Magazine covers and fitness calendars are filled with men who look like they only train chest. (Personal trainers are inundated with requests for these types of chests too!) Having a strong, prominent chest is a goal for many male fitness models and avid male gym-goers. Pectoral strength is one of the most sought-after physical features. However, besides the aesthetic benefits of a well-developed chest, having strong pectoral muscles is necessary for many other reasons.
What is the Function of Pectoral Strength?
The pectoralis major and minor make up the pecs or chest muscle. The chest muscles are predominantly used to move and control the arm by pulling on the humerus to perform vertical, lateral and rotational movements either under the instruction of a personal trainer or by yourself. The pec muscle is also involved in moving the rib cage during deep breathing.
What are the Benefits of Pectoral Strength?
There are many benefits to having strong pectoral muscles as any personal trainer worth his salt will tell you. It is necessary to strengthen the pectoral muscles on a regular basis as these muscles affect several body functions and movements during training and in everyday life:
- Strong pectoral muscles can improve your posture. Good posture is important to help us function optimally in everyday life as well as while performing physical exercises. The correct form while exercising is crucial. Good posture plays an important role in getting your form right.
- A strong chest improves the strength in your back muscles. Together, these muscles keep you upright and ensure good posture. Tight chest muscles can lead to your shoulders slouching. This means it is important to strengthen the chest muscles but stretch them as well.
- Strong pectoral muscles contribute to overall upper-body strength. This is because the pectoral muscles are involved in so many different upper-body movements
- Strong chest muscles improve your ability to push things.
- Your chest muscles play a vital role in your ability to push a heavy object.
- Simple movements like pushing yourself off the ground are also affected by pectorial strength – a simple push-up can be quite difficult if you have no pectoral strength.
- Strong pectoral muscles also improve your ability to perform swinging movements. A round of golf would not be that easy if you had no pectoral strength as would be a tennis match.
- Besides the physical benefits of pectoral strength, the aesthetic benefits are also great especially if you are a bodybuilding athlete or competitor. Strong pectoral muscles mean that you can lift heavier and train harder. This will in turn improve the appearance of the muscle.
Strong pectoral muscles is about more than simply looking good. There are everyday benefits to having a strong chest. Training and stretching your pectoral muscles are important and should be a part of your fitness regime.
Don’t get despondent if gaining pectoral strength takes a long time. Take inspiration from famous bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“You don’t really see a muscle as a part of you, in a way. You see it as a thing. You look at it as a thing and you say well this thing has to be built a little longer. And you look at it and it doesn’t even seem to belong to you. Like a sculpture. Then after looking at it a sculptor goes in with his thing and works a little bit, and you do maybe then some extra forced reps to get this lower part out. You form it. Just like a sculpture.”