The chest is a delicate part of the body that holds the major pectoral muscles starting from the collarbone stretching down to the sternum. The upper chest is however attached to the collarbone while the lower chest is attached to the latter.
It is impossible to target the inner chest the way the muscle is wired to the rib cage, but there are however some certain exercises for the entire chest but place more focus on the inner pectoral.
Aside the fact that the body tends to look more attractive, a well developed chest region tends to offer more strength and support to the rest of the muscles in the upper body. This therefore means that a well developed chest region will provide support to the shoulders as well as the arms thereby making vertical, lateral and rotational movements much more easier. Aside support, it also improves the body posture as well as provide strength for the back. For individuals who are into rugby, it aids your tackles and make them a lot more better.
Focus is usually centered on the inner chest through exercises that require the hands to come in front of the body, as if you are trying to press the palms of your hands together. You can also do this by placing your hands close together while performing inner chest exercises that may require a pressing motion.
Central focus is also placed on the inner chest muscles by squeezing or holding the weight at the apex of ‘fly’ motions.
A list of inner chest workout
1. Dumbbell chest fly
2. Cable crossover
3. Plate press
4. Cross body push-up with band
5. Dumbbell squeeze press
6. Dumbbell hex press
Dumbbell chest fly
The dumbbell chest fly is one major inner chest workout exercise. It is a unique type of exercise that focuses on the chest muscles or pectoral. The dumbbell fly exercise attempts to isolate the chest muscles thereby stretching and contracting them while limiting the involvement of the shoulders. The dumbbell chest fly keeps a relatively consistent elbow angle unlike the press where the elbows bend and flex. The dumbbell chest exercise are usually performed for moderate to high reps. For instance, 8 to 12 reps per set or even more since it is a chest or upper body centered workout.
Benefits of dumbbell chest fly workout
1. It helps to work the chest muscles better than presses
2. It is an effective chest training even with relatively light weight.
Step by step instructions for dumbbell chest fly
1. 2 set of dumbbells
2. Flat bench
1. Lie flat on your back on a flat bench then place your feet firmly on the floor on either side of the bench. Your head and back must remain firmly pressed on the bench throughout the exercise.
2. Ask a someone to hand you the 2 dumbbells or better still, gently pick them up from the floor and hold 1 in each hand.
3. Lift your arms up above your head so they are extended but not locked out. There should be a slight bend at your elbow. Your palms and dumbbells should be facing each other.
4. Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in an arc motion until they are in line with your chest. Your arms will be extended to your sides but not locked out. Make sure you don’t drop your arms lower than your shoulders.
5. Exhale and slowly press the dumbbells up in the same arc motion.
Perform 10 to 15 reps. Rest. Then do 3 sets total.
2. Cable crossover
The cable crossover is yet another inner chest workout. It is an isolation movement that uses a cable stack in order to build a stronger, firmer and bigger pectoral muscles. It is a type of exercise that is done by using adjustable pulleys there by making it possible to target various parts of the chest by positioning the pulleys at different levels. The cable crossover is very common in the upper body as well as the chest focused muscle building workouts. It is most times in combination with other flyes centred on targeting the chest from different angles.
Benefits of the cable crossover exercise
1. The cable crossover exercise unlike dumbbells, provides constant tension which includes peak contraction
2. It also has the aility to quickly switch weights for dropsets
3. It has the ability to customize cable height to target specific areas of the chest
4. It stretches the chest mucles under load, which tends to lead to greater muscle gain.
Step by step instructions for cable crossover exercise
Equipment needed: cable
1. Stand midway between two pulleys, holding one stirrup in each hand.
2. Place one of your foot in front of the other for stability.
3. Bend forward slightly at your hips and keep your back straight.
4. Extend your arms out to your sides and keep them slightly bent at your elbows. Make sure your palms arefacing forward.
5. Exhale as you slowly draw the stirrups together in an arcing motion until they are well positioned in front of your abdomen.
6. Hold for a count of 2 and squeeze your chest.
7. Inhale as you slowly return the stirrups to the starting position or until you feel a mild stretch in your chest region.
Make sure you repeat the exercise over and over or better still, for the recommended number of repetitions.
3. Plate press
The plate press is another inner chest workout. It is an exercise that targets the pectoral muscles. It is a unique movement that limits the involvement of secondary muscles that are most times recruited when performing other chest training exercises such as bench pressing, push-ups as well as dips.
Benefits of the plate press exercise
1. It isolates the pectoral muscles
2. There are only a few equipments needed
3. It trains the chest around injury
Step by step instructions for plate press exercise
Equipment needed: Weight plates
1. Stand with your feet slightly wider, your shoulder width apart and your knees bent slightly as well.
2. Pick up a weighted plate and hold it close to your chest with your elbows bent.
3. Carefully pussh the weight straight out and lock your elbows out as well.
4. Bring the weight back to your chest. This completes one repetition.
Repeat the exercise for as much as you want or better still,the recommended number of repetitions.
4. Cross body push-up with band
The cross body push-up is another inner chest workout. It is a regular pushup that works your upper body and core. By rotating your leg underneath you as you lower to the floor, it turns the move into a complete abs blaster. The cross-body pushup also lays emphasis on your abdominal muscles most especially your oblique in order to work together with your hips so as to rotate your body. It is however important to note that the cross body push up is not an easy task, this is because you have removed a base of support that is your leg from the balanced equation. So therefore, your abs have to work much more harder so as to maintain your stability from the beginning till the end.
The cross body push-up with bad gives you an attainable and measurable route for doing push-ups. Be sure to keep track of the hole number on the rack as well as the band strength you choose to use. Hence, once you have successfully reached a solid number, let’s say 15-20+reps, unbroken, use a much thinner band or go down a couple holes on the rack. Now you know you are progressing and moving on the right track.
You should however note that the banded push-up as a major exercise helps to support the belly as well as the hips where most people tend to break into a jeopardizing swayed back position. One still have to the exercise because the name serves as a little assistant to help you achieve your goal. Also, there is little or no chance that you put your shoulders into an incorrect position because form won’t deteriorate so easily.
Benefits of the cross body push-up with band
The upper body muscles that come into play in the push-up are the deltoids of the shoulders, the triceps and biceps of the upper arm, the pectoral muscles of the chest, as well as the erector spinae of the back. The abdominal muscles that are used to hold the body rigid during the push-up are the rectus abdominis and the transversus abdominis. As the cross body push-up involves multiple joints, it is a compound exercise.
1. The cross body push-up serve you well in areas where you need to push objects against objects or from doors to shopping carts.
2. By working the stabilizer muscles around the shoulders, it can help protect you from rotator cuff injuries. The cross body push-up can also serve as a measure of overall fitness which allows you to assess whether you need to do more to keep your body in good working condition.
Step by step instructions for cross body push-up exercise
1. Assume a standard push-up position as you lower yourself to the floor. Pick up one leg simultaneously and cross it beneath your body as you rotate your hips towards the floor.
2. Reverse the movement to the starting position and repeat on the other side
5. Dumbbell squeeze press
The dumbbell squeeze press is very similar to bench press but there’s a little difference which is: the dumbbells are kept in contact with each other at all times and you are squeezing then inwards against each other as hard as possible as this action will shift all the stress on to the pectorals.
Benefits of the dumbbell squeeze press exercise
1. It is very functional for building strength and hypertrophy in the chest, shoulders and triceps
2. The combination of the metabolic stress, constant tension as well as the high level of mechanical tension makes it very attractive for body builders, gym enthusiasts and strength athletes.
Step by step instructions for dumbbell squeeze press exercise
Equipment needed: Dumbbell
1. Take the dumbbells in your hands and lay down on a bench
2. Once you have done that, carefully place the dumbbells together side by side and lift them up over your chest
3. Lower the dumbbells down together touching each other and then push them back up.
6. Dumbbell hex press
The dumbbell hex press is yet another inner chest workout. It is one of those exercises that is often forgotten when it comes to training the chest muscles as a lot of people do not look further than flat bench and incline chest press or different angled fly movements when changing up their chest routines.
You might want to consider the dumbbell hex press exercise to give you a quick gain
Reasons why the dumbbell hex press exercise is good for you
First, the more the tension in the chest, the more the muscle growths
Second, it builds triceps which means bigger arms and increased bench press
Third, neutral grip equals easy shoulders.
Step by step instructions for the dumbbell hex press exercise
1. Set the bench to flat or if you want to target your upper chest more, set it to incline.
2. Start with two dumbbells pressed together using a neutral or hammer grip. Make sure your palms are facing inwards. Hexagon shaped dumbbells are the best if you have them since they are easier to press together, hence the name “hex press”.
3. Lie back on the bench with the dumbbells pressed together and your arms fully extended.
4. Lower the weights under control. Keep them firmly pressed together until they reach your chest.
5. Finally, press them straight back up towards the ceiling under control.
Be sure to keep the weights directly over your chest at all times. Repeat this exercise for desired amount of reps.
Other examples of inner chest workout may include:
1. Single arm chest fly
2. Narrow push-up
3. Low cable fly
4. Inner pec push-up et cetera.