10 Best Inner Chest Workouts You Can Do At Home

Inner Chest Workouts

Not everyone likes working out in a gym or paying a membership fee every month. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry, you can still get great inner chest workouts at home without any equipment or with minimal equipment. 

You can work out your inner chest with push-ups, but you can only do a few variations of push-ups. However, there are also variations of dumbbell exercises that would help you build your inner chest.

Stick around because I will present 10 inner chest exercises that you can do at the comforts of your home.

1. Dumbbell Pullover

Many people would argue that this exercise works the back or that it hurts the shoulders. While the first argument is somewhat valid, dumbbell pullovers do work back and chest, the second argument isn’t true.

The problem isn’t the pullover but rather the lack of flexibility. The pullover won’t feel comfortable if you don’t have full mobility in your upper back and delts. 

This exercise targets pectorals, latissimus dorsi, and serratus. While most chest exercises involve pressing weights or performing a flye motion, a dumbbell pullover does it differently. It will work the chest in a top-to-bottom contraction.

To do this exercise:

  • You will lie on a bench with your upper back, keeping your head and neck supported and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Take a dumbbell and hold it with your arms extended above your face.
  • Keep your elbows slightly bent, and slowly lower the dumbbell backward, letting your elbows come to a point at which they align with your ears.
  • Once you’ve stretched as far as you can without bending your elbows, flex through your chest and lats to reverse direction to bring the dumbbell back overhead.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell bench press offers you a full range of motion and a direct line of resistance for the pecs. It’s also a good exercise because it doesn’t let a weaker pec compensate for a stronger one during the push phase. It will also allow you to vary your hand positions. 

To start this exercise:

  • Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand just outside your shoulders.
  • Press the dumbbells upward toward the ceiling.
  • Stop when they come to an inch or so away from each other above your upper-middle chest.
  • Slowly bend your elbows to lower the weights back down to a point even with your torso.

3. Incline Dumbbell Flye

This exercise is excellent for targeting your upper pecs. It involves a concerted effort between pecs, delts, and triceps. The flye will isolate the pecs by bringing your arms forward to the front of your body, which forces them to handle the load without any help.

This motion will directly engage the intended muscles, and since you are performing it on an incline, you’re pinpointing the all-important upper-chest region even more.

To do incline dumbbell flye:

  1. Lie on a bench set to a 30- to a 45-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Take the dumbbells and hold one in each hand with a neutral grip.
  3. Extend your arms above your chest while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
  4. Lower the dumbbells slowly in a wide arc down to your sides.
  5. Stop once your elbows reach shoulder level and reverse the motion.

4. Squeeze Press

This exercise is excellent for targeting your inner chest because it includes both pressing and squeezing. If you have some shoulder troubles, this is a better option for you than to do fly presses.

That is because squeeze press doesn’t require any extra mobility in your shoulder joints. This exercise also works your triceps.

To do this exercise:

  1. Lie down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Keep the dumbbells together above the center of your chest and squeeze them together hard.
  3. Press them up – you will need to drive your traps into the bench, squeeze your glutes.
  4. Make sure your feet are properly anchored on the floor.
  5. Let the dumbbells go back to your chest and repeat.

5. 45-degree Dumbbell Floor Press

A 45-degree dumbbell floor press will help you target your lower chest. This exercise works similarly to the crush press because it works the pecs when they are in a shortened position.

The range of motion is smaller, which means that your shoulders won’t get stretched as much, making this exercise perfect for people with shoulder pain.

To do this exercise:

  1. Lie on your back and hold a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length over your chest.
  2. You can choose to lie back from a sitting position while holding the dumbbells or have a partner hand them to you.
  3. Rotate your wrists so that the thumb sides of your hands are closer together than the pinky sides.
  4. Start by slowly lowering the dumbbells while keeping your elbows close to your sides until your triceps lightly contact the floor.
  5. Then, press the weights back to your starting position.

6. Wide Grip Push-up

Once you’ve mastered the regular push-up, you can do a wide push-up to target your chest muscles better. This exercise also targets your shoulders and upper arms. Make sure your hips don’t sag down or point upward when doing wide grip push-ups.

It is also essential to engage your core and glutes when you do this exercise. 

To do this exercise:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands wider than your shoulders.
  2. Face your fingers forward or slightly to the outside. Make sure your shoulders, spine, and hips are in a straight line.
  3. You can look at a spot on the floor in front of you to keep your neck neutral.
  4. Bend your elbows slowly out to the side as you lower your body toward the floor. 
  5. Once your chest is just below your elbows, pause.
  6. Press into your hands to lift your body back to the starting position while engaging your core.

7. Inner Pec Push-up

This exercise is also a variation of a standard push-up. 

To do this exercise:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands in a position that is narrower than your shoulder length.
  2. You will then contract your pecs together and hold that squeeze.
  3. Lower down to the floor while flexing the inner pecs.
  4. Return to the starting position with a forceful contraction.

8. Diamond Push-up

If you find regular push-ups too easy, you can make them much harder by doing diamond push-ups. 

  1. To start this exercise, get on all fours with your hands together under your chest.
  2. Your index fingers and thumbs should be touching, forming a diamond shape.
  3. Then, extend your arms to elevate your body and create a straight line from your head to your feet.
  4. Lower your chest back toward your hands
  5. Make sure you don’t flare your elbows out to the sides and keeping your back flat. 
  6. You should stop just before your chest touches the ground. Push back up to your starting position.

If you find it hard to diamond push-ups, you can start with your knees on the floor until you are strong enough to do them usually. If this exercise is too easy for you, you can try to do it with your feet elevated.

You can put your feet on a chair or a bed. The higher your feet are, the more complex the exercise will be.  

9. Plyo Push-Ups

This push-up is a type of plyometric exercise. The plyo push-up is a high-intensity push-up that helps you burn calories and get your heart rate up, and it targets your chest, core, triceps, and shoulders. 

To do this exercise:

  1. Start in a high plank.
  2. Keep your torso in a straight line, engage your core, and keep your palms directly under your shoulders.
  3. Lower your body like you’re going to do a push-up until your chest is almost touching the floor.
  4. Push back up with enough force for your hands to leave the ground.

To make this more difficult, you can clap your hands together. Once you land, move on to the next rep immediately. 

If you find this push-up too hard, you can do them on your knees. Put a mat under your knees, so you don’t hurt them. 

Start in a plank position on your knees, kneeling forward slightly to get in a high plank position. Keep your palms under your shoulders. Then, bend your arms to lower yourself into a push-up.

Push back up right away, and do it explosively, taking your hands off the floor. Land softly to your starting point, and immediately move on to the next rep. 

In case you find this exercise too easy, you can make it more challenging by adding an extra clap once you can easily do one clap, or you can elevate your feet to create a decline plyo push-up. If you find this too easy, you can try clapping behind your body instead. 

10. Incline push-up

If you’re only started working out, and you find regular push-ups too hard, you can try doing incline push-ups. 

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by facing the bench, table, or the edge of a bed that is 3 feet high.
  2. Place your hands on the edge of your surface, just slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  3. Make sure your arms are straight, but elbows are not locked.
  4. Align your feet so that your arms and body are entirely straight.
  5. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest to the edge of the surface while breathing in.
  6. Make sure you keep your body straight the whole time.
  7. Push yourself away from the surface until your elbows are extended but not locked.
  8. Breathe out as you push up.

If you find it too hard to do push-ups on a 3-feet high surface, you can use a wall instead to create an incline.

To do this:

  1. Stand facing the wall with your feet a few feet from the wall.
  2. Slightly lean in and put your hands on the wall, just wider than shoulder-width.
  3. Bend your elbows slowly, and move in as close to the wall as possible.
  4. Slowly push off the wall until your elbows are straight but not locked. 

Once you can do more than 20 incline push-ups, you can try to reduce the height of the bench, table, or the edge of the bed to make it harder. You can also start doing standard floor push-ups or try doing incline push-ups on stability balls. 

Final Words

There you have it.

You can still develop your inner chest even without going to the gym. It is only a matter of picking the exercise that you love doing from the list I presented above.

Whichever of the above exercises you will do, make sure you always warm-up before doing any exercises. A proper warm-up will increase your flexibility, which will make it easier for you to move and exercise correctly. It will also lower your risk of injury because it will help your muscles relax. 

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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