralis minor and the pectoralis major. The pectoral major is the muscle that most people think of when they talk about their "pecs". So how do your pectorals affect tight shoulders?
For those of us who might spend a lot of time slouched over (at computers, etc.) this is a big cause of shoulder pain. Slouching puts the shoulders in a rounded, or curved position. When in this position for long enough periods of time the upper back and shoulder muscles get stretched out and weak. On the opposite side, the pectoral muscles get shortened and cramped. So then when we go to straighten out and pull back our shoulders
to where they should be, the tight pectoral muscles are actually preventing our shoulders from going back. Pecs and posture, right?
Massaging the tight pectoral muscles can help them relax and lengthen. This takes strain off of the back and shoulder muscles that have been stretched forward. Releasing the tight pectorals then allows the shoulders to relax and go back to their correct position.
Let me know if you have any questions about massage for the pectoral muscles!