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Pectoralis Minor: Origin, Action & Insertion

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  • 0:04 What's the Pectoralis Minor?
  • 0:45 Origin, Insertion, & Action
  • 1:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

The pectoralis minor is the ''little brother muscle'' of the chest. Find out why, as well as other interesting facts about the pectoralis minor muscle, by checking out this lesson!

What's the Pectoralis Minor?

When you think of the chest muscles, which are often referred to as the ''pecs,'' you are probably visualizing the pectoralis major muscle. The large pectoralis major muscles are the visible muscles in the chest in men. Females have them too, but the the pectoralis major is covered by breast tissue in women, so they're not usually visible. Did you know that there is a chest muscle located under the pectoralis major, which is called the pectoralis minor?

The pectoralis minor is a thin, flat muscle of the chest that's located underneath the pectoralis major. Since the pectoralis minor muscle is smaller and located underneath the pectoralis major, this muscle is thought of as the ''little brother muscle'' of the chest.

Origin, Insertion, & Action

The pectoralis minor muscle originates from the front surfaces of the third, fourth, and fifth ribs on each side of the rib cage. From these three locations, the muscle extends up the chest and inserts on the coracoid process of the scapula (shoulder blade). The coracoid process is a bony, hook-shaped prominence that protrudes from the top, front border of the scapula.

The main action of the pectoralis minor muscle is to move the scapula or shoulder blade. Additionally, since the pectoralis minor muscle originates from the third through fifth ribs, it also functions to move these bones as well. This chart describes the various actions of the scapula and the ribs caused by the pectoralis minor.

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