Your “Inner Chest” Is a Real Thing And This Is Why It Sucks

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Inner Chest Development

Zoom in on my titties.

Simply put: if you’re not doing unilateral chest work, you don’t have the right to complain about your shitty chest development. Especially for your inner chest.

Most people develop unevenly, and the weakest areas tend to be the origin point at the sternum, and the clavicular overall. 

In bro-speak, I mean your inner chest and your upper-inner chest. 

Imma Tell You How To Fix That.

Now: before we go any further, there’s gonna be some exercise science major or performance specialist chiming in and waving their arms and telling you that muscles contract as a whole and you can’t target specific areas.

The first piece of advice for how to fix your chest imbalance is to ignore that person. Fuck that guy, seriously.

Dude probably has a lame physique, and has never helped anyone achieved an impressive and well-balanced one.

Now, some douche like that may come in and call me a BroScientist and argue with me. But he can’t argue with guys like Bret Contreras who is definitely a Bro, but also an ACTUAL SCIENTIST who has researched this shit.

And the research has borne out that you can indeed target specific areas with specific exercise variations.

All right, cool. Moving on.

So, one of the problems with chest development is exercise selection. And here’s where unilateral exercises come in.

Keep in mind, one of the primary functions of the pec is to adduct the humerus, or pull the arm medially across the body. Not just TO the midline of the body, but ACROSS it.

In a bilateral exercise, the range of motion of each arm is limited by the other arm: your arms meet in the middle. 

This creates a massive limitation for chest development because the muscle fibers closest to the sternum more easily achieve peak contraction and overload once you cross the midline. 

Performing the exercise one arm at a time allows you to do just that. Note that this mostly applies to exercises performed on machines or with cables—most free weight exercises lose resistance at the end range. So, to that…

Here Are Three Incredible Unilateral Chest Exercises TO Get That Inner Chest Firing And Built Out.

Note: slight incline works magic for the upper chest.

1. Single Arm Floor Press

– Go heavy with this one (4-6 sets, 5-8 reps). 
– No need to travel past the midline, but in doing this unilaterally with some tactile stimulation drastically increases recruitment of the clavicular head of the pec. In a previous article, I talked about the benefits of touching yourself (heh) while working on a certain muscle group. This is only possible in unilateral exercises.

2. Full Range Single Arm Pec Deck

High reps here: 3-4 sets of 12, 15, or even 20 reps
– Come all the way across the body and focus on flexing and squeezing to maximize contraction at the end range.
– EMG studies have shown that fiber recruitment is better with a palms-down grip, but alternate and see what works for you.

3. Crossbody Single Arm Machine Press

– You can vary this in terms of load and volume, but I like to make it one of my primary exercises for the session and go with either 5×10 or 8×8.
– Few things look more brodiculous than this exercise, but it’s fantastic for getting in some pressing while moving across the mid-line to optimize activation and recruitment across the sternum.
– Good luck dealing with the scathing looks while you monopolize the machine for an hour.
– Extra bro points for hammer strength

Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions. 

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • David Klein

    Great article, I wouldn't use the 1st exercise as there is no resistance in peak contraction, the other 2 are great. Try lifting the machine fly handles with 2 hands and then performing a max isometric contraction in the fully contracted position. You will be able to hold, 'isometrically' and then lower 'eccentrically' around about 40% more weight allowing for a pump that you will run home and tell your mum about.

    September 26, 2017 at 11:36 am

  • Ed Griffiths

    Nice article Roman. Droppin' jewels as usual. Love the single peck deck as the shortening of the peck is insane. I heard someone say it isn't great for the shoulders? I guess you're not using heavy weights on it and if it does give you pain stop right?

    August 10, 2017 at 3:30 am

  • Scott Burgett

    How would a cable machine compare to the pec deck in your opinion for the same movement?

    August 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

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