Lower-Chest Exercises for Men

Lower-Chest Exercises for Men

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The bench press on a decline stresses your lower chest.

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When powering arm movements, the bottom part of the pectoral muscle does the lion's share of the work. Strengthening exercises for the lower chest -- decline bench presses, decline flyes, cable crossovers and wide-grip dips --- are typically done for reasons other than strengthening the lower chest. While a press builds mass, a crossover can help to define your chest. Prepare for a workout with five to 10 minutes of light cardio and stretch your chest by performing a set of flyes with light dumbbells.

Decline and Press

Build mass and power in the lower chest by doing presses on a decline bench. Begin by setting the decline angle anywhere from 20 to 40 degrees. A more extreme angle will shift the stress of the exercise to your arms. Lie supine on the bench and take hold of the bar with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Hook your feet under the roller pads. Lift the bar off of the supports and hold it above your chest for a second to establish balance and control. Slowly lower the weight to just above your lower pecs. Hold the bottom position for a second and then press the weight back to the starting position. Perform six to 12 reps.

Dive Into Dips

Dips done on parallel bars offer an effective compound exercise for the chest, front of your shoulders and triceps. To target your lower chest, modify the exercise in two ways. Instead of a narrow grip with your hands set by your hips, use a wider grip. Also, lean forward about 75 degrees so you're dipping at an angle rather than straight up and down. Begin by placing your hands on the bars in a neutral grip, palms facing your body. Extend your arms and lean forward to prepare. Lower your body until your upper arms become parallel to the bars and then rise back up to the starting position. Use slow and fluid motion to complete each rep. If you bounce to lift your body, it'll put too much stress on your elbows. Perform eight to 10 reps for three sets.

Crossover to Sculpt

The cable crossover with a high-to-low trajectory is an isolation exercise that'll help define your lower chest and bring out the striations in the muscle. Begin by standing in the middle of a cable machine, grabbing the handles of cables attached to the high pulleys. Your arms should be extended to your sides with your elbows soft. Exhale and slowly draw the handles together in front of your waist. Cross your hands at the peak position of the exercise, increasing the range of motion and the intensity of the contraction of your inner, lower pecs. Inhale and return to the starting position. Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 reps.

Stretch to Fly

Dumbbell flyes on a decline bench allow you to achieve a significant stretch of your lower chest while strengthening the muscle. Begin by lying supine on a decline bench and holding the dumbbells above your lower chest with your arms fully extended. Use a neutral grip, palms facing each other. Exhale and lower the weights to your sides with a wide sweeping motion until your arms are parallel to your chest. Envision a pair of butterfly wings opening in slow motion. Feel the stretch of your lower pecs at the peak position and hold the contraction for a second. Inhale and return to the start position, using the same arcing motion. Keep your elbows soft throughout the exercise. Perform eight to 12 reps for three sets.


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