How to Work Out the Sternum of the Chest

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There are a number of different great ways that allow you to effectively work out the sternum of the chest. Learn how to work out the sternum of the chest with help from a certified personal trainer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Weightlifting & Fitness
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Video Transcript

Hi, this Tyler Tsujimoto with Tsujimoto Fitness located in Midvale, Utah. Right now, I want to talk about how to build or how to workout the inner portions of the chest right at by that sternum ok. A lot of people have a hard time building size and strength in there. And a lot of it is simple modifications on hand placement during very common exercises that we already do for the chest, such as pushups, bench press, dumbbell bench press. All sorts of things like that. If we move the hands closer in towards each other for any of those exercises we're going to get more activation of the muscle fibers on that inner portion of the chest. So I'm going to demonstrate a body weight exercise for you, a pushup with a hand placement modification designed to target more of the inner chest. And then after that I'm also going to demonstrate an exercise you can do with a dumbbell that is like a pressing movement laying down using a dumbbell with the hand placement designed to focus on that middle or the sternum portion of the chest. Okay so the first exercise I'm going to demonstrate is the pushup. Alright now traditionally you are going to see a pushup with hands a little bit wider then your shoulders. And then we go down straight body and back up. That's fine but because of how wide the hands are that's going to put most of the strain on the wider portions of the chest. So again when we want to focus on the sternum or the inner portion we need to bring those hands closer in. Now a couple of things to keep in mind with this. When you bring the hands closer in we are going to work more of inner chest but you are also going to feel a little bit more work on the triceps. That's not a bad thing. It's very normal. I just want you to know that beforehand so when you feel that you can expect it. Okay so what we are going to do now instead of having my hands wide like I would for a traditional pushup. I'm going to bring them in very close and hug my torso with my arms. So they are going to be in very close here directly down from my shoulders. And then as I lower myself in this position I'm going to keep my elbows pointed backwards instead of out. Now I can feel a lot of stress on the inner portion of my chest right here. We push up and squeeze those chest muscles so they are working harder then any other muscle group that's involved right now. So again it's going to be arms in, elbows point straight back and up. Now for this exercise this is called a diamond grip dumbbell press. The reason for that you are going to have your hands in a diamond grip similar to how we would hold them for a straight arm pullover. And we are going to use just one dumbbell for this. Now I'm going to show this laying on the ground. You could also do this on the bench. There's not necessarily one benefit over the other for either way of doing it. Just your preference ok. So you are going to choose one dumbbell. And you are going to start with it vertically on your chest. You are going to have a diamond grip, go around the handle so you are holding on to the actual weight itself of the dumbbell not the handle. Now we are trying to focus on working the inner portion of the chest. So it's very, very important that before you begin the movement that we concentrate on contracting the proper muscles ok. So I'm going to put all my focus and effort into squeezing the inner portion of my chest to make the weight move up. Okay so throughout the movement I'm going to start here and then I'm going to squeeze that inner portion of the chest to bring the weight to an extended position. Now that's all we are doing. We are just going to the arms are pretty much locked out but we are squeezing the chest nice and tight. And because our grip is so narrow it helps to force that contraction to the inner portion of the chest. As you bring it back down just lightly touch the chest and then exhale and breathe out. Squeeze the inner portion of the chest on the way up. And you would repeat. We want to make sure that whatever we do for a pushing movement for the chest our grip is narrower then what it would traditionally be. That's going to focus the intensity more so to the inner portion of the muscle fibers and make sure that we build up that inner portion of the chest to get those results you are looking for. Again this is Tyler Tsujimoto with Tsujimoto Fitness.

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