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Know Your Chest and Shoulder Muscles Intimately

Posted May 16 2010 5:34am
Dumbbell lateral raise

Image via Wikipedia

Knowing your muscles will help you understand each function for you to know if you are targeting the appropriate muscle for each specific exercise.

Your chest muscles are made up of 2 muscle groups: the pectoralis major (commonly known as “pecs”), and the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is your largest chest muscle. It originates from your breastbone, that flat bone at the center of your chest. It then attaches to the humerus, just near the shoulder joint. The function of the pectoralis major is to adduct your humerus to bring it across your chest.

The pectoralis minor is located under the pectoralis major. It originates from the middle of your ribs and attaches to the coracoids process of the scapula. The function of your pectoralis minor is to rotate your shoulder forward, such as in the action of shrugging.

Examples of exercises that will help train your chest muscles are:

  • Flat barbell bench press
  • Incline barbell bench press
  • Dumbbell flyes
  • Cable crossovers
  • Push ups
  • Around the world
  • Butterfly
  • Isometric chest squeeze

The primary muscle in your shoulders is your deltoid muscle . It is divided into anterior, lateral, and posterior parts. The origin of the anterior and lateral heads is the collar bone, while the origin for the posterior head is the scapula. Each muscle is then inserted halfway down the humerus, the biggest bone in your arm. The primary action of the deltoid is to abduct or bring your arm away from your sides.

Exercises that will target your shoulder muscles are:

  • Military press
  • Seated dumbbell press
  • Side lateral raise
  • Front lateral raise
  • Bent over dumbbell flies.
  • Bradford press
  • Cable rope real-delt rows
  • Dumbbell lying rear lateral raise

Always see to it that you are using the appropriate muscle group while training your chest and shoulder muscles. A common mistake in doing press exercises is using the mainly the muscles in your arms to drive each motion without centering the action on the chest and shoulder muscles. Once you know how to center each exercise on your chest and shoulder muscles, you will be building an impressive and strong upper body in no time.

By Ed Lewis of the P90X Pull Up Bar Shop , your best place to Get Insanity .

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