It’s hard to look impressive when your chest is your weakest body part. If you’re trying to build your chest, it may not be packing on mass the way you would like. For some people, the main and outer portions of the chest seem to gain muscle while those closer to the sternum (breastbone) lag behind. If you’re interested in building up the inside of your chest, here are some exercises that could help speed up that process.
Read more: Best Traps Workout: 8 Achievable Ways For Stronger Wings
Do Pushups, But Do Them In A Way To Target The Inner Chest
When you do regular push ups, your hands most likely are roughly even with your shoulders. Although this hand position gives you more stability and leverage, your shoulders will likely roll forward instead of staying open.
The best way to work your inner chest muscles while doing push ups is to make sure that your hands are close together. This can give you greater peak contraction in your inner chest. Pushups are a handy exercise you can do wherever you are, without having to go to the gym.
Building The Inner Chest With Cable Crossover Exercises
You can leverage one of the best machines in the gym for building the pectoral muscles, the cable crossover machine, to build the inner chest region. When you’re doing a standard cable crossover exercise, you might be standing between the weight pulleys. This means that the weight you are pulling is coming from the sides of you.
By doing the same exercise from a slightly different angle, you can hit your inner chest. Instead, stand forward of the weights and then pull the cables so that all of the resistance is coming from behind you. Doing the cable pulley exercises in this fashion will give your chest a full range of motion.
The resistance coming from behind you allows you to emphasize an arcing range of motion, which is important for giving your chest a good stretch. Make sure your shoulders move forward along with the arms, and that they’re back when you return to starting position.
Read more: 7 Best Biceps Workout: How To Achieve Massive Arms
Why Dumbbell Presses Are Better Than Bench Presses For Building The Inner Chest
Bench presses with free weights will build your chest, but they won’t allow a free enough range of motion to get a maximum contraction. The fixed bar that the bench press employs means you have no lateral resistance.
Additionally, too many people let their shoulders go forward on the downward portion of the bench press. This forces them have to heave the weight up, which can cause damage to the shoulders. Instead of bringing your shoulders forward, keep your chest open wide to move the stress from your shoulders to your chest.
The problem with doing a traditional bench press is that the body has to adapt to a straight bar. If you use dumbbells instead for your presses, you can manipulate the dumbbells to whatever range of motion you want. They are better than bench presses for working the inner chest, although you can’t use as much weight.
The bench press lets you use both sides of your body together, which gives you a great deal more strength and stability. The tradeoff of using dumbbells is that you’re in a more unstable position that forces you to use less weight. But best adjustable dumbbells give you the freedom to twist and turn them in any direction you want, allowing you to isolate your chest muscles at whatever angle you wish.
To isolate the inner chest muscles, lie down on your back and push both dumbbells above you in the lockout position similar to the bench press. As you let the dumbbells descend into the bottom starting position, twist your thumbs outward so that the dumbbells are parallel to each other as they reach the bottom starting point (into the fly position).
Keep rotating the dumbbells as you do reps, from the fly position to the standard bench press hand position in the lockout. Give a good squeeze at the top of the rep and feel that contraction in your inner chest.
Read more: How To Get Bigger Arms In Only 28 Days
Some Last Tips For Squeezing Out Big Inner Chest Gains
Whatever method you choose to work your inner chest, you need to pay attention to how you’re completing the exercise. To maximize anabolic gains for the inside of your chest, you’re going to need to emphasizing lateral resistance in your chest workout routine.
When you’re building your chest, you want to get that peak contraction at the top end of each repetition. This means that you have to squeeze hard at the end of each repetition on your chest exercises, much as you would when doing an isometric squeeze. That may seem like a lot of work, but attention to detail goes a long way when you’re trying to sculpt your physique.
It might take a lot of work, and maybe some studying, before you realize what exercises works best for your body. Education, awareness and proper form will likely yield the best results without injury.