Best Inner Chest Workout
If you’ve been training for a while, you’ve probably noticed how your workouts have affected your body and that your muscles have started to get bigger and stronger. Initially, at least, muscle strength and size increases are very gratifying; your hard work is paying off!
But, as you start to move beyond beginner status, you may be less happy with the shape of your muscles, especially if you compare your appearance to competitive bodybuilders.
Unfortunately, muscle shape is primarily dictated by genetics. Things like tendon and muscle belly length and attachment sites are unmodifiable. That said, you can use exercises and training methods to emphasize individual muscles and regions to create a more pleasing shape.
In this article, we unleash our best inner chest workout to help you sculpt deeper, better-separated pecs.
Your chest is made up of two main muscles. Knowing a little about the form and function of these muscles could help you get better results from your training.
Pectoralis major – known as your pecs for short, this is the largest chest muscle. Its main functions are horizontal flexion, adduction, and medial rotation of your shoulder joint. While the pecs are a single muscle, they are made up of several groups of fibers, often referred to as heads.
The inner pecs describe where the sternal head of the pecs attaches to your sternum – the origin point. While it is impossible to isolate the inner pecs, there are exercises that may emphasize this area. Typically, they’re movements that involve horizontal flexion, such as cable crossovers and flyes, and exercises done using a narrow grip.
Pectoralis minor – pec minor is a thin, flat muscle that lies underneath the pec major. It assists your pec major during most chest exercises and prevents your shoulders from lifting as you move them. Pec minor does not contribute much to chest size, but it’s still an important muscle.
As previously stated, it’s impossible to isolate your inner chest. Still, you can emphasize it, which may help increase middle chest depth and separation. General chest size and getting leaner will also make the space between your left and right pecs more prominent.
Do this workout once a week for the next month or two to bring up your inner chest. You can do it instead of your usual pec workout or as well as if you like to train your chest twice a week. If you train your chest twice, do so on non-consecutive days, i.e., Monday and Thursday, to allow plenty of time for rest and recovery.
Before you start this or any other workout, prepare your body by warming up properly. Do 5-10 minutes of light cardio followed by dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for your chest, shoulders, and lats. Finish off your warm-up with 50-100 reps of band pull-aparts to fully activate your upper back.
Exercises 3a and 3b are to be done as a superset. Do exercise 3a and then, without resting, immediately do exercise 3b. Rest for the prescribed time and then repeat the pairing twice more to make three supersets.
AMRAP is short for As Many Reps as Possible. Just rep out until failure.
Get the most from this workout while keeping your risk of injury to a minimum by doing each exercise with the correct technique. If any of the exercises are new to you, use a light weight until you are confident you have mastered them.
This highly unusual exercise really engages your pecs while emphasizing your inner chest. You’ll also feel it in your abs.
This exercise combines two separate movements to really hammer your pecs – dumbbell flyes and close grip dumbbell bench presses.
Cable crossovers are a common but effective inner chest exercise. Really focus on squeezing your arms together at the mid-point of each rep to get the most from cable crossovers.
All push-up variations work your chest, but bringing your hands closer together and doing diamond push-ups increases inner pec activation. This hand position also works your triceps harder than wider push-ups.
While you have probably used a Smith machine for bench presses before, you’ve probably never done it like this! Push your inner pecs to the limit in safety using the narrow grip Smith machine bench press.
While we don’t know who Svend is or was, this exercise is an excellent way to finish off your inner pecs. Rather than doing several sets of Sven presses, your goal is to do 100 reps in as few sets as possible. So, rep out to failure, take a few deep breaths, and then go again. Continue until you’ve done all 100 reps and have a wicked chest pump!
Related: Svend Press Exercise Guide and Videos
Depending on your genetics, working more on your inner chest could add a lot to the appearance of your upper body. Deep, separated pecs are very appealing, and if you are lean enough, that could be the difference between having a big chest and picture-perfect pecs.
Remember, though, that muscle shape is primarily determined by genetics, and some people naturally have better pec separation than others. Some lucky lifters may never need to train for increased inner pec development.
But, before you start blaming your genes for your flat mono-chest, try this workout to see just what you are capable of. After all, you won’t know unless you try!
Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine, gym owner, and fitness qualifications tutor and assessor. In addition, Patrick is a freelance writer who has authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos. He’s not just an armchair fitness expert; Patrick practices what he preaches! He has competed at a high level in numerous sports, including rugby, triathlon, rock climbing, trampolining, powerlifting, and, most recently, stand up paddleboarding. When not lecturing, training, researching, or writing, Patrick is busy enjoying the sunny climate of Cyprus, where he has lived for the last 20-years.
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© Copyright 2010 – 2021 Fitnes Volt IBC. All Rights Reserved.
This article was written by one of our qualified writers, and fact-checked by our experts. The numbers in parentheses (e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.) throughout the article, are reference links to peer-reviewed studies.
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