Using a foam roller on your chest muscles can help to improve performance during exercise and reduce pain and recovery time after exercise. The following post will go over the muscles of the chest and the best foam rolling exercises to target the pectoral muscles.
Anatomy of the Chest
The chest muscles are made up of the:
- Pectoralis Major
- Pectoralis Minor
- Serratus Anterior
These muscles work together in a number of functions, most commonly performing pushing motion (bench press etc.)
Pectoralis Major Muscle
As the name suggests this is the larger of the two pectoral muscles. This muscle helps pull your arm forward and across your body whilst flexing the shoulder joint.
Pectoralis Minor Muscle
This muscle lies underneath the Pectoralis Major and is a lot thinner than the more dominant pectoralis major muscle.
The pec minors main job is to pull the shoulder forward.
How to Foam Roll Chest Muscles
The following videos show exactly how to foam roll your Pectoral muscles using a foam roller and massage ball.
Foam rolling the Pectoralis Minor
Here is a great video from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) on how to perform self myofascial release on your chest muscles.
How to Foam Roll your Pecs
- Lay the foam roller on the floor and position it at a 45-degree angle to your bodies midline. This will target the Minor.
- Position the foam roller just below the top of the shoulder and relax the side of your body you are rolling.
- Your spare hand should be in the push-up position to support and control the motion of your rolling.
- Take a deep breath and slowly roll your Pec over the roller keeping the pressure on this muscle throughout.
- When you reach a tight spot, stop and hold for 30 seconds, breathing deeply to relax the muscle.
- Continue for 2 minutes, finding and releasing tight spots in the Pectorals
- Do the same of the other side of your body
How to Foam Roll Your Chest Muscles with a Massage Ball
Foam rolling with a static or active stretch directly afterwards improves muscle activation. Here is one of our favorite routines from the Trigger Point team for activated the chest muscles before exercise.
Foam Rolling Your Pecs with a Massage Ball
- Place the ball in the center of your Pectoralis Major and Minor, then place your other hand over the top for added pressure.
- Lift your elbows, and massage the ball into the Pec muscle tissues
Slide the ball across the fibers from the left to right.
- Breathe deeply and insure you cover all areas of the Pec muscles.
- Keep you elbows high throughout
- Work each side for 2 minutes
Upper Body Foam Rolling Exercises
- How to foam roll your neck muscles
- How to foam roll your shoulder muscles
- How to foam roll your chest muscles
- How to foam roll your lats
- How to foam roll your rhomboids
- How to foam roll your arm muscles