Pectoral Strengthening Exercises

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Strengthening (Muscles)Pectoral Strengthening Exercises

The following pectoral strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of the pectoral muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these pectoral exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Relevant Anatomy for Pectoral Strengthening Exercises

Figure 1 – Relevant Anatomy for Pectoral Strengthening Exercises

Begin with the basic pectoral strengthening exercise. Once this is too easy, progress to the intermediate pectoral exercises and eventually, the advanced pectoral exercises.


Pectoral Strengthening – Basic Pectoral Exercise

To begin with, the following basic pectoral strengthening exercise should be performed approximately 3 times daily. As your strength improves, the exercise can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions or frequency of the exercise provided it does not cause or increase pain.

Knee Push Ups

Begin this exercise in the push up position on your knees as demonstrated (figure 2). Keeping your back and neck straight, slowly straighten your elbows until they are straight, tightening the pectoral muscles, then return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Pectoral Exercises - Knee Push Up

Figure 2 – Knee Push Ups


Pectoral Strengthening – Intermediate Pectoral Exercises

The following intermediate pectoral strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Push Ups

Begin this exercise in the push up position as demonstrated (figure 3). Keeping your back and neck straight, slowly straighten your elbows until they are straight tightening the pectoral muscles, then return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Pectoral Exercises - Push Ups

Figure 3 – Push Ups

Resistance Band Adduction

Begin this exercise in standing or kneeling with your back straight and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 4). Keeping your back and elbows straight, slowly pull the resistance band to your hip as shown, tightening your pectoral muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Pectoral Exercises - Resistance Band Adduction

Figure 4 –  Resistance Band Adduction (right arm)

Pectoral Dumbbell Pull on Swiss Ball

Begin this exercise lying on a Swiss ball holding a light weight at shoulder level with your back and neck straight as demonstrated (figure 5). Slowly take your arms overhead and then slowly return to the starting position tightening your pectoral muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions provided the exercise is pain free.

Pectoral Exercises - Dumbell Pull on Swiss Ball

Figure 5 – Pectoral Dumbbell Pull on Swiss Ball


Pectoral Strengthening – Advanced Pectoral Exercises

For advanced exercises that are designed to improve your pectoral strength and are vital for optimal pectoral conditioning ‘Become a Member’

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Physiotherapy Products for Pectoral Exercises & Rehabilitation

Physiotherapy Products for Pectoral Exercises & Rehabilitation

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Other Exercises

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