T Nation

Upper-Inner Chest

I am having trouble hitting the upper-inner part of the pecs, in fact there is a noticable ‘gap’ in this part. Anyone got any tips to hit this area? I have tried the close grip incline bench press but i am looking for a few more exercises to try. Cheers!

Bro, if you are doing close grip presses right, then your stimulating your triceps - not your chest. To build your upper chest base your chest routine on incline bench pressing. Build some mass, and your body will fill in the gaps. But incline presses are often not performed which is paramount for the upper chest and building the bridge from the delts to the inner chest. Be careful not to do too steep of an incline. If your gym has benches that are too steep put a plate under the front leg. Your delts will thank you later. On close grip presses, keep your elbows tucked in and focus on your triceps. This is a good tricep builder, not chest.

I was having a similar problem and I switched the focus of my chest day to incline work. This combined with doing Incline Smith machine cut throats (lowering the bar to your collarbone area instead of your upper chest) several days after my chest workout has caused vastly improved muscular fullness in this area for me.

Try seated lying overhead cable one arm crossover presses. Those should hit it nicely.

The key to hitting this area is to make sure you keep your elbows BACK on all incline movements . If your elbows come forward too much you’ll shift emphasis away from your clavicular chest to your anterior delts. Also when doing incline barbell or dumbell presses try to emphasize keeping your elbows back and pushing back towards your head rather than in a straight line.

Something I’ve been doing lately on all my movements is holding my peak contraction just before lockout for about 10-20 sec. This works really well with incline DB press. Try and squeeze your chest together (before lockout) as hard as you can and count to 10-20 on each rep. Give it a shot - you’ll be sore as hell the following day.

Kelly, thanks for the technique info. Upper chest is kind of a weak point for me also. Different question but related: I think I pulled an anterior delt muscle while doing incline DBs. It wasn’t a singular incident but I made the mistake of continuing to lift after I tweaked it the session previously. Now, its killing me; in fact, I can’t do one push-up or throw a 20 yd. pass. Should I rest it completely more…its been about 3 weeks now and its not getting better. Thx,
Big Red