The pectoralis minor muscle is seemingly aptly named because some of the most avid fitness buffs don't give it a second thought. The slim, triangular muscle lies beneath the more recognizable pectoralis major, which is the large chest muscle that bulges when worked out. The pectoralis minor is important to good health and fitness because it keeps the scapula steady during exertion. You can exercise it without much additional effort because nearly every workout that engages the pectoralis major also works the pectoralis minor.
Lifting weights isn't the only thing you can do to develop and maintain your pectoralis minor. A shortened pectoralis minor can cause muscle imbalance and problems with your posture. You can elongate and strengthen the muscle by stretching your pectoralis major. Stand in a doorway with your feet apart. Place one hand on the wall and turn away steadily. You should feel a stretching, burning sensation in the inside upper chest area where the muscle is located.
Fly-pulls involved outstretching your arms as if to form the letter "T." Grab either the cable handles on a resistance machine or a pair of dumbbells. Pull them in toward the middle of your chest, touching the weights or your hands together before unfurling your arms again. Because they rely heavily on exertion in the area where the pectoralis minor is located, fly-pulls can both strengthen and stretch the muscle. To avoid injury, choose weights or resistance levels that are reasonable.
Push-ups are a popular choice because not only do they work virtually all chest muscles, but they also work the arms, shoulders and back. You can easily modify them and perform them just about anywhere, at any time. Lie flat on your front with both palms touching the floor and shoulder-length apart. Elevate your body by pushing off of the floor, always keeping your back straight and exhaling as you push up. To further isolate the region where the pectoralis minor is located, spread your arms farther apart so that your hands are roughly 6 inches from your sides.