10 Best Inner Chest Exercises and Workouts: Build Muscle and Strength

Updated: 21 hours ago


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When it comes to training the inner chest, there are a lot of exercises and variations that you can use. But which ones are the best? In this article, we will discuss the 10 best inner chest exercises and workouts. We will prioritize muscle-building aspects of the exercises and how to perform them correctly. Lastly, we will focus on exercise common mistakes people make when doing inner chest exercises.


Before we dive in: check out our full-body training program to develop a strong body and aesthetic physique; you will benefit from one of our programs. We designed a program that gives you the tools to build muscle with an easy-to-follow routine that will fit any schedule. To find out more:


Chest Anatomy


Before we get into the inner chest exercises, let's first take a look at the anatomy of the chest. The chest is made up of two main muscles:

  • The pectoralis major: This muscle makes up the majority of the mass in your chest. It originates from the sternum and clavicle and inserts into the humerus. The pectoralis major is responsible for horizontal adduction of the arm (bringing your arm across your body)

  • The pectoralis minor: This muscle is a thin, triangular muscle that lies underneath the pectoralis major. It originates from the ribs and inserts into the coracoid process of the scapula. The pectoralis minor is responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint and depressing the scapula.

The inner chest is made up of the lower portion of the pectoralis major and the upper portion of the pectoralis minor. When you're training your inner chest, you want to focus on exercises that target these muscles.


How to Target Different Sections of the Chest?


Now that you know the anatomy of the chest, let's take a look at how to target different sections of the chest.


There are three main sections of the chest:


The upper chest: The upper chest is made up of the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. To target this muscle, you want to do exercises that involve horizontal adduction of the arm (bringing your arm across your body).


The middle chest: The middle chest is made up of the sternal head of the pectoralis major. To target this muscle, you want to do exercises that involve vertical adduction of the arm (bringing your arm down from overhead).


The lower chest: The lower chest is made up of the lower portion of the pectoralis major and the upper portion of the pectoralis minor. To target this muscle, you want to do exercises that involve horizontal adduction of the arm (bringing your arm across your body) and shoulder depression (pushing your shoulder down).

Now that you know how to target different sections of the chest, let's take a look at the inner chest exercises.


Inner Chest Exercises


The following exercises are the best for targeting the inner chest:


Exercise #1: Close Grip Bench Press


A cue to get more inner chest activation is to perform a closer grip bench press. This variation will target the inner head of the pectoralis major more than a traditional bench press.


How to Perform:

  • Lie down on a bench press with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart.

  • Grab the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart and wrap your thumbs around the bar.

  • Unrack the barbell and lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows 45 degrees to your sides.

  • When the barbell reaches your sternum, explosively drive it back up to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #2: Dumbbell Flye

The dumbbell flye is a great exercise for targeting the inner chest. This exercise involves horizontal adduction of the arm, which targets the lower portion of the pectoralis major.


How to Perform:

  • Lie down on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at arm's length above your chest.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until they are even with your chest.

  • Pause for a moment and then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #3: Incline Dumbbell Flye

The incline dumbbell flye is a variation of the dumbbell flye that targets the upper portion of the pectoralis major. This exercise is great for inner chest development.


How to Perform:

  • Lie down on an incline bench with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at arm's length above your chest.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until they are even with your chest.

  • Pause for a moment and then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #4: Diamond Push-Up

The diamond push-up creates a great inner chest contraction. This exercise is a great way to build inner chest strength and size.


How to Perform:

  • Start in a push-up position with your hands close together and form a diamond shape.

  • Lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground.

  • Pause for a moment and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #5: Cable Crossovers

Cable crossovers offer an excellent contraction of the inner pecs. This is needed for inner chest development.


How to Perform:

  • Attach a D-handle to each pulley of a cable crossover machine.

  • Grab the handles and stand in the middle of the machine with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, bring the handles together in front of your chest.

  • Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #6: Plate Pinch

A cue to keep in mind for inner chest development is to keep the plates close together throughout the entire range of motion.


How to Perform:

  • Grab two weight plates and hold them together with your fingers at your waist.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, bring the plates together in front of your chest.

  • Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Exercise #7: Dumbbell Pull-Over

The inner chest is worked effectively with the dumbbell pull-over. This exercise is a great way to stretch the inner chest and work the serratus anterior muscles.


How to Perform:

  • Lie down on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at arm's length above your chest.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until they are even with your chest.

  • Pause for a moment and then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Exercise #8: Pec Deck Flye

The pec deck flye is a necessary inner chest movement. To get the most out of this exercise, really focus on the stretch at the bottom and contraction at the top of the movement.


How to Perform:

Sit down at a pec deck machine and select the weight you want to use.

Place your elbows on the pads and grab the handles.

Keeping your palms facing each other, bring the handles together in front of your chest.

Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.

Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #9: Incline Dumbbell Press

The incline dumbbell press is effective at targeting the inner chest. A tip to keep in mind is to keep your elbows tucked to your side as you lower the weight. This will help ensure that you are targeting the inner pecs

How to Perform:

  • Lie down on an incline bench with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart.

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at arm's length above your chest.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until they are even with your chest.

  • Pause for a moment and then raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Exercise #10: Landmine Chest Press

A cue to activate your inner chest when performing the landmine chest press is to push your hands together as you press the weight up.


How to Perform:

  • Place one end of a barbell in a landmine and load it with weight.

  • Grab the other end of the barbell with both hands and hold it to your chest.

  • Keeping your palms facing each other, press the barbell up until your arms are straight.

  • Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.

  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.



Common Inner Chest Workout Mistakes


Not Activating the Inner Chest: A common mistake people make when performing inner chest exercises is not activating the inner pecs. This can be fixed by keeping your elbows tucked to your sides and pushing your hands together as you press the weight up.


Not Focusing on the Stretch: Another mistake people make is not focusing on the stretch at the bottom of the movement. This can be remedied by really focusing on the stretch and contraction of the inner pecs.


Using too much weight: Using too much weight is a common mistake people make when performing inner chest exercises. This can lead to using poor form and not getting the full range of motion.


Not Focusing on Mind-Muscle Connection: The inner chest is a small muscle group and can be difficult to target. It is important to focus on the mind-muscle connection when performing inner chest exercises. This can be done by really focusing on the contraction of the inner pecs.


Summary

In this article, we have described the best inner chest exercises and workouts. We have prioritized the muscle-building aspects of the exercise and how to perform the exercise. Lastly, we have focused on the common mistakes people make. We hope that this article has helped you in your quest to build inner chest muscle and strength.


For a complete routine, check out our full-body training program to develop a strong body and aesthetic physique; you will benefit from one of our programs. We designed a program that gives you the tools to build muscle with an easy-to-follow routine that will fit any schedule. To find out more:


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