Accessing the Upper Fibres of Pectoralis Major

We’ve written this blog as a starting point for new ideas and considerations!

Keep reading to view our quick fire video to demonstrate how easy it is to effectively access the pectoralis major! But first the technical stuff … 


  1. Clavicular part: anterior surface of the medial half of the clavicle
  2. Sternocostal part: anterior surface of sternum, costal cartilages of ribs 1-6
  3. Abdominal part: Anterior layer of the rectus sheath

Insertion: all fibres insert onto the greater tubercle of the humerus 

Main Function

All fibres involved is adduction and internal rotation of the arm at the shoulder joint.  

Further movements can be broken down into more specific regions: 

  • Clavicular fibres part help to flex the extended arm up to 90°
  • Sternocostal fibres facilitate the extension of the flexed arm by pulling it downwards. 

The following video will look at working with the clavicular portion and the upper third of the sternocostal fibres. 

How To...

Transverse Effleurage

Beginning from the clavicular attachment:

  • A soft fist is applied. Sinking in just below clavicle 
  • Use your client’s breath to help facilitate your depth, increasing your ability to sink into the tissue. As they breath out … you melt into the tissue 
  • Go slightly deeper and more specific with an assisted thumb. The movement is not large. 

Longitudinal Effleurage

Beginning from the upper third of the sternocostal fibres and travelling along with the fibres

  • Soft fist or whole hand. Dependent on the surface area available.
  • Think about keeping your clients modesty. 

Top Tips

  • Make sure to melt into the tissue and ensuring there is no tension in your application. Use your client’s breath.

Remember! This is just an introduction to these techniques!

  • Your applicator will be dependent on the surface area available – remember anatomically everyone varies. Adapt!
  • Easing off as you reach the distal fibers and anterior shoulder joint to avoid undue pressure on joint & boney prominences

Watch the video to see the full demonstration!

Continue your learning...

You can learn more techniques for the shoulder on our Level 5 Diploma in Sports Massage and Remedial Soft Tissue Therapy course. 

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