Top 8 Inner Chest Exercises That Can Help Build A Strong Upper Body

It may be straightforward to target your overall chest muscles but it could be challenging to work the inner part. Fortunately, there are inner chest exercises that you can do to help you.

inner chest exercises - man exercising on a weight bench

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A broad chest is one of the most sought-after features for many lifters. But while it may be straightforward to target your overall chest muscles with compound exercises, it could be very challenging to work the inner portion of your chest muscles.

Thus many lifters have their inner chest muscles underdeveloped. That is because many chest exercises do not target those muscles

Fortunately, there are quite a few inner chest exercises that you can do to help you work that section of your chest.

Read on to find out more and what inner chest exercises can help you build well-developed chest muscles.

Best inner chest exercises for building a well-rounded chest

Here are some of the best inner chest exercises that can help you to achieve your chest-building goals.

Svend Press

The Svend press is one of the best inner chest exercises to include in your workout.

The exercise involves pressing one or two weight plates forward while squeezing your pecs.

Apart from isolating your pecs, the Svend press is shoulder-friendly and will not add much stress to your joints.

Steps to follow

  • Stand upright, holding one or two small weight plates of appropriate size.
  • Clasp the plates between your palms, elbows by your sides, and weight plates close to your chest with your fingers pointing outward.
  • Then, squeeze your pecs and press the weight plates straight forward. Ensure you focus and maintain tension throughout the movement. Slowly return the weight plates to your starting position. Ensure you do not relax the contraction in your chest
  • Repeat 8-12 reps per set and 3-5 sets to complete a session

Dumbbell Chest Fly

dumbbell chest fly - flat bench inner chest exercises

The dumbbell fly is one of the best inner chest exercises for isolating the pecs to help them grow stronger.

Many lifters use the dumbbell chest fly for its aesthetic benefits. You can also use it to prepare your body for the more challenging bench press exercises.

Include the inner chest exercises in your chest workouts.

You will need a dumbbell and an adjustable weight bench for the exercise.

Steps to follow to do the chest fly dumbbell chest exercises

Barbell Bench Press

bench press - inner chest exercises

The barbell bench press is one of the popular exercises for building the upper body. They are also some of the best inner chest exercises to include in your workout.

The bench press is also one of the best exercises for building strength and muscle size in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

You will need a weight bench and a barbell loaded with weights for the exercise.

Steps to follow

  • Lie flat on your back on the weight bench.
  • Using an overhand grip, grab the barbell, ensuring your grips are shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the barbell above your chest, ensuring you lock your elbows. That should be your starting position.
  • Inhale and lower the bar to your chest in a slow and controlled manner, ensuring you tuck your elbows in. Keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Keep lowering the bar until your upper arms are at 45 degrees with your body. Ensure the bar stays in line with your elbows and wrist and allow it to travel in a straight line.
  • Pause, exhale, and press the bar up to your starting position.
  • Repeat 8-12 reps for a set and 3-5 set to complete a session

Tip:

  • Do not lock your elbows. That will help maintain tension in your chest and triceps.
  • Ensure the bar touches your chest with every rep.

Diamond Push-Ups

diamond push ups bodyweight tricep exercises

Diamond push-ups are one of the best inner chest bodyweight exercises.

You don’t need any calisthenics equipment for the inner chest exercises. Thus you can do them whenever and wherever you want

Steps to follow

To do the exercises for inner chest at home

  • Get into the plank pose by supporting your body on your toes and palms. Ensure your body is rigid from your head to your heels.
  • Bring your thumbs and index figures together to form a diamond shape.
  • Squeeze your chest together and slowly lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows.
  • Keep descending to the floor until your chest touches the floor or until your upper arms are parallel.
  • Push your body up, extend your elbows and return to your starting position in a slow and controlled manner. Ensure your keep your body straight and rigid throughout the movement.
  • Repeat

Dumbbell Bench Press

dumbbell bench press - dumbbell chest exercises

The dumbbell bench press is one of the inner chest exercises that will benefit those who can’t take bench presses further for fear of shoulder and pec injuries.

They are some of the best inner chest exercises for those looking to maintain shoulder stability throughout press exercises.

You will need a dumbbell and an adjustable weight bench for the exercise.

Steps to follow

  • Lie flat on the weight bench, holding dumbbells close to your chest. Ensure you grasp the dumbbells with a neutral grip
  • Breathe in and slowly press the dumbbells toward the ceiling until your lock your elbows
  • Breathe out and slowly lower the dumbbells to your chest in a controlled manner.
  • Contract your chest, start breathing in and push the weights back to your starting position.
  • Repeat 8-12 reps for a set and 3-5 sets to complete a session

Squeeze Press

The squeeze press is a dumbbell press with a slight variation.

You do the exercise with the dumbbells pressed against each other while squeezing your pecs. Doing so will shift all the focus onto the pecs.

The squeeze press is one of the best inner chest exercises if done with the correct form.

Use hex dumbbells for the exercise, if possible, as they put less stress on the wrist.

You will need a dumbbell and an adjustable weight bench for the exercise.

The squeeze press is a dumbbell press with a slight variation.

You do the exercise with the dumbbells pressed against each other while squeezing your pecs. Doing so will shift all the focus onto the pecs.

The squeeze press is one of the best inner chest exercises if done with the correct form.

Use hex dumbbells for the exercise, if possible, as they put less stress on the wrist.

Steps to follow

  • Lay on the weight bench, holding the dumbbells close to your chest. Ensure you grasp the dumbbells with your palms facing in.
  • Breathe in, press the dumbbells against each other and press them upward toward the ceiling. Ensure you press the dumbbell as hard as you can against each other.
  • Lower the dumbbell to your chest as you breathe out. Ensure the dumbbells stay pressed together throughout the movement.
  • Press the weights up to return to your starting position
  • Repeat 8-12 reps for a set and 3-5 sets to complete a session

Seated Cable Chest Fly

The seated chest fly is an isolation exercise for your chest.

The seated position helps to stabilize your torso and focus on isolating your pecs as you feel them stretching and contracting.

Using cables for the exercise ensures you maintain tension throughout the movement while pushing your torso against the seat allows you to concentrate on the mind-muscle connection, making it possible to move more weight.

The seated flys are some of the best inner chest exercises to consider for your workout.

Steps to follow

  • Set the cable pulleys to seated chest height
  • Sit between the cable machines and grab the stirrups.
  • Bend your elbows slightly and rotate your shoulders internally to shift your elbows back
  • With your elbows pointing high, pull the stirrups and bring them together in a hugging motion. Ensure your elbows stay at the same height throughout the movement.
  • Return to your starting position
  • Repeat 10 reps per set and 3 sets to complete a session or 3 sets of 20, 15, and 10 reps

Cable Crossover

Cable crossovers are some of the best inner chest exercises for lifters who struggle with mind-muscle connection.

Using a cable machine for the exercise allows you to maintain continuous tension throughout the range of motion.

Cable crossovers allow you to squeeze your chest at the top of the movement, making it possible to isolate and target your pecs.

The position of the pulleys when doing the cable crossovers determines which part of your pec muscles the exercise targets.

Placing the pulleys at the highest point on the cable machine allows you to target your lower pecs. On the other hand, you target your upper pecs when you position the pulleys at the lowest point. You will target the fibers of the middle pec if you set the pulleys at shoulder height.

You will need a cable crossover machine for the exercise

Steps to follow

  • Adjust the cables to chest height on both cable machines
  • Grab the stirrups and take a step forward
  • Keep a slight bend in your elbows, your chest high, and your eyes looking straight ahead.
  • Rotating only at your shoulders, move your arms in a circular motion and pull the handles. Keep pulling until you bring the handles together at the front of your body. Ensure you squeeze your chest together as you do the movement
  • Slowly return the handles to your starting position.

Final words from LiveLIfe

Irrespective of your goals, working your chest muscles can give you a better quality of life.

Building a strong and well-toned chest requires you to include exercises that target all your chest muscles from different angles.

Inner chest muscles can help target those muscles that some compound exercises struggle to hit. Targeting those muscles can pave the way for you to build the chest of your dreams

Incorporate some of these in your workout and set yourself up for success.

Remember, however, that getting the best out of your chest exercises requires combining your inner chest exercises with proper nutrition.

Pre-workout foods can help your body perform well during your workout, while post-workout foods can help your body recover and rebuild after strenuous exercises. Choose these with care to help you achieve your goals.

  1. You-Sin Kim, Do-Yeon Kim, and Min-Seong Ha. 2016. Effect of the push-up exercise at different palmar width on muscle activities. PMCID: PMC4792988. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. National Library of Medicine

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