How Can I Build Up My Inner Chest Muscles?

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question-icon-newHow can I build up the middle and inner part of my chest muscles? My upper body looks pretty good but I really want to work on that area in the middle of my chest. Is this possible?

answer-icon-newThe chest, also known as the pectoralis muscle, is very prominent in the upper abdominal area, which is why a well-defined chest is associated with a wonderful physique. The regular exercises and fitness routines targeting the chest work mostly the external, superficial layers of the chest muscles. Traditional, well-known exercises, such as push-ups, dips and the barbell bench press, work mostly the outer layers of the pectoralis and the triceps. Many athletes and individuals who are enthusiastic about a great looking physique focus on fully developing their chest muscles.

The answer is simple, yet it requires some explanation. Yes, you can focus on this inner area but it takes a little bit more work to achieve this goal. The general purpose of the chest muscles is to bring the arm closer to the trunk through an efficient contraction. However, the arm can move towards the body at various angles, and so various fibers of the pectoralis muscles are activated. The most developed fibers are the external ones because it is fairly easy to target them with conventional exercises such as push-ups or the bench press. Nonetheless, attempting to develop the deeper, inner layers of the chest muscle will result in more “fullness” and functionality, which will translate into an enhanced overall chest appearance. It takes, however, some correction in the way you perform your typical chest exercises and some new exercises as well.

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How Can I Build Up My Inner Chest Muscles?
Although most people associate the barbell bench press with chest development, it may not be the best exercise to target your inner chest. Even if you lift enormous weights on the barbell, you still may never stimulate the deeper and the middle layers of the pectoralis. The bench press, just like push-ups, are great for targeting the triceps, which is the muscle that extends the arms. Although the external layers do participate in the movements, the fibers of the chest muscle that are located closer to the sternum bone, or the middle separation line of the chest, are not effectively engaged. To target these muscles, one must stretch the arms further away in the initial stages of the movement and then bring them closely together, which is known as “squeezing” the chest. You are not able to accomplish this complex movement during push-ups or the barbell bench press, so you need to become good friends with the dumbbells.

Exercises To Hit The Deeper Inner Layers of the Pecs
Performing chest flies with dumbbells allows you to bring your arms very close together and “squeeze” the chest muscle, which results in the activation of the inner fibers. You can also simulate this movement on a chest fly machine in your gym, but be sure to bring the arms in close contact, otherwise you will not target the middle and deeper portion of your chest. It’s also important to pause for a moment when you “squeeze” your chest in this manner to fully engage these fibers before you return to the initial arm position.

Another way to build your inner chest is swimming. In fact, swimming is probably the best way to develop all the layers in your chest muscles due to the incredible range of motion and several swimming styles available for you to try. The classical activation of the inner chest occurs during the front crawl swimming technique, when you are able to extent your arms and “catch” the water and then push the water through a forceful contraction of the pectoralis, which results in the activation of all chest fibers due to the complete range of motion exhibited by the arms.

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