Muscles of the Chest: Anatomy and Their Functions

Anatomical image of the chest muscles. Original Source: Anatomy, Thorax, Pectoralis Major

Building a strong and powerful chest improves your physique, preventing injuries, and improves athletic performance. Additionally, working out your chest activates large muscle groups. This can help you burn more calories and lose weight more effectively.

The chest muscles are composed of the the larger Pectoralis Major which sits above the smaller Pectoralis Minor. These Muscles are responsible for moving your arms in a hugging motion as well as lifting the arms up and down. A majority of chest exercises involve pushing the arms away from the body (bench press), or pushing the body away from the arms (Push-up).

It is important to work the lower, middle, and upper chest areas to promote the growth of an even chest. For example, the flat bench press focuses on the middle portion of the chest. However, the incline bench focuses on the upper chest area. Similarly, decline bench press focuses on the lower area of the chest.

The biggest mistake that people make while trying to train their chest muscles is that they don’t focus on compound lifts, instead prioritize dumbbell flyes or machine exercises. Focus on compound lifts so that you build more strength, size, and burn more calories. Additionally, ensure you are combining multiple rep ranges to build functional muscle.

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