Previous Article:
3 Muscle Building Mistakes I Wish I Knew Before I Started Training!
Next Article:
How To: Barbell Bicep Curl

Inner Chest Muscle Growth Fix!

One Exercise - More Results

Posted by Scott_Herman - December 13th, 2017

Today I’m going to be talking to you about how to build a bigger chest, by taking what you’re already doing and showing you how to make it better. Now it is imperative that you really pay attention to what I’m about to explain to you, because this is going to lead into the exercise that I want you to do in order to get more chest activation.

The chest has two primary functions, which I have already talked about in my How To: Dumbbell Bench Press video. The two primary functions are to press forward and to adduct the humerus (which is to bring your arms towards the centre of your body), which is why when you put your hands together out in front of you, you get a lot of chest activation. It should be quite obvious what the difference is between using a barbell and dumbbells when it comes to these two functions, but I’ll explain it really quickly.

What Is The Problem With Using Dumbbells To Target My Inner Chest?

When you barbell bench press, your hands are locked into position, and even if you bring the bar all the way down and all the way up, you’re still only maximizing one primary function of the chest, which is just pushing the weight away from your body.

You’re not able to adduct your arms this way, but if you were to grab dumbbells, you can do both, you can go down a bit further which gives you more of a stretch on your chest, which is going to help with a bit more muscle growth and muscle activation. Then, when you get to the top of the movement, instead of being stuck in one position, you can adduct your arms in and really flex and squeeze your chest for more muscle activation.

However, there is a problem here as well. Although you can adduct your arms, as soon as the dumbbells touch each other, you can’t adduct any more, and it’s quite a bit of space left between your hands, even using light weight like 20lb dumbbells.

When you start using 60lb, 70lb, 80lb, 90lb or 100lb dumbbells, that space is going to get bigger and bigger because the dumbbells will touch sooner. So while you’re still able to get some adduction, you’re kind of limited depending on how heavy you are going. Some of you might say you can just take one dumbbell and then balance yourself as you go all the way down and all the way up, and then go across your body for full adduction.

You’re right, you can do this, HOWEVER, when you start to get really heavy with the weight, it’s not the most stable exercise to do. It’s very easy to lose your balance and either fall off the bench, or you try to press the weight across your body and your arm goes too far and falls. There is some danger to the exercise, and though I’m sure many of you with proper control will be able to do this, you have to think ‘Is the risk worth the reward?’ In my opinion, it’s not. But, there is something you can do which will make this a lot easier and allow you to target and isolate your inner chest if you’re lacking some growth.

Bent-Over-Single-Arm Chest Press

In order to do this exercise, you’re going to need a cable machine, and all you have to do is put the cable as high as you can (I like to put it at about the same height as the top of my head), and from there you can take the handle, get over into the chest press position, and you can press down AND cross your body. There’s a lot of added benefit with those few extra inches where you’re able to cross your chest all the way.

Try standing up right now, and press your arm forward so that your arm is almost in the middle of your body, then take it 2-3 more inches across. You should instantly feel a lot more chest activation in just those couple of inches. You can take advantage of that with the bent-over cable press, by not only utilizing this range of motion, but because you can also easily balance yourself, you can really stack this up with more weight, and not be in any danger of falling over or the weight going across your body when lying down. If anything, when you start to get stuck, you can just let the weight come up and there is going to be zero risk of you injuring your shoulder.

If you want to take advantage of the exercise, you can take both hands to hold the cable in place and then once you’re ready to go, press down, go across your body, and control the negative by going all the way up and back as far as you can, and repeat for reps. Some of you who are really strong might be thinking the cable machine isn’t enough weight for you, but there’s a solution to that too. All you have to do, really, is just grab another pin, and you can either take weights and put them on top of the stack if your gym has them, or you can pin a plate to the stack. This will work with a 10lb, 25lb, 35lb or a 45lb plate. There’s really no excuse, and I don’t think the majority of you are going to be pinning 35lb and 45lb plates to the entire stack, but the option is there if you need it.

Could I Use The Cheat & Recover Method With This Exercise?

You can apply this exercise two different ways. For those of you who are having a really hard time with chest activation, I would recommend starting off with this exercise first. I would also recommend even applying my Cheat & Recover technique to this movement to really ensure you’re breaking down as much of that chest as possible for regrowth. What’s also really cool about this is – if you were to apply my Cheat & Recover technique to dumbbells, you would have to have a spotter to help you. There’s no way you’d be able to skip the concentric phase of the movement unless your spotter was there to bring the weights up. With this exercise though, you have the option of using both hands and throwing the weight down, then focusing on that slow negative before resetting for all 8 of the cheat reps. If this doesn’t activate your chest, nothing will.

As soon as you’re finished you 8 cheat reps, it’s very easy to remove the pinned weight (or if you’re not using a pinned weight, just adjust the stack to a lower weight. Then you can focus on the recover reps, going all the way across and all the way back, using proper form on the concentric and eccentric phase of the motion. So this option is for those of you who are having a hard time with muscle engagement and struggling to see that chest growth. Do this as your first exercise utilizing Cheat & Recover.

For those of you who ARE seeing chest growth, but you’re looking for an exercise to REALLY finish off the chest at the end of your workout, that’s another great place for this movement as well. Let’s say you blasted dumbbell press, incline press, some heavy flys, maybe the pec deck, and you just want one more thing to really finish things off, come over to this movement. Alternate left arm and right arm about 10-15 reps per side, 3-4 sets, and then you’re good to go!


Remember, when it comes to BUILDING MUSCLE, it’s all about maximizing muscle engagement and muscle breakdown. The best way to achieve that is by taking a muscle through its full range of motion, which is why an exercise like the bent-over-single-arm chest press is going to help you add some extra mass to that troublesome inner portion!

Related Videos:

3 Chest Exercises For Skinny Guys / HARDGAINERS!

How To REALLY Build A Big Chest Naturally | Advice That Works Because I'm Not A FAKE NATTY SCUMBAG

Share this article on:
Running Versus Hiking

Weight loss is one of the most fundamental goals of exercise. Even for people who wish to bulk up, weight loss is an essential...