The lower chest muscle fibers move horizontally and up. To isolate the bottom portion of the chest, we have to pick movements where our arms move opposite the fiber orientation: down and in. An excellent example of a lower chest workout movement is the decline bench press (1). You’re pressing and lowering the weight, which is nothing special. But your arms are at an angle that’s opposite to fiber orientation, which forces them to activate better. The great news is that you can emphasize your lower chest even if you don’t have access to a bench. Let’s see how.
5 Lower Chest Exercises Without a Bench
Chest Dip: Grab the handles of a dip bar as you’re stepping on the platform. Bring your shoulders back, engage your abs, and squeeze your glutes. Step off the platform to support yourself on your arms. Lean your torso forward, take a breath and lower yourself until your shoulders are at elbow level. Bring your shoulders back, engage your abs, and squeeze your glutes. Press back up, exhaling near the top, and repeat.
High Cable Fly: Set the cable attachments in a high position and grab both handles. Step forward to unrack the weights from their stacks. Stagger your stance, bring your chest out, and take a breath. Pull both handles down and in simultaneously, then bring them back to the top as you exhale. Repeat.
Incline Push-Up: Place your hands on a sturdy object, such as a chair or gym bench. Extend your body for the push-up position and keep your elbows tucked in. Engage your abs, take a breath, and lower yourself to the elevated object by bending your elbows. Press to straighten your arms, exhaling near the top. Repeat.
Assisted Chest Dip: Set how much weight you want the machine to take away, then place your knees on the platform. Do dips as you usually would.
Standing Band Decline Press: Attach a resistance band somewhere overhead. Turn your back to the band and grab its free end. Take a step forward to lengthen the band, lean forward a bit, and stagger your stance. Have your elbow tucked in and close to your torso. Take a breath and press the band forward and down until your arm is straight. Bend your arm slowly, exhale, take another breath, and repeat. Once finished, do the same with your other arm.
Superset Lower Chest Workout 1:
Exercise 1: Chest Dip
Exercise 2: Incline Push-Up
Do three to four sets per exercise. Do as many reps as you can on chest dips, and aim for at least 20 reps on the incline push-up.
Superset Lower Chest Workout 2:
Exercise 1: Assisted Chest Dip
Exercise 2: High Cable Fly
Do three to four sets per exercise. Aim for up to 15 repetitions on assisted dips, and follow up with 20 to 25 reps on the high cable fly.
Training your lower chest isn’t as complicated as it might seem. So long as you move your arms opposite the lower chest muscle fiber orientation, you will emphasize the region and develop it well. As you saw, you can pick from many exercises for the lower chest region even if you don’t have a bench.