Exercises to target inner pecs

A lot of people want exercises to target their inner pecs so they can hold pens and pencils between their massive pecs.

Exercises to target inner pecs

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Thats right, there ARE none!  Despite what the snake-oil salesman out there claim in order to get views or sell $97 eBooks, there are no exercises to target the inner pecs … BUT there is a relatively easy solution – more on that below.  (see also page on Pec Gap and Steinerism)

Why there are not any inner pec exercises

Many people get confused because it is possible to do exercises that target upper and lower pecs.   Let me explain why the “inner pecs” and “outer pecs” are different and why you cannot target the inner pecs.  Muscles are attached to a different bone on each end so they can pull and cause motion.  The pecs attach on the upper arm and then either to the collarbone (upper pecs) as shown below, or the sternum (lower pecs).
Upper Pec - Collarbone to Arm

Incline type exercises work the upper pec, the part attached to the collarbone as shown above.  Because the exercises listed below work upper pecs, the part attached to the collarbone, they do absolutely nothing for inner pecs:

  • incline dumbbell press
  • incline barbell press
  • incline fly
  • military press (if using backrest)
  • dumbbell shoulder press (if using backrest)
  • low cables
  • pushups with feet raised

Now lets look at the lower pec, or the part attached to the sternum as shown below:

Lower Pec - Sternum to Arm

At least now we have a chance of working the inner pec because the lower pec attaches to the sternum where the inner pec can be found.  As mentioned last week in upper and lower pecs, the motions that works this lower pec are the neutral angle like in a bench press or the decline plane like in a decline press.  The following exercises will make the lower pec, the part attached to the sternum, bigger:


  • flat dumbbell fly
  • flat dumbbell press
  • flat bench press
  • mid height cables
  • pushups

lower pec:

  • decline press
  • decline flys
  • high cables

All these exercises will work the inner pecs.  Do these exercises *target* the inner pec?  No!  But do they make the inner pec bigger? Yes!  But they don’t make the inner pec any bigger than the outer pec or the middle pec!  A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.  Its just not possible to make the inner pec stronger or bigger without making that entire strand of muscle that reaches from the sternum to the upper arm just as strong.   Although you can make the inner pec bigger, there are no exercises that *target* the inner pec!!!

How to fix pec gap

As I mentioned, you cannot target “inner pecs” BUT there is a solution!  Most people googling “what are the best inner pec exercises” are making the mistake of asking the wrong question.  The problem is not that you don’t have inner pecs, the problem is that your chest is not big enough!    If your chest is huge then you WILL have inner pecs!   If you have pec gap, nobody is going to notice – all they will see is your huge pecs!

Lets start with this, my 10 secrets for huge pecs.  If you have been lifting seriously for less than two years, let me strongly caution you that you should be doing standard workout plans without modification or “improvement”.  Many beginners make the mistake of “improving” workout plans by adding all kinds of additional sets and additional exercises to fix a lagging bodypart.   These improvements always backfire because overtraining leads to less growth, not more.  If these standard workouts could have been improved by adding 20 more sets of bench press then the experts would have done it!!!

Good beginner home workouts for building pecs

Full body home workout 3x weekly

3 day split home workout

Good beginner gym workouts for building pecs

Full body gym workout 3x weekly

3 day gym split workout


Good strength training workouts for building pecs

Stronglifts 5×5

Candito linear

Starting strength


What about doing 100-200 pushups every day?

Doing pushups every day makes you good at doing pushups every day.  If your goal is to build your pec size as quickly as possible this is the almost the worst thing you could do, the only thing worse is not working out chest at all.  The reason is that doing pushups every day does not allow your muscles time to rebuild and you are in a constant state of overtraining which is detrimental to gaining muscle.  More lifting is not better but its really hard to get this thru to beginners.  In America and other countries the work ethic is strong.  We are used to thinking that the harder you work at something, the more rewards you reap.  Problem is, this does not apply to lifting and its very easy to slip to the backside of the curve where more work results in less gains.  You have to lift with crazy intensity then rest and let the muscles rebuild for 2-5 days.  Before someone points to some calisthenics star with huge pecs, let me say that steroids drastically reduce recovery time.  Yes, if you juice to the gills and do 500 pushups every morning you will  have huge pecs but natties will NOT!

But how do I workout inner pecs?

Lots of people give exercises for the “inner pecs” but in my opinion, its hogwash. The only way to make your inner pecs big is to make your whole chest big. Just use a well balanced chest workout that hits the chest from all angles: neutral, incline, and decline.  The above exercises listed for mid-pec and lower-pec are the ones that build chest mass – for inner, mid and outer pec.

Again, please note that I am intentionally ignoring the pectorals minor and its exercises.  Because it is a small muscle which lies over the outer pec, it has nothing at all to do with the inner pec size.

Alles Klar?

Exercises To Target Inner Pecs For A Massive Chest