What exercises can you do to target the upper middle/inner part of the chest? Is it as simple as doing incline chest press?

  • What is your goal? If you are a competitive body builder, you should already know this or have a trainer, that's why I'm asking. I don't think it's really implied. If you just want to build muscle, why are you looking at about a square centimeter of your body ?
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 16:12
  • @Raditz_35 Im not a competitor, i just do this purely for a hobby. I ask this question for curiosity to improve myself. Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 7:53
  • That's completely fine and you've gotten answers. However, I wanted to accomplish something the Americans call a "frame challenge" I believe. Focussing on such a small area is rarely (not never though) the answer. If you would describe your problem in broader terms, maybe someone will point out that your upper middle inner pecs aren't the issue but something selse - maybe you don't even have an issue there and just think you do
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 7:24

3 Answers 3


AthleanX on YouTube has a (very old) video on working out the inner pecs which I haven't seen yet. This more recent video (and one that I have seen) talks about cable flies. This part of the pec is quite challenging and one of the best ways is to use a cable fly (one at a time) and try to cross the mid-line of your chest. In other words, you want to pull the cable slightly across your chest. That little bit of extra movement is what builds the inner pecs.

  • Cheers for your answer, greatly appreciated. Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 7:54
  • I'm aware of the AthleanX inner pecs stuff, however II always wonder how many people do that cable stuff (how many people own the equipment? It's imo no fun doing that with resistance bands) and how many people do have small "inner" pecs. I know AthleanX does and he apparently does target them specifically. This is just a thought, I'm not even 1% as qualified as he is, I'm just aware that people need to sell to earn a living
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 7:25
  • @Raditz_35 AthleanX wasn't the first person I saw suggesting cable flyes, but I don't remember where or when I saw that suggestion (over a decade ago at least). AthleanX's videos are a little easier to come by. As to your main point, I am under the assumption that if you are starting to get worried about a small portion of your pecs looks under developed then you're a serious weightlifter and most likely have a gym membership. Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 13:03

You can't target the inner chest, this is just where the muscle fibres attach to the sternum. The fibres contract along their entire length not in one select area. You can emphasise which fibres get activated though. As you said the incline bench will work as it emphasises the clavicular (upper) head of the pec major. Another useful exercise is the low to high cable fly. Aim to touch your elbows together at the top rather than your hands and the contraction will be much better.


The easiest exercise to achieve this is a standing cable fly and making sure you achieve maximum/peak contraction. However, just as Lux Claridge mentioned, it's also vital that you extend beyond your center line.

Because of this, I instead recommend that you practice a kind of incline compound dumbbell bench press, in where the first half of the press is the "standard" bench press, however, once your elbows reach a 120 degree angle, you then rotate the dumbbells inwardly 180 degrees so that by the time your arms are fully extended then the initial outer part of the dumbbells then touch inwardly.

This is truly the most effective exercise to maximizing activation of your inner upper pectoralis major muscle.

Edit: Once you reach full extension of your arms, it's good to hold that position for 1-2 seconds before resetting.

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