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The Best Low Chest Workouts and Exercises for Pec Development

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Building the chest muscles is a goal of many trainees. A developed chest looks great and contributes to upper body aesthetics, making the shoulders and arms appear more prominent.

In addition, a strong chest improves a person’s pressing strength, contributes to shoulder stability, and promotes good posture.

The problem is that most people only focus on the upper and middle portion but fail to grow the lower pectoral region, resulting in uneven development. 

We’ve put together this guide to show you the ten best lower chest exercises. Read on to learn what makes these movements unique and how to start doing them in your upcoming workouts.

Anatomy Of the Chest Muscles

The chest, also known as the pectoralis major, is a large triangular muscle that covers the front portion of the upper torso. It consists of two parts (1):

  • Clavicular head (upper portion)
  • Sternal head (middle and lower area)

The pecs originate from several areas, including the sternum and clavicle. All portions of the muscle converge and narrow to a point that attaches to the humerus (upper arm bone) (1). The primary functions of the pectoralis major are arm adduction, internal rotation, and flexion at the shoulder joint (1).

Chest anatomy
  • Adduction – bringing your arms from your sides to your body’s midline (e.g., chest fly)
  • Internal rotation – rotating your arms in at the shoulder joint
  • Flexion – raising your arms from your sides to an overhead position

You can emphasize different portions of the pectoralis major with various movements and angles of attack. Doing so is possible thanks to muscle fiber orientation (2). 

The upper chest fibers run horizontally and down; the mid-chest fibers run horizontally (straight across); the lower chest fibers run upward, almost opposite to the upper chest. 

You can target the lower chest muscles by performing movements where your arms move opposite to the muscle fiber direction. An example of such a movement is the decline bench press.

Read on because we’ll give you ten exercises that answer the question, “How to work out your lower chest?”

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List of the 10 Best Lower Chest Exercises

1. Decline Bench Press (Barbell)

Equipment: decline bench, barbell
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, midsection

How to:

  1. Set the bench at a decline of 15 to 30 degrees. Get on the bench, secure your feet and slowly lie back. The barbell should be directly over your forehead. 
  2. Grab the bar evenly with a grip you would use on the flat bench, typically slightly more than shoulder-width apart. 
  3. Bring your chest out, engage your core, and squeeze your glutes to assume the starting position. 
  4. Extend your elbows to unrack the bar and carefully bring it over your chest. 
  5. Take a breath and lower the barbell in a straight line without flaring your elbows. The bar should come down to your lower chest. 
  6. Press the bar to the top, fully extending your arms. Exhale.

Form tips:

  1. Assume a strong starting by tensing your entire body and firmly gripping the barbell before unracking.
  2. Pick a light enough weight to do at least 12 reps at firsts. Then, you can gradually increase the weight afterward.

2. Decline Bench Press (Dumbbell)

Equipment: decline bench, pair of dumbbells
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, midsection

How to:

  1. Set the bench at a decline of 15 to 30 degrees.
  2. Get on top of the bench with a dumbbell in each hand. 
  3. Secure your feet, keep your elbows bent, and have both dumbbells close to your torso. 
  4. Engage your abs as you slowly lie back on the bench.
  5. Extend your arms and position the dumbbells over your chest.
  6. Retract your shoulder blades, squeeze your glutes, and engage your midsection. 
  7. Inhale and lower the weights to your lower chest, keeping your elbows tucked in.
  8. Press the dumbbells to the top, fully extending your arms.
  9. Exhale and repeat.

Form tip:

The decline dumbbell press is one of the best lower pectoral exercises for hypertrophy. To make it more effective, do slow and controlled reps, squeezing your chest muscles at the top and stretching them as you lower the dumbbells to your sides.

3. Incline Push Ups

man incline push up bench

Equipment: gym bench, plyo box, or another sturdy object
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, midsection

How to:

  1. Place your hands on the edge of a sturdy object (plyo box, gym bench, chair, etc.).
  2. Straighten your body as you would for a regular push-up.
  3. Bring your shoulders back and squeeze your glutes.
  4. Take a breath and lower yourself until your chest is an inch from the elevated object.
  5. Press yourself back to the top and fully extend your arms as you exhale.

Form tip:

Incline push-ups make for a great lower chest workout at home because you only need an elevated and sturdy object, such as a chair.

A more upright torso, where you press downward (similar to dips), can more effectively recruit the muscle fibers of the lower chest.

4. Chest Dips

Equipment: parallel bars
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, midsection

How to:

  1. Step up and grab a pair of parallel bars. Your arms should be straight and to your sides. The parallel bar width should be slightly more than shoulder level.
  2. Bring your chest out, engage your abs, squeeze your glutes, and flex your arms. 
  3. Step off the dip bar platform to suspend yourself in the air. 
  4. Tilt your body slightly forward to engage your chest muscles. 
  5. Inhale and dip by bending your elbows. Then, descend as much as you comfortably can––ideally until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. 
  6. Push through your chest and triceps to get back to the top, and exhale.

Form tip:

Chest dips are an effective exercise for good lower chest workouts. To target the lower chest effectively, you must tilt your body forward several degrees. Maintaining an upright torso would keep the emphasis on the triceps and shoulders.

5. High Cable Crossover Fly

Equipment: double cable machine, pair of handles
Muscles worked: pectoralis major

How to:

  1. Select the appropriate load on both weight stacks of the cable machine, set the pulleys in the highest position, and attach handles.
  2. Grab the two handles and stand in the middle of the cable station with your arms to your sides. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows.
  3. Take a couple of steps forward and stagger your stance.
  4. Bring your chest out, engage your abs, and squeeze your glutes.
  5. Inhale and bring your arms in, tapping your knuckles in front of your body.
  6. Slowly bring your arms to your sides as you exhale.

Form tip:

Pick a light enough weight on the cable crossover to train with a full range of motion. Start with your arms to your sides and bring them in until your hands meet.

6. Decline Dumbbell Fly

Equipment: decline bench, pair of dumbbells
Muscles worked: pectoralis major

How to:

  1. Set the bench at a decline of 15 to 30 degrees.
  2. Get on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and secure your legs.
  3. Bring the weights close to your body and bend your elbows.
  4. Carefully lie back and extend your arms to position the dumbbells over your chest. Your wrists should be neutral (palms facing one another).
  5. Bend your elbows slightly, retract your shoulder blades, engage your abs, and inhale.
  6. Lower both dumbbells to your sides until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  7. Bring your arms in, tap the dumbbells at the top and exhale.

Form tip:

Maintain a slight bend in the elbows to keep stress away from your shoulders and squeeze your lower pecs at the top position to cause greater muscle activation.

Related article: Extraordinary Dumbbell Chest Workouts to Develop Your Pecs

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7. Chest Dip (Assisted)

Equipment: dip-assist machine
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders

How to:

  1. Select the appropriate load on the machine. Begin with as little as possible and gradually increase it until you can do 8 to 12 challenging reps per set.
  2. Place your knees on the platform, grab the parallel bars, and retract your shoulder blades.
  3. Straighten your arms, engage your abs, and inhale.
  4. Dip by bending your arms and go down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  5. Press through your hands to extend your elbows and bring yourself to the starting position as you exhale.

Form tip:

Despite being an assisted exercise, you must assume a strong starting position by engaging your upper body: bring your shoulder blades back and down, engage your abs, and squeeze your triceps.

Doing so will help you maintain a solid position and more effectively target the lower chest muscles.

8. Chest Dip (Weighted)

Equipment: parallel bars, dip belt, weight plate
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, midsection

man chest dip weighted

How to:

  1. Put on a dip belt and attach the appropriate amount of weight. Start with 5 or 10 lbs and gradually increase the resistance.
  2. Step on the platform and grab the parallel bars. Your hands should be slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Straighten your arms, bring your shoulders back, engage your abs, and inhale.
  4. Step off the platform to suspend yourself in the air.
  5. Lean your torso forward a few degrees to emphasize the middle and lower chest muscles.
  6. Descend into a dip by bending your arms.
  7. Go down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or close to that. You should feel a stretch in your pecs.
  8. Press to extend your arms and bring yourself to the top. Exhale.

Form tip:

You can use a dumbbell if you don’t have a dip belt. Suspend yourself in the air and have a friend place the weight between your feet for you to pinch.

9. Chest Press (Machine)

Equipment: chest press machine
Muscles worked: pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders

How to:

  1. Select the appropriate load on the machine.
  2. Adjust the seat height. The handles should be at lower chest level when you sit.
  3. Sit down, grab the handles to your sides, retract your shoulder blades, plant your feet on the floor, and engage your abs.
  4. Inhale and press the handles forward, squeezing your pecs as you extend your arms.
  5. Slowly bend your arms, bringing the handles to your sides, and exhale.

Form tip:

To engage your lower chest muscles more effectively, use a machine where the direction of pressing is slightly downward. Doing so will engage the muscle fibers of the lower pecs.

10. Chest Fly (Machine)

Equipment: chest fly machine
Muscles worked: pectoralis major

How to:

  1. Select the appropriate load on the machine.
  2. Adjust the seat height so the handles are below chest level when seated.
  3. Sit down and grab the handles to your sides. 
  4. Retract your shoulder blades, engage your abs, and maintain a slight bend in your elbows.
  5. Inhale and slowly bring your arms in from the sides, bringing the handles together in front of your chest. 
  6. Slowly bring your arms to your sides. You should feel a stretch on your pecs.
  7. Exhale.

Form tip:

Pick a light enough weight and do at least 12 controlled reps. Feel your pecs stretch as you bring your arms to your sides, and squeeze them when adducing your arms. 

Doing so near the end of your workouts is excellent for providing metabolic stress that can result in superior lower chest development.

Related article: 8 Compound and 6 Isolation Chest Exercises for Strong Pecs

Conclusion

Building a set of impressive pecs is about more than bench pressing once or twice per week. 

Like most other major muscles in the body, the pecs require a varied approach and attack from several angles. 

The good news is that you can combine the above exercises in numerous good lower chest workouts and develop the often-ignored area.

Use the Hevy app to track your workouts progress and stay motivated.

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