The pectoralis major presents as a large flat muscle forming the front of the chest. The larger sternocostal portion originates from the body of the sternum, the smaller clavicular portion originates from the medial clavicle. Both portions combine to form one tendon, inserting on the inside of the proximal humerus.
Sequential closed chain contraction of the pectoralis major draws the body forward (as when moving from downward dog to upward dog). Both portions adduct the humerus (as in gomukhasana B). This is also a key muscle in push-up poses such as chaturanga dandasana. The sternocostal portion stretches in overhead postures such as urdhvadhanurasana and tightness limits the depth of these poses.
Was this article helpful?