Inner Chest Exercises


Are you interested in building up the inner portion of your chest for a stronger and more aesthetic upper body?

If so, there are several exercises you should consider adding to your workout plan.

Without further ado, let’s review five of the best inner chest exercises, along with some tips on how to do them better for good results and safety.

Table of Contents

Main Takeaways

  • These inner chest exercises will help you build lean muscle.

  • Chest flyes are a great exercise to work the inner chest.

Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Chest (Pecs)

Secondary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Anterior Deltoids (Front Shoulder Muscle)

The 5 Best Inner Chest Exercises

1. High to Low Cable Chest Fly

The high-to-low cable chest fly is one of the best inner chest exercises to isolate the pectoralis major and work on building the inner portion of the muscle.

Additionally, thanks to the angle of attack, you get to emphasize the lower chest, which may not always receive an adequate stimulus during a typical chest or ‘push’ workout.

How to:

  1. Set the cable pulleys on a double cable machine in a high position, attach handles, and select the appropriate load.
  2. Grab one handle, then walk over to the opposite side and grab the other handle.
  3. Stand in the middle and take a step forward, staggering your stance. Have your arms to your sides with the elbows bent slightly.
  4. Bring your chest out, inhale, and move your arms in, meeting the handles in the middle.
  5. Pause briefly and slowly extend your arms to your sides as you exhale.

Cable Crossover Chest Workout

2. Low to High Cable Chest Fly

The low-to-high cable fly is essentially the same movement as the one from above, so many of the how-to instructions will apply.

One difference is that training the chest from this angle allows you to focus on the upper portion of your chest.

How to:

  1. Set the cable pulleys in the same way as for the high-to-low fly but in the lowest position.
  2. Grab both handles, stand in the middle, and set your arms to your sides.
  3. Inhale and bring your arms in and up.
  4. Squeeze your chest as you hold the contraction and slowly move your arms to your sides, exhaling.

Low-to-High Cable Fly

3. Deficit Push Up

The deficit push-up is a more advanced movement that allows you to stretch the chest muscles more at the bottom position and target the inner portion. (1)

How to:

  1. Place a pair of push-up handles, weight plates (preferably bumper, as they are thicker), dumbbells, or blocks on the ground, slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Get down on your knees and place your hands flat on the pair of objects.
  3. Extend your body into a push-up position and point your fingers forward to prevent your elbows from flaring.
  4. Bring your chest out, engage your abs, and inhale.
  5. Slowly lower yourself as much as possible––ideally, until your chest almost touches the ground.
  6. Pause briefly and push yourself back to the top as you exhale.

Deficit Push up

4. Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is an old-school exercise that can offer significant inner chest gains when performed correctly.

How to:

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on a flat bench.
  2. Lift the weights and place them on top of your thighs.
  3. Tense your upper body and lie back as you extend your arms to position the weights over your chest with your wrists neutral (hands facing one another).
  4. Retract your shoulder blades and take a deep breath.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells to your sides and pause as you feel a stretch in your chest.
  6. Bring the weights in and squeeze your chest as you exhale.

Dumbbell Chest Flyes

5. Single-Arm Cable Chest Press

The single-arm cable press is a less popular but highly effective movement for building mass and training one side at a time to reduce the risk of muscle imbalances. It is among the best inner chest exercises. (2)

How to:

  1. While sitting on a bench, set the cable pulley in line with your chest, attach a handle, and select the appropriate load.
  2. Grab the handle, turn away from the pulley, and take a couple of steps forward.
  3. With the handle in one hand, tuck your elbow to your side, stagger your stance for stability, bring your chest out, squeeze your abs, and inhale.
  4. Press the cable forward and in, squeezing your chest as you extend your arm.
  5. Slowly bend your arm and bring your elbow to the starting position as you exhale.
  6. Once finished training one side, grab the handle with the other hand and do the same number of reps.

One Arm Cable Press

Additional Chest Workouts & Exercises

Want to start working on these inner chest exercises but don’t know how to prep your chest properly? A good chest stretch can help you with that. Also check out chest isolation exercises to help you build your whole chest.

Looking to increase your strength while also gaining muscle? Compound chest exercises will help you achieve that. Is a specific portion of your chest lacking in size and strength? Check our lower chest and upper chest exercises to learn more. Too many chest exercise variations and don’t know what to add to your program? We have the best exercises for you!

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Click for more tips on building lean muscle.

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Philip Stefanov

Philip is a fitness writer, blogger, certified personal trainer, and the founder of He trained at BioFit College, and has spent the last nine years writing fitness content and training men and women in the gym, as well as online. His passion is fitness and exercise, and helping others improve their fitness and wellness.

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  1. How to do the deficit pushup for bodyweight chest workouts – men’s health. (n.d.).
  2. Frothingham, S. (2020, February 27). Muscle imbalance: Causes, treatment, and prevention. Healthline.

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