Best Push Ups For Inner Chest To Build Size and Strength

For anyone looking to build a muscular, well-defined chest, it’s important to focus on developing the inner pectoral muscles, not just the front deltoids and outer pecs.

Targeting the inner chest with specific push up variations and techniques can help create that sculpted, rounded shape that many guys strive for.

Push-ups, one of the most classic and effective bodyweight exercises, can be tweaked to target this elusive region.

By including this inner chest push up into your training regime, you can strengthen and increase the thickness of your chest.

This guide covers the benefits of building your inner chest, explains the anatomy and provides tips to maximize inner chest stimulation

What is the Inner Chest?

To effectively target the inner chest, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of the underlying anatomy. The chest muscles, or pectoral muscles, are divided into two main parts:

The pectoralis major itself comprises two heads: the upper head (or clavicular) and lower head (or sternal) portions.

The inner chest is the region of the chest that is located between the two pectoralis major muscles. It’s the most prominent muscle of the pecs. The sternal head, which is the lower chest, is the home of the inner chest.

While you can’t isolate the inner section of the pectoralis major completely from the rest of the muscle, certain push ups can emphasize this area more than others.

How To Build Inner Chest With Push Ups

Many people choose to build muscle with push ups because they have many benefits. When it comes to resistance, your body reacts to any kind of resistance, whether you are using weights or your own body.

Choosing the right exercises, with the right intensity, allows you to eliminate the need for weights from your inner chest bodyweight workout routine.

To build inner chest with push-ups, you need to focus on using a close-grip hand placement. This means placing your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly closer together. This hand placement will put more emphasis on the inner chest muscles.

Benefits Of Inner Chest Bodyweight Workout

When it comes to training, the Inner pecs push-ups or bodyweight exercises are a perfect choice because:

  • A chest push up will improve muscular endurance in the upper body and strengthen both muscles and bones.
  • As you’ll be moving your full body around, these drills will improve your metabolism, get you to burn more fat and help you achieve that mean and lean look.
  • Push ups are also considered a compound exercise because they require multiple muscle groups to be worked simultaneously.
  • One benefit of push-ups is that they can also strengthen the cardiovascular system by making your heart work harder.
  • Push-ups require more balance that can lead to greater muscle fiber recruitment.
  • The movements you’ll learn are highly functional. You will gain strength and size, and you will become more powerful all around.
  • A chest workout can be a good full-body workout and help you burn more calories.

Inner Chest Push-Ups Workout

Here are the best inner chest push up that require no equipment, or just a slight modification to target your inner pecs. With so many variations of push-ups available, one type will help you develop the inner portion of your chest better than others.

1. Standard Push-Ups

Push-ups are a popular bodyweight exercise that works multiple muscle groups, making it a good workout for strengthening the upper body.

While push-ups primarily target the chest muscles, they also engage several other muscles, including the shoulders, triceps, and core.

Regular push up will target the inner chest muscles. Inner chest muscles are worked because you can squeeze the chest near the top thanks to the close hand placement.

Push Ups

How To Do Standard Push-Ups

  1. Lay face down on the ground with your legs straight, and arms supporting your upper body.
  2. Keep your knees off the ground.
  3. Raise yourself off the ground, straightening your elbows and your arms.
  4. Raise until your elbows are locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
  5. Now, lower your body under slow sustained motion, feeling the motion all the way down until your chest is very close to the ground.
  6. Repeat the desired number of reps.

Training Tips

  • Keep your elbows close to your body.
  • When you lower yourself, take it slow and easy, and really push yourself back up.

2. Narrow Grip Push-Up

Close hand push-ups, often referred to as narrow grip push-ups. Close push-ups are done by positioning the hands close to each other. It is one of the more challenging variations of the push-up because of the narrower base of support.

Take a narrower push-ups stance than you normally do, which is similar to a close-grip push-up that helps in building the inner chest.

Narrow Grip Push-Ups

How To Do Narrow Grip Push-Ups

  1. Take a narrower push up stance than you normally would.
  2. Now raise yourself off the ground, straightening your elbows and your arms, but keep your elbows close to your body.
  3. You can squeeze the inner chest and triceps by raising your arms and pausing for a moment at the top of the movement.
  4. Now lower your body under slow sustained motion, feeling the motion all the way down until your chest is very close to the ground.

3. Diamond Push Up

Diamond push-ups, also known as triangle push-ups, are a more advanced type of the classic push-up. It provides all the benefits of a normal push-up, with a special focus on the triceps and inner chest.

There are a lot of good reasons to add the diamond push-up to your workout routine. This includes an increase in triceps and chest activity, improvement in core strength and stability, and enhancement of shoulder strength.

Practice diamond push-ups by bringing your hands too close together to form a diamond or triangle shape below your chest.

Diamond Push Ups Muscle Worked

How To Do Diamond Push-Ups

  1. Put your hands under your chest and position your index fingers and thumbs to form a diamond shape.
  2. Now extend your arms so that your body is elevated and forms a straight line from your head to your feet.
  3. Lower your chest towards your hands, ensuring you don’t flare your elbows out to the sides and keeping your back flat.
  4. Stop just before your chest touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
  5. Do 8-12 Reps for 3-4 Set.

Training Tips

  • Remember to keep your back straight with your abs and glutes contracted at all times.
  • Keep your chin down and don’t look forward.

4. Reverse Grip Push-Ups

The reverse grip push-up is a fun and great variation of the standard push-up. The exercise is done with your fingers facing your feet (your palms outward).

These push-ups require your hands to be closer to the hips beneath the lower chest level. This makes your lower and inner chest, as well as front shoulders, work extra hard during the movement.

Reverse Grip Push-Ups

How To Do Reverse Grip Push-Ups

  1. Get down into a press-up position with your hands placed, so your fingers are pointing towards your toes.
  2. Take a big breath in and slowly start to bend your elbows. Do not let your elbows move outwards (away from your body).
  3. Lower yourself until you are about an inch from the floor.
  4. Pause the movement when you are at the bottom for a second.
  5. Push through your palms like you would try to push the floor away from yourself, extending the arms but maintaining a slight bend in the elbow.
  6. You can repeat this many times you want.

Training Tips

  • Always make sure to do a proper warm up especially focusing on warming up and stretching your wrists
  • Keep your neck in a neutral position to avoid stressing and hurting it.

5. Dumbbell Push-Up

Dumbbell push-ups are a great exercise to add to your inner chest bodyweight workout arsenal.

Using dumbbell for push-ups makes push-ups a more powerful exercise and helps you increase upper body strength, muscle mass, and overall balance.

The use of dumbbells allows for a greater range of motion in the shoulder joint, which can help to increase flexibility and mobility.

Dumbbell Push-Up

How To Do Dumbbell Push-Ups

  1. Grip a dumbbell in each hand and get into a plank position with your palms facing down towards the floor. 
  2. Now raise yourself off the ground straightening your elbows and your arms but keep your elbows close to your body.
  3. Raise until your elbows are locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
  4. Now lower your body slowly and steadily until your chest is close to the ground.
  5. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Training Tips

  • Don’t let your hips raise.
  • Make sure your body is in the straight line from head to the feet.

People Also Asked

Do push-ups work inner chest?

There are many variations of push-ups for the inner chest such as Narrow Grip Push-Up, Diamond Push Up, Reverse Grip Push-Ups

Inner chest muscles are worked because you can place the hand closer than the shoulder width and squeeze the chest near the top thanks to the close hand placement.

Do diamond push ups work inner chest

The best exercises to target the inner chest are diamond push ups. A simple way to target the inner pecs with a push-up is to narrow your hand spacing into the diamond position.

Do close grip push ups work inner chest

A simple way to target the inner pecs with a push up is to narrow your hand spacing. Close grip push ups can be used to build the inner chest.


With persistence, the right methods and slight modifications to push-ups exercises, you might be able to make a positive change in training parts of the body that are particularly stubborn.

The push ups above will work the inner chest when a person performs them correctly. It is best to add these exercises to a full-body strength training routine to achieve a well-balanced physique.

Focus on a dumbbell Squeeze Press and a Cable Crossover to really develop the inner chest and sternocostal head.

To build a strong upper body, it’s important to train the chest as a whole unit and then focus on getting all 3 parts of the muscle working.


  • Calatayud J., Borreani S., Colado J.C., Martin F., Rogers M.E. (2014) Muscle activity levels in upper-body push exercises with different loads and stability conditions. Physician and Sportsmedicine 42, 106-119.
  • Cogley RM, Archambault TA, Fibeger JF, Koverman MM. Comparison of muscle activation using various hand positions during the push-up exercise. Journal of strength and conditioning research. 2005 Aug 1;19(3):628. Available: (accessed 16.12.2021)
  • Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of sports sciences, 35(11), 1073–1082.

12 Best Inner Chest Exercises

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