A unique technique for building your inner chest.
When it comes to training the chest many beginners tackle the issue the wrong way. Some just hit the bench press over and over thinking that it’ll give them the size and definition they seek. Now, that’s not to say that the bench press is the wrong way to go, but it’s definitely not the only exercise you should be doing to build a well defined chest. Though the bench is definitely going to help, it won’t exactly do wonders for all the muscles in your pecs, particularly the inner chest.
We should take a moment to understand the importance of innovation. If we truly wish to develop ourselves into the absolute perfect form we must consider that doing things the same way over and over again can do a number of things. It can teach us to train our bodies in the correct way, giving us a firm foundation that will allow us to continue seeing results. It can also lend itself to restrictive thinking.
Mindset is an important aspect of proper training. If you’ve trained for long enough then you undoubtedly know of the concept of the mind-muscle connection. In order to activate specific muscle groups and get all the muscle fibers firing on all cylinders it’s imperative that we focus all of our mental capacity and attention on what’s being worked. Simply heading to the gym and thinking about the bench press as our sole method for chest training will automatically lead us down a dogmatic mindset, one that closes us off to the countless possibilities.
So if we’re talking about training the chest it can’t just be viewed as the massive slab of muscle that can only be activated in one particular way. Instead we must aim to look at the chest with a broader scope in mind. While we have the outer chest the determines the width of the pec muscle group, there is also the inner chest to consider in order to really bring everything together.
The inner chest is perhaps one of the harder parts of the pecs to develop. With most guys emphasizing building up the width and size of the pecs they often neglect building up the inner walls of the pecs. If a person contracts properly during a bench press or dumbbell flyes they should be able to isolate the tension through the mind muscle connection.
Why train inner chest separate?
So why exactly should we be aiming to train the inner chest in the first place? The reality is that hitting plateaus are all too common in bodybuilding. Every individual, specifically those who have been injured before, marry themselves to an idea, a specific way of training that has always worked for them. While there are some people who rarely have to worry about plateaus, the vast majority must face the reality that doing things the same way can only carry them so far.
Training the inner chest with specific, targeted exercises is only going to further help to bring your chest to the next level, which should always be your goal as a bodybuilder. Whether you’re a top bodybuilder or a novice looking to continue to grow your knowledge, by looking to try new methods of training it means you’re more willing to have an open mind.
There’s nothing worse than closing your mind off to the possibilities. Doing so can only mean doom in your continued journeys as a bodybuilder. If you’re willing to open you mind to one method, then it means you’re willing to open your mind to another. Experimentation after all is a major key to how bodybuilders have gained such success. Trial and error is no doubt a major component to ultimate success.
What method can be tried for better inner chest development?
So far we’ve spoken on the mindset portion of this training method, but not the actual method itself. Activating the inner chest isn’t something you can just do with some dumbbell flyes and call it a day. The requirement is that you’ll have to perform a unique movement that isolates the particular area you wish to grow.
For those looking to attack the inner chest exclusively then there’s an exercise that’s sure to shred the muscle group into shape.
Jeff Cavaliere of Athlean-X fame has gained a ton of popularity in the last several years. As a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach for some of the greatest athletes in the world, Cavaliere is a man who has garnered a ton of respect in the fitness industry and highly sought after for his expertise.
Cavaliere is the just the kind of man who would sit, contemplate and analyze the chest muscle group to find the solution to a problem few individuals have the answer for. Rather than simply relying on science or experience alone, Cavaliere does his best to combine the two thought processes in order to create something truly unique.
Cavaliere has an exercise that is sure to get the inner chest looking well defined and in the kind of shape that any guy would dream to have. Take a look at Jeff’s unique approach to building up not only the inner chest, but the upper portion of the muscle group as well.
What is the crossover shrug?
Essentially the crossover shrug works very similar to the dumbbell shrug used to train the traps. But like everything else, the devil is in the details and by rotating the dumbbell inward to activate the inner chest muscles and shrugging with the weight, the movement targets different pec muscle fibers than the regular shrug.
What are the benefits to training this way?
By using this unique method of training we’re able to see that the muscles in the chest can be attacked from different angles. This kind of additional work will likely aid in building up the entirety of the chest and not just simply the inner walls of the pecs.
How should you incorporate this method in your training?
It’s an exercise that can be used as supplementary movement on chest day. Rather than chest hitting flyes, dips, or bench for your chest, this movement can be used as an additional set to give that last bit of work to the muscle on chest day.
For the first few times utilizing this additional movement it would be wise to add in the crossover shrug as a superset to burnout the muscle. Performing one set of this movement on both sides would be ideal. As you become more advanced with the movement and your body begins to adapt, try adding in multiple supersets (either after the main movement or at the end of training) as a means to really punish the muscles into growth.
What’s your opinion on this unique exercise? Do you think it’ll get your pecs into top form?