How do I get a sculpted chest? As we head into the New Year, you might be asking yourself this question. Aesthetics aside, having a strong and defined chest is important to maintain good posture and prevent pain as we get older. But we don’t just want a sculpted chest.
The primary reason many of the more established fitness enthusiasts target their inner chest muscles is that they wish to define the separation of the pectoral muscles at the sternum. In this article, we shall break down the anatomy of the chest, talk about muscle isolation, and discuss various exercises that will help you build your inner pecs.
Anatomy of the Chest
There are four different muscles that make up the anatomy of the chest;
- Pectoralis major
- Pectoralis minor
- Serratus anterior
Let’s see what each of these chest muscles does.
- The pectoralis major
It is the largest and most superficial muscle of the chest. The pectoralis major is the big fan-shaped muscle that gives the chest its well-defined look. The main functions of this muscle are the adduction of the arm toward the middle of the body and the rotation of the arm medially.
- The pectoralis minor
This muscle lies just underneath the pectoralis major. And just as it sounds, the pectoralis minor is not nearly as large as the pectoralis major. It presents more of a triangular shape in the upper section of the chest. Its main job is the stabilization of the scapula or shoulder blade.
- The serratus anterior
It sits underneath both the pectoral muscles and the shoulder blades. Despite the serratus anterior being much lower and deeper than the pectoral muscles, it is essential in stabilizing both scapulars against the ribs during movement.
Additionally, the serratus anterior assists with breathing by lifting the ribs and allows the scapula to protract. An example of this is when a person throws a punch. Because of this, the serratus anterior has been dubbed ‘the boxer’s muscle.’
- The subclavius
The subclavius is a small triangular-shaped muscle in the upper section of the chest that is not talked about often in regard to fitness or muscle growth. It is located underneath the clavicle or collarbone and assists with stability when moving the arms and shoulders.
Can You Isolate the Chest Muscles?
Now that we have a good understanding of the chest muscles and where they’re located, let’s talk about muscle isolation. Can you isolate the inner chest muscles in order to achieve a certain look? The simple answer is no. You cannot completely isolate the inner chest muscles. They all work together synergistically because that is what they were designed to do.
An example of this would be during push-ups. When performing this movement, several muscles work together to complete the task. It is impossible to choose which muscles you want to activate as these activations are controlled in the subconscious. It is similar to how our hearts beat in our chests, and we don’t have to even think about it nor can we choose to simply stop it beating.
Generally speaking, the most effective exercises that give the best results are those that challenge all the chest muscles giving an overall defined and sculpted chest. However, it is possible to utilize certain exercises in your workout that heavily focus on the inner chest muscles.
5 Best Exercises to Build the Inner Chest Muscles
There are loads of exercises to choose from that focus on the different chest muscles, including variations of each of those movements. For a more in-depth look at inner chest workouts, check out this Source link.
We have narrowed down our choices of the top 5 best inner chest exercises:
- Dumbbell flyes
Not surprisingly, one of the most well-known exercises for targeting the inner chest muscles is the dumbbell fly. This is due in part to the simplicity of the movement itself. The dumbbell fly is considered a very basic exercise that almost anyone can do, as it can even be done at home using water bottles if you don’t have dumbbells.
How to perform the exercise:
- Choose the weights you would like to start with. The weight you choose should offer resistance but not be so heavy that you sacrifice proper form
- Once you have your weights, simply adjust your bench into a flat position and lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms straight out in front of you. Do not lock your elbows.
- In a controlled motion, slowly lower the weights toward the floor by opening your arms wide.
- Stop when your arms are almost parallel to the floor and wait a moment.
- Then bring them back up to the starting position with your elbows still slightly bent.
Dumbbell flyes should be done with 2-3 sets consisting of 12-15 reps or 2-4 sets with 8-12 reps as part of your workout routine.
- Cable crossover
The cable crossover is an extremely effective chest workout that will give you great definition in your chest muscles. This exercise is most effective when performed on the proper equipment available at most gyms.
How to perform the exercise:
- Adjust the handles of the pullies to the highest possible setting
- Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart in the middle of the equipment, bend forward slightly while keeping your spine straight and in a neutral position.
- Slightly bend your elbows with your wrists pointed down
- Engage your core and pull both handles across your body slightly out in front of you
- When they meet at the front of your body, squeeze your chest muscles and slowly bring them back to the starting position in a controlled motion while keeping your elbows bent the whole time
For inner chest muscle growth, you should do this exercise with 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
- Plate press
The plate press is another simple yet effective exercise that can help you build your inner pecs. For this exercise, you will need a weight plate.
How to perform the exercise:
- Adjust your bench to a flat position
- With your weight plate in hand, grip either side of the plate and position it over your chest
- Extend your elbows pushing the plate up toward the sky
- Lower the plate back towards your chest, but do not let it fully rest on your chest
Do the plate press in 3 sets consisting of 12-15 reps as part of your workout routine.
- Hex press
This exercise is similar to a dumbbell press. The difference with the hex press is that instead of pressing the dumbbells over your chest with separation, you would instead press the dumbbells together as you push them up so that they form a hexagonal shape.
To build inner chest muscle, this exercise should be performed with 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps as part of your workout routine, just as you would the dumbbell press.
- Diamond push-up
Last, but certainly not least, is the diamond push-up. This exercise has been around for a very long time, and it is still one of the best exercises to sculpt the inner chest muscles.
How to perform this exercise:
- Get down on all fours just as you would a traditional push-up, but place your hands under your chest and touch your fingers and thumbs together in a diamond position
- Holding yourself with your arms straight out in front of you, lower your chest toward your hands but keep your elbows in tight and your back flat
- Push back up to the starting position before your chest touches the floor
The diamond push-up is an advanced exercise, so if you are unable to achieve this movement fully, you may need to work up to it by first mastering the traditional push-up.
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All in all, building well-defined chest muscles is pretty straightforward. But don’t expect to see results overnight. You will need to stay committed to this goal, try out the many different exercises that focus on the inner chest muscles, and trust the process. However, it is important to note that you cannot completely isolate any specific chest muscle as they are designed to work together. Include the above exercises in your workout routine to build your inner pecs and finally get that sculpted chest you want!
This is a contributed post.
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