Pectoralis Muscle Tear

The pectoralis major, is your fan-like shaped chest muscle, commonly referred to as “pecs”. It begins from two sections: your breastbone (sternum) and your collarbone (clavicle).   These two sections come together as the “pectoralis major tendon,” which wraps around the bone in your upper arm. They assist you in extending your arms, moving them forward and backward, and rotating them at the shoulder.

Although it is uncommon, playing sports or engaging in activities that require a lot of force, such as weightlifting, grappling, or bench pressing, might result in an injury or tear to this muscle or tendon. We call this a “pectoralis major tear.”


Typically, an injury occurs when you extend or rotate your arm externally while the muscle is contracting or tightening at a greater force than it is able to withstand. This typically occurs while weightlifting.

Other forceful activities that can cause a pectoralis major tear include:

  • Football
  • Wrestling
  • Rugby
  • Skiing
  • Hockey
  • Parachuting
  • Martial arts
  • Gymnastics