Sculpting a muscular chest calls for heavy chest days and several types of exercises. When you perform the decline bench press, you can better focus on the lower chest muscles and build more defined pecs.
If you want to switch up your chest day and replace the decline bench press, here are seven other exercises you can do!
Table of Contents
1. Weighted Chest Dip
When you perform weighted chest dips while keeping your upper body at about a 60-degree angle, you’re hitting those hard-to-reach lower pecs. For this exercise, you’ll need parallel bars or a dip machine, though any two stationary objects will do just fine.
- Begin with your hands gripped around each bar, your arms fully extended, and your legs
- bent so that they won’t touch the floor when you lower yourself.
- To target the lower pecs, keep your upper body at an angle of about 60-degrees
- throughout the entire movement.
- Slowly lower your upper body until your arms are bent at about a 90-degree angle,
- making sure that your back remains straight.
- Extend your arms to their original starting position and perform additional repetitions.
2. High Cable Crossover
Not all gyms have a cable crossover machine, so you’ll have to make sure that your gym has one before putting this exercise into your routine. By positioning the cables above your head, you’ll be able to work your lower chest muscles a little more.
- Grasp one pulley handle in each hand and try to stand directly in the middle of the two pulley systems.
- With a slight lean forward and one foot forward, bring your hands inward, meeting at a central location in front of your body.
- Slowly return your hands to the starting position, being careful not to extend the arms too far back.
3. Decline Fly
If you’re really looking for an exercise similar to the decline bench press, the decline fly might be your best bet. You’ll be using a decline bench just as you would with a decline bench press, but you’ll need two dumbbells rather than a barbell.
- Select a reasonable weight to perform this exercise, likely lower than your chosen weight for regular flies.
- Begin with one dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended above your body.
- With your arms still extended, lower the dumbbells to your side, allowing for a slight bend in the elbows while doing so.
- When you feel a pull in the chest muscles, bring the dumbbells back to their original starting position.
4. Dumbbell Pullover
The pullover is a great alternative to most chest exercises because it successfully isolates the pecs. To perform this exercise, you’ll need a dumbbell or barbell of an appropriate weight and a bench to support yourself through the exercise.
- Begin with your upper back resting perpendicular on a bench with your feet planted flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
- With a dumbbell or barbell in your hands, start with your arms extended above your body with a slight bend to them.
- Keeping your arms nearly straight, lower the dumbbell or barbell behind your head.
- Use the strength in your chest to return the dumbbell or barbell to its original starting position.
5. Incline Pushup
Though incline pushups reduce the amount of resistance your chest muscles are working against, they do better target the lower pecs. For this exercise, all you’ll need is a low stationary object that can support your body weight (like a bench).
- Keeping your entire body completely flat, plant your hands on the bench in front of you, your toes on the floor, and your arms fully extended.
- With your entire body still straight, lower your body to a point where your arms are at about a 90-degree angle.
- Use your strength to push up off the bench and extend your arms to their original starting position.
- You can make this exercise more difficult by performing it on a much lower bench, though this will place less of a focus on your lower pecs.
6. Bench Press
The greatest part about the regular bench press is that it hits all areas of the chest in a single movement, including the lower pecs. To perform the bench press, you’ll need a bench and a weighted barbell (or a set of dumbbells).
- Lie on a bench while on your back with your feet planted firmly on the floor below you.
- With your arms holding a barbell or two dumbbells directly above your chest, begin lowering the weight until the weight(s) are at about the level of your chest.
- Extend your arms to their starting position while keeping the weights directly above the level of your chest.
- Be sure to keep your body flat against the bench and try not to use momentum in your back or leg to push the weight up.
7. Weighted Pushup
Like the bench press, pushups can also be extremely useful in targeting all areas of your chest. When you add weight to pushups through chains or weight plates on your back, you can work your chest a little more and see greater gains.
- Begin with your hands and toes planted on the floor with your entire body completely flat, making sure to keep this straight body position through the entire movement.
- Keeping your entire body straight, lower your arms to about a 90-degree angle or less and hold this position for a second.
- Use your chest muscles to push yourself up off the floor and return your body to the extended arm position you started in.
Decline Bench Press Alternatives Conclusion
Just to recap, here are 7 decline bench press alternatives you can do to build your lower pectorals.
- Weighted Chest Dip
- High Cable Crossover
- Decline Fly
- Dumbbell Pullover
- Incline Pushup
- Bench Press
- Weighted Pushup
Nearly all chest exercises focus on all regions of the chest, but some hit the lower chest muscles a little bit better. The decline bench press is one of the best exercises for the lower pecs, but you might want to switch up your chest day here and there.
By performing any combination of the exercises on this list, you can get more out of your chest day and build stronger lower pec muscles.