Inner Chest Workout You Can Do At Home with Dumbbells

Dumbbell Chest Fly
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Getting ripped pecs is a major goal for anyone who takes working out seriously. There is some debate over whether you can target the inner chest separately while exercising or if your workout can only work on the entire chest area.

To begin with, the inner chest is composed of the sternal head, which makes up the bulk of the chest and starts from mid-shoulder down to the upper abs.  Additionally, the space between the top of the sternal head and the collarbone is occupied by the clavicular head of the pecs. This is known as the upper or inner pecs.

While most chest workouts put their focus on the upper chest, there are some specific exercises that target the inner chest, too. Moreover, you can perform chest exercises at different inclinations so that they work on different parts of your chest. 

Preparing for an Inner Chest Workout with Dumbbells

Choosing the right weights

Take care when picking which weights to use.  You may be tempted to start out by challenging yourself with more weight, but it’s better to start lighter, particularly if you haven’t done these exercises before.  It’s important to get in the habit of maintaining the correct posture for each exercise.  Once you find you’re able to do that easily, then is the time to start slowly increasing the weight.

Warm Up

As always, you’ll want to perform some quick warm-up exercises before moving on to lifting weights.  These can be as simple as running in place or doing jumping jacks, but they get your blood moving and prepare your muscles for more strenuous activity.

Cooling

Don’t plan to go straight from weightlifting to sitting down on your couch or in the car.  Take the time to stretch first, which will not only increase your overall flexibility but also prevent you from being overly sore later on.

Safety First

Your body will often send you signals if you are overdoing it, so be sure to listen to them.  Sharp or unrelenting pain is a sign that it’s time to stop.  If that pain doesn’t begin to recede, it may be time to consult a medical professional.

Best Exercises for an Inner Chest Workout

Dumbbell Fly

Dumbbell fly exercise

Dumbbell fly exercise

Most experts agree that the dumbbell fly is the best way to work on your inner pecs. While it can be done using cables and a machine, you can also use dumbbells to get the maximum results.

How You Do it

  1. Keep your back and head flat on a bench with your legs on either side.
  2. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor.
  3. In the starting position, you need to hold the dumbbells in both hands over the center of your chest.
  4. Palms should face each other and be parallel, with the weights almost touching.
  5. Raise the dumbbells while making an arc with your arms until they are resting above you, side by side. Your elbows should be only slightly bent.
  6. With a hugging, motion bring the dumbbells back together over your chest
  7. Breathe out while raising the weights and breathe in while returning to the starting position

Variations of Dumbbell Fly

  1. Put the bench on an incline instead of keeping it flat. The incline dumbbell fly is the exercise when it comes to working on your inner chest
  2. Twist your wrist slightly when you're arms are above your head. The dumbbells will form a V while you are holding them above, and this will give your inner pecs an even more intense workout

Bench Press

How You Do it

  1. Lie down on your back on a flat bench.
  2. Keep 2 dumbbells at chest level along with your body.
  3. Your palms should be facing your feet.
  4. Raise the weights above you until your arms are almost straight and your elbows are almost locked.
  5. Hold for a few seconds and lower them back.
  6. Breathe out while raising your dumbbells and breathe in while returning to the starting position.

Variations of Bench Press

  1. Keep your bench inclined instead of flat. This puts greater focus on the inner pecs.
  2. The neutral grip bench press is the same as a regular bench press except that your palms face each other instead of facing your feet.

Straight Arm Pullover

The pullover is an intense workout that does wonders for your inner chest. Bear in mind that the weights for this one should be lighter than usual as position and posture are key to getting this exercise right.

How You Do it

  1. Lie down on one end of the bench on your back.
  2. Hold one dumbbell with both hands above the chest with extended arms.
  3. Raise the dumbbell backward until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold it for a few seconds.
  4. Make sure the angle of your elbows is the same through the rep.
  5. Breathe out while raising your dumbbells and breathe in while returning to the starting position.

Variation- Bent Arm Pullover

This is same as a regular pullover except that the arms are not straight; rather, the elbows are bent at a ninety-degree angle. The movements are the same as a straight arm pullover.

Dumbbell Crossover Shrug

This exercise is a simple movement which activates the inner chest muscles effectively with a short rotation of the shoulders.

How You Do it

  1. Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold one dumbbell at your side with only a slight bend in your elbow.
  3. Simultaneously rotate your shoulder and wrist towards the inner pecs so that the dumbbell’s bar is horizontal over your thigh.
  4. Bring your shoulder up with a shrugging motion and bring your bicep across your pec until the dumbbell is in the middle of your body.
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Since this is a single dumbbell exercise, you need to repeat the exercise with the other side of your body as well.

While the jury is still out on whether it is possible to do exercises only for your inner chest, it’s a fact that these exercises definitely work on your inner pecs. Incorporate these exercises into your regular chest workout and you will start seeing a difference in a very short time.

About the Author

Personal trainer and Author from Needham, MA

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