Muscles in the Chest

By Amelia Son, PTA

Muscles in the Chest

There are multiple muscles in the chest and they all have specific purposes.  The following article will discuss the muscles, where they are located, their function, and common injuries to the muscles of the chest.


Anatomy of the Muscles of the Chest

An anatomy diagram of the muscles of the neck and chest.


What are the Muscles in the Chest?

The muscles in the chest are as follows:

  • Pectoralis Major – it is a large fan-shaped muscle that stretches from the armpit to the collarbone and all the way down across the lower chest on both sides of the rib cage. It connects at the sternum/breastbone.  It moves the shoulder joint in four directions and helps keep the arm attached to the body and in the socket.
  • Pectoralis Minor – It is a thin-triangle-shaped muscles that runs up and down along the upper ribs. It is located underneath the pectoralis major and assists with shoulder movement.
  • Trapezius – This muscle runs across the neck, shoulders, and back. It assists with shoulder and shoulder blade movements.
  • Rhomboid Major – This muscle is attached to the shoulder blade and also helps with shoulder movement.
  • Infraspinatus – It is a rotator cuff muscle that helps with specifically raising and lowering the arm.
  • Teres Major – A muscle that assists with rotating the upper arm in the socket
  • Serratus Anterior – This muscle is located in the rib cage and helps keep the shoulder blade attached to the chest wall. It also helps rotate the shoulder blade upward.
  • Deltoid – This is the “cap” on top of the shoulder that gives the shoulder its round shape. It also helps with raising and rotating the arm.
  • Latissimus dorsi – This is a flat rectangular muscle in the back of the shoulder. It helps with rotation as well as moving the arm away and toward the body.
Pec Tear or Rupture

Pectoralis Tear or Rupture

What are Common Injuries to the Muscles of the Chest?

While some injuries to the muscles of the chest, some are very common.  One of the muscles that are rarely injured is the pectoralis major.  Symptoms of an injured pectoralis muscle are a pain in the chest, bruising, and decreased muscle strength.  With the infraspinatus being part of the rotator cuff muscle, it is commonly injured and sometimes requires surgery for correction.

Another common muscle that gets injured is the pectoralis major.  It is most commonly injured during weightlifting and bodybuilding exercises.  It usually puts excessive strain on the shoulders and chest.  While the others are able to get injured, these are the most common injuries to muscles of the chest.

Here at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute, we have multiple physical therapists and occupational therapists that are more than equipped to deal with all injuries and issues pertaining to the muscles of the chest.  If you believe that you have a chest muscle or bone injury, please feel free to call our offices for more information and to make an appointment!

Written by: Amelia Son, PTA

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