2 3 Technical Tuesday Pectoralis Major | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Technical Tuesday Pectoralis Major

Technical Tuesday Pectoralis Major

The pectoralis major is a muscle of the chest that extends from the breastbone to the shoulder. The two pectorlis major muscles are often referred to as “the pecs”. There is also the pectoralis minor muscle that is located beneath the pectoralis major.

The pectoralis major has four basic actions:
1.     It aids in flexing the humerus (upper arm). For example, a male dancer lifting his partner.
2.     It assists in adducting the arm.
3.     It aids in rotating the humerus, (think arm-wrestling,wood-chopping).
4.     It helps keep the arm attached to the body(!)

      In other words, it is responsible for the movements of the arms, and thus is critical for dancers in their port de bras. The pectoralis major is also important during deep breathing, because it helps pull the ribcage outward, allowing the lungs to expand.

Pretty important, those pecs!

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Dance History Factoid # 94
“The pectoralis major is a muscle of the chest and is shaped like a fan.”

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