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The Best Lower Chest Exercises: Four Of The Best To Train That Chest

For a full-looking, defined and well-trained chest, it’s really important to focus as much on the lower chest as it is the upper section.

Because of the limited variation of exercises and ranges of motion available, the lower chest is one of the hardest areas to train effectively. However, below are what I believe to be some of the best lower chest exercises you can incorporate into your training to help develop those sort-after, well-rounded pecs.

Incline Push-Up

A-woman-performing-an-incline-push-up-with-two-parallel-bars

Push-ups are a great multi-functional exercise that are both simple and effective, and don’t require any equipment other than a slightly elevated surface. You’ll also be working the entire upper body, including the back, at the same time. Due to the elevated angle that you’re placing your body in, you’ll be pushing downwards as well as outwards to focus the tension on your lower chest.

Equipment

Any sturdy, elevated surface such as a flat bench, jump box or step platform. If you’re at home then a stool or chair can work just as well, or you could even try stacking some books into two piles!

How to perform it

With your hands placed shoulder-width apart on the edge of the bench/box/temporary raised surface, adopt a plank position, extending the legs backwards and keeping your back straight and core tight. Try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

Now slowly bend at the elbows and lower your chest towards the bench, remembering to keep your arms close to the sides of your body, until you feel tension in your pectoral (chest) muscles.

Once you’ve lowered yourself as far as you can go, slowly push the body away from the bench, extending the arms almost fully.

Repeat the move for between 8-12 repetitions to complete the set. Perform three sets in total.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

This is a staple of lower chest training and one of the most effective ways to train your pectorals generally. However, the addition of the decline angle of the bench will shift almost all the focus onto your lower chest. This exercise can also be performed with a barbell.

Equipment

Either two same-size dumbbells or a barbell

A decline weight bench or one that adjusts to include a decline angle (between 15-45 degrees in order to place your body on a downward slope).

How to perform it

If you’re using an adjustable bench set the angle between 15 to 45 degrees, depending on what’s comfortable. Lie down on the bench with one dumbbell in each hand and rest the dumbbells on your thighs with your palms facing inwards. If you’re using a barbell then your palms will automatically be facing away from you. Ensure your back remains flat.

Now raise the dumbbells, or barbell, over your chest and extend your arms towards the ceiling. If you’re using dumbbells then your hands should remain facing inward.

Holding the dumbbells at shoulder width apart, rotate the wrists until the palms are facing away from you. Now bend at the elbows to form a 90 degree angle. The weights should be on the outer edges of the chest at the bottom of the movement.

Now use the chest muscles to push the weights up. Squeeze at the top of the move, hold for a second or two and then slowly lower the weights back down again.

Repeat the move for between 8-12 repetitions to complete the set. Perform three sets in total.

Chest Dips

Man-performing-chest-dips

Perhaps one of the more advanced exercises to work your lower chest, this requires adding an angle to your movement to switch the emphasis away from the triceps and onto your lower chest. You’ll also activate your arms, shoulders and back at the same time.

Equipment

A set of parallel bars

How to perform it

Grip the bars and push up with your arms to move your body just above them

Now bend the arms and lean the torso forward. Continue to lower until you feel a stretch in your chest

At the bottom of the movement, pause and then slowly lift your body back up to the starting position.

Repeat the movement for as many repetitions as you can until you reach failure (you’re unable to perform another rep with good form).

High to Low Cable Crossovers

The cable crossover is a popular addition to working the lower chest. By including cables in the exercise you are adding more variation to your workout instead of just relying on dumbbells or barbells, which can get repetitive and lead to your progress plateauing.

The crossover works both the lower and outer parts of your chest.

Equipment

A cable machine

How to perform it

Position the pulleys above your head and attach a handle to each one. Select the right weight.

With a handle in each hand, stand in the middle of the cable machine with palms facing down and take a couple of steps forward to place tension on the cables.

Now put one foot forward and then lean forward slightly but not too far as the more you lean forward the more the emphasis will switch to your mid-chest. Keep your back straight.

With a slight bend in your elbows, extend your arms out to the side – make sure your elbows do not move behind your shoulders

Now bring your hands together in front of your body, hold for a second, and slowly return to the starting position by slowly extending the arms and inhaling.

Repeat the move for between 8-12 repetitions to complete the set. Perform three sets in total.

The Final Word

All four of these exercises will effectively work the lower chest muscles when performed correctly. Remember to focus on proper form and technique and not rush through the sets. If you’re performing these exercises for the first time, it’s important not to go too heavy on the weights to avoid injury.

Try adding any of these exercises into your full-body strength workouts to help you achieve a more rounded, well-balanced physique.

What lower chest exercises do you add to your workout routines? These are what I consider to be four of the best lower chest exercises and are among my favourites, but there are many others. Do you have any favourites that I haven’t included here? Let us know in the comments!

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