The chest contains the major pectoral muscles, which begin at the collarbone and extend all the way down to the sternum. The upper chest is connected to the collarbone, while the lower chest is connected to the latter.
Because of how the muscle is attached to the rib cage, it is kind of impossible to specifically target the inner chest, but there are some exercises that work the entire chest but focus on the inner pectoral.
Aside from the obvious benefit of making your body look better, a developed chest region provides the following:
i. More strength and support to the rest of the muscles in the upper body.
What does this mean?
A strong chest will help to support your arms and shoulders, making vertical, lateral, and rotational movements easier.
ii. It improves the body posture. This is to say that it strengthens the back, and also improves your body when you play games.
5 Inner Chest Workouts
Chest workout can be incorporated into your exercises. If you want to work more on the inner chest, the best way is to perform exercises that promote arm movement towards the midline of your chest.
1. Hex Press
i. Begin with a dumbbell bench press position.
ii. Keep the dumbbells in contact with one another.
iii. Extend your arms upwards and then return to the starting position (Keep squeezing the dumbbells throughout the rep)
2. Plate Press
i. Choose a weight plate and lie on a flat bench, squeezing it with your open palms.
Be sure that you are perfectly aligned with the center of your chest by moving the plate up and down.
ii. Keep your chest flexed by squeezing hard. The key here is to move slowly and repeatedly.
3. Single Arm Chest Fly
i. Begin by raising the pulleys, selecting the resistance to be used, and taking a handle in one hand.
ii. Extend your arm and maintain a slight bend in your elbow.
iii. Pull your hand to your midsection while keeping your upper body straight.
iv. Hold in position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position to complete one rep.
Important notice: Because this is a unilateral exercise, only one arm is used at a time.
4. Cable Crossover
i. Stand between the cable cross machines, with your torso slightly bent.
ii. Choose a resistance level and pull the cable to the center of your chest.
iii. Move your arms in an arc outwards until you feel a stretch in the chest area. Note that when moving the arms, make sure that the motion is smooth and free of unnecessary jerks.
iv. Hold in place for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Make sure you squeeze your pecs towards the midline of your chest.
5. Dumbbell Flyes
i. Lie flat on the bench with weights that allow you to perform 12 reps.
ii. Maintain parallel hands to the ground and bring them together over your chest.
iii. At the peak, try to contract your chest as much as possible before returning to the starting position.
HOW CAN I BUILD MY INNER CHEST AT HOME?
These amazing inner chest exercises can be done at home. They are very effective as they help to build your chest.
1. Flye-Press Hybrid Combo
This exercise is a cross between a flye motion and a press, as the name implies. You maintain a neutral grip with your palms facing each other and then proceed to make an arcing motion with your arms, similar to a flye. You can as well decide to bend your elbows quite a bit in the down position, similar to a press.
The hybrid move can be done with dumbbells or cables, but it is preferable to use cables. This is because dumbbells could make you lose your line of pull when the arms are vertical, but when you use cables, the pulley system causes the weight to continue to resist your muscles at every point and this keeps tension on the tissues throughout that portion of the movement.
How to Perform the Hybrid Flye-Press Combination
i. Position an adjustable bench equidistant between two cable columns at a slight incline (15–30 degrees).
ii. Attach single-grip/stirrup handles to the lowest positions of the pulleys.
iii. Grasp both handles and recline on the bench.
Note that your elbows should be roughly around 90 degrees bent. Also note that if the pulleys are not in line with your shoulders, you should allow the cables run more or less perpendicular to the weight stacks; and if this is not the case, move the bench to the front or to the back. Rest your feet on the bench if you want to add an element of instability to the exercise.
iv. Pull your hands together and press the handles up until your hands nearly touch at the top and your arms are fully extended over your upper chest.
v. Squeeze the contraction hard while picturing your inner pecs doing the work.
Once you have done that, slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
2. Squeeze Press with a Hammer
The squeeze Press is similar to the flye-press combo. This is because it combines a pressing movement and also lay emphasis on horizontal adduction, courtesy of squeezing a light medicine ball between your hands.
How to Perform a Hammer Squeeze
The procedure is very easy.
i. Set a bench to a 15 to 45-degree incline. Once you have done that, secure a pair of moderate-weight dumbbells with a light medicine ball between them. Note that the medicine ball’s purpose is simply to provide something to squeeze, not to provide additional resistance, so choose the lightest ball possible. I advise you use one that is made of leather or Kevlar so that it will stay in place and not slip out.
Ask someone to help place the ball between your hands and then proceed to squeeze them together. You can as well bear hug the ball with the dumbbells before getting into position.
ii. Position yourself on the bench with your arms straight up and palms facing each other. By contracting the inner pecs, press in on the ball and hold it isometrically. Consider how hard your inner-pec fibers fired throughout the entire exercise.
iii. Keeping the squeeze tight, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells and ball to your chest.
iv. When the ball touches your upper chest, controllably press back up to the arms-extended position, squeezing the ball firmly throughout.
3. Pushup (Diamond)
All pushups are excellent chest builders. To target the inner pecs with a pushup, narrow your hand spacing into what’s known as the “diamond” position: the tips of your index fingers and thumbs touch or are close to touching each other, forming a diamond shape between your hands. This will also cause more triceps muscle to be activated.
How to Perform a Diamond Pushup
i. Get into a standard pushup position, with your hands and toes on the floor and your body in a rigid, straight line from your heels to your head.
ii. Bring your hands together so that the tips of your index fingers and thumbs are almost touching (the exact distance between them should be whatever feels comfortable to you and will not aggravate your elbows). The space between your hands will take on the shape of a diamond.
iii. Slowly lower yourself to the floor by bending your elbows. When your chest touches your hands, explode back up to full elbow extension. As you press up, try to bring your hands closer together without moving them—just tense your muscles and concentrate on contracting the inside of your chest.
HOW DO I TRAIN MY INNER CHEST WITH DUMBBELLS?
Any chest move that can be performed with a barbell can also be performed with dumbbells. Here are some amazing chest exercises that can be done with dumbbells:
1. First Slight Incline Bench Press with Dumbbells
i. Raise one end of a flat exercise bench using two or three heavy barbell plates, a small box, or a step. The angle should ideally be less than 30 degrees.
ii. Lie back on the bench with your head lifted up and holding two dumbbells at arm’s length above your chest.
iii. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest by slowly bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades together on the bench. Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle to your torso in the down position, not straight out to the sides.
iv. Pause in the stretched position before you push the dumbbells back up. Flex your chest as you do so.
2. Crush Press (also known as Squeeze Press)
1. Lie back on a flat exercise bench with your palms facing each other, holding two heavy dumbbells on your chest.
ii. In the center of your chest, press the dumbbells together (this is your starting position).
iii. Push the dumbbells to arm’s length over your chest while keeping them pressed together. Squeeze your chest muscles for a moment.
iv. Return to the starting position by slowly reversing the movement.
3. Dumbbell Floor Press with a 45-Degree Angle
1. Lie on your back on the floor with two dumbbells across your chest at arm’s length. You can choose to lie back from a sitting position with the dumbbells in your hands, or you can decide to have a partner hand them to you.
ii. Rotate your wrists so that your thumb and pinky sides are closer together (as if you were holding a steering wheel at 10 and 2 o’clock). This is where you will start.
iii. Gradually lower the weights, keeping your elbows close to your sides, until your triceps make light contact with the floor.
iv. Replace the weights in their original positions.
4. Dumbbell Bench Press with Feet-Up
i. On one end of a flat exercise bench, place two or three heavy barbell plates.
ii. Lie back on the bench, your head at the bottom, and two heavy dumbbells at arm’s length above your chest. Your feet should be placed flat on the bench.
iii. Lower the dumbbells to your sides of the chest by bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades together on the bench.
iv. Hold the stretched position for a few seconds before returning the dumbbells to the starting position.
HOW DO I TRAIN MY UPPER CHEST?
Big pecs may be the most desired bodypart after big arms. And, while pressing and flye movements can easily bring up the middle and lower pec fibers, the upper pecs frequently lag behind the rest of the chest. To be more specific, the upper/inner pecs may be the most difficult area for a bodybuilder to develop. When you wear a V-neck T-shirt or a shirt unbuttoned to the midchest, this is the part of your chest that shows.
If the area of your pecs is looking flat and deflated, the best exercise for you is the alternating low-pulley cable crossover. It helps to build your chest.
Low-pulley Cable Crossovers
i. To perform this exercise, stand in the center of a cable-crossover station with a staggered stance (one foot ahead of the other, like a lunge stance) and your arms extended out at your sides at about a 45-degree angle from your torso, holding D handles attached to the low pulleys.
ii. Maintain a slight bend in your elbow as you diagonally raise your right arm in front of you until your right hand is in front of your left shoulder. Hold this position for a few seconds, concentrating on squeezing your upper/inner pec fibers.
iii. Gradually return to the beginning and repeat on the left side.
iv. Rep in this alternating fashion for a total of 10 reps.
i. Cable crossovers with low pulleys (both arms working simultaneously)
ii. Flying incline cable
iii. Flyes with one arm outstretched.