By sports I mean games of competition where brain and brawn matter, therefore bench press competitions like in strongman or powerlifting are not classified as sport but pure strength game as those are merely measurements of strength numbers and the only real competition would actually happen during training (each competitor uses different training techniques but they all need to use the same exact technique during the main event)

So strongmen and powerlifting are not sports but just competitions to see who figures out better way to become stronger faster than others.


Thus, is there a sport in the world where the pectoral muscle is actually not only needed but one of the most important ones?


Yes, there are many. To list a few, swimming (particularly butterfly and freestyle); javelin, discus, baseball (pitching), cricket (bowling), and other sports that share similar mechanics of throwing; gymnastics, climbing and associated sports like parkour. There are countless others.

There is a very good reason that the pectoral muscles are so large and powerful: they largely perform the mirror at the anterior of the body what the latissimus dorsi performs at the posterior. Any movement that requires powerful adduction, horizontal and vertical flexion of the humerus, and/or protraction and depression of the shoulder girdle is going to depend heavily on the pectoral muscles. Correspondingly, any kind of stabilisation that requires the prevention of the opposite of those movements will depend on the same.

It is worth noting that the movement summaries provided in most anatomy textbooks misrepresent and understate the role of many muscles, since the movement analysis is typically made from the anatomical position.

I hope that is helpful.


The pectoral muscle is key for several fundamental defensive movements in ground grappling sports like judo and Brazilian jiujitsu. Consider for example someone at your hips at bay as they try to lay on top of your chest; you ideally hold them at bay with straight arms with the pectorals pushing and bracing while you escape your hips.

The pectoral is also important in many standing grappling situations. Just one is the vital role it plays in the power hand of judo's osotogari tripping attack, where it pushes the thrower's arm into the opponent's chest, driving them backwards and down to the mat.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy