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LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Approved By Coach
It wouldn’t probably be so strange if we didn’t see gyms as exciting places where you always learn something new. Because at first, we were going to the gym to lose some weight and get in shape. But getting to know new people, we also started to wonder about the types of exercise they were doing.
We have seen a variety of people engaging in strength workouts. We have seen people of all sizes and shapes of muscles. We kept hearing conversations about different muscles, their functions, ways exercises affect them, etc. Others were praising a certain type of exercise, and some of the most popular ones were lower chest workouts.
Many of the athletes we’ve befriended often mentioned how these helped them build a stronger core, and develop lower body muscles. So naturally, that piqued our interest.
Hence, we’ve started to search more about lower chest workouts. And now we wish to share with you all out findings, what are the benefits of these exercises, and how to build lower chest with their help.
Lower Chest Muscles: A Brief Overview
When we talk about chest muscles in general, it is essential to understand that they consist of 3 parts – upper, middle, and lower chest muscles. Medically, the lower chest is known as the pectoral region, and it contains four muscles: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius muscle.
Pectoralis major is a superficial large muscle that comes with two heads – sterna and clavicular. It draws and rotates the upper limb towards the median axis. It also draws the scapula in front. The clavicular head contributes to the flexion of the upper limb. Pectoralis minor is just under the pectoralis major. It stabilizes the scapula by drawing it in front of the wall of the torso. Serratus anterior is found more laterally than the previous two, and it is responsible for lifting arms at 90 degrees angle. As the name says, the subclavius is located under the clavicle. It is a small muscle that anchors the clavicle and provides protection to some neurovascular structures.
Okay, you may think, but why is it important to have well-defined pecs? Well, the obvious is appearance – when you have a powerful chest, everyone admires you. But the benefits of a strong chest go far beyond the appearance. As we mentioned, these muscles move the arms. Hence they are critical for the strength and mobility of the shoulders. So basically, if you want to have strong shoulders that can perform all tasks without difficulty, you need to work the chest. Of course, it is not possible to build a strong chest overnight. However, as you will see, there are plenty of quality lower pec exercises, and if you make sure to do them properly, you will start seeing the results a lot faster.
Importance of Lower Chest Workout
We already touched on the question of the importance of lower pecs workout. At times it may seem that people work the chest muscle because it makes them look better. And while yes, all want to show off a hot bod this summer, the physical appearance is far from the main reason. Lower chest workout also plays a critical role when it comes to the mobility and strength of the arms and shoulders. Many people don’t know, but these muscles are necessary to push open the door, wash your hair or get up or down from the floor, and plenty of other daily activities. That is why it is critical to do lower chest workouts regularly. And you may already know the most common one – pushups. Yeah, they are pretty well-known and effective. However, there are a lot of lower chest exercises that you can try! After all, doing just push-ups every day will get boring pretty fast, and without variety, you may even hit a plateau.
Thus, you can spice up your workout routine and try some other exercises designed specifically for lower chest muscles
Best Lower Chest Workouts
Okay, so after clarifying all of these things, it is time to implement the knowledge. In other words, it is time to check out some of the best lower pectoral exercises. As you will see, some of the best exercises for lower chest involve weights, while others don’t. But don’t be fooled by this – all they are super effective.
Lower Chest Exercises with Weights
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
This is a phenomenal exercise for strengthening the chest muscles. It is a variation of a flat bench press. You can, of course, do this exercise without the dumbbells. However, keep in mind that the range of motion is greater when you use them. Using dumbbells also requires more shoulder stability. And even though it is primarily a lower chest exercise, it targets the triceps, shoulders, and core too.
How to Do It?
- Set a decline of 30-45 degrees.
- Lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Raise the dumbbells above the chest. Extend the arms towards the ceiling. Hold the dumbbells with hands shoulder-width apart.
- Bend the arms, so they form a 90 degrees angle in the elbows and inhale
- Exhale and push the dumbbells back up using the strength of your chest muscles.
- Hold for a second or two at the top of the list.
- Slowly return.
- Aim to do between 8 and 12 reps.
Pro Tip: If you decide to do a wide grip bench press, avoid lowering the weights to the chest.
It is one of the classic lower chest exercises with dumbbells. It is a resistance exercise designed to target the muscles of the chest. However, it also targets latissimus dorsi – wing-shaped back muscle. Some variations of this movement also target the core muscles and triceps. Many experts consider it an excellent exercise to improve posture. If you want to perform a full range of motion properly, you have to keep the spine in a stable position. Apart from that, this workout improves the flexibility of the chest and upper body.
How to Do It?
- Lay on your back to the bench.
- Hold the dumbbell over your chest with two hands.
- Slide up the bench. Leave your shoulders on the bench with the neck and head in the air.
- Keep your arms as strong as you can.
- Inhale and extend the arms back and over your head.
- Fix the position for 2 seconds in the lowest point.
- Return the dumbbell over your chest again.
- Fix the position for 2 seconds.
Pro Tip: In the beginning, try to do two sets of 7-10 reps. As you are getting stronger, include more sets, and gradually increase the weight.
Decline Dumbbell Fly
When you perform this lower pectoral workout on the bench, your legs are higher than your chest and head. It focuses on different aspects of chest muscles. However, it also targets triceps and upper back muscles. Are you wondering about the difference between flat dumbbell fly and decline dumbbell fly? The main difference is that the decline fly puts more focus on the sterna part of the chest. So if you are a bodybuilder or simply interested in achieving more definition, this is a good option for you.
How to Do It?
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie on the bench. Make sure to hook your feet into the footpads.
- Extend the dumbbells across your chest. The palms should face each other. Make sure that the elbows aren’t locked.
- Open your arms to lower the dumbbells towards the floor. Keep elbows in a soft but straight position. When you feel the stretch in the chest, hold for one second.
- Bring the dumbbells back across your chest in a move like you are hugging someone.
Pro Tip: Start by using moderate weight until you fully master the movement. You will probably be under the impression that you can lift more weight in declined position than in the flat because the lower part of the pectoralis muscle provides more force.
Lower Chest Workouts Without Weights
Well, it is little to say that there isn’t a more traditional exercise than the push-up. These workouts are mandatory in physical education classes, sports, the army, etc. They are considered by far among the best bottom chest workout options. But keep in mind that this exercise works the entire upper body. The incline pushup involves a bench, a box, or a piece of furniture. Here is how to work out the lower chest with these push-ups.
How to Do it?
- Put the hands on the edge of the bench (box, etc.)
- Assume a plank position by extending the legs behind until they form a straight line with the back.
- Bend the arms slowly as you lower the chest towards the bench. Keep in mind that the arms ad elbows should be close to the body.
- Push the body away from the bench and extend the arms. Remember that they should be slightly bet in the elbows.
- Go for 8-12 reps.
Pro Tip: Make sure to keep the proper form when doing this exercise for the best results.
Chest dips are also bodyweight lower pecs workout. That means that you won’t need dumbbells or barbells for this exercise. These are challenging calisthenics chest workout, especially when you are a beginner. However, they are super effective, as they target pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and the triceps. Many experienced athletes say that these are the best lower chest exercises. If you go to the gym, you will find a chest dip machine. But that doesn’t mean that you need to buy it to do dips at home. If you want to do the dips at home, you can use the chair, kitchen counter, etc.
How to Do It?
- Use the parallel bars or similar equipment. Make sure they are at the height of your arms and shoulder-width apart.
- Lift your body above the arm’s length. Make sure to keep the arms locked.
- Arms should be parallel to the torso. Your knees need to be bent at 90 degrees angle (or nearly).
- Lower yourself down as you inhale.
- While exhaling, lift yourself back in the starting position
Pro Tip: To build the chest, perform full-range dips.
Lower Chest Workout: General Tips
- Avoid locking your elbows: If you lock your elbows, you will put a lot of strain on the arms, which can lead to the inflammation of the tendons.
- Don’t bend your back: To avoid back pain and injuries it is best to keep the back straight. But make sure also to not overextend the back.
- Don’t put your shoulder blades off the bench: The bench provides support to the shoulder during exercises. If you move from the bench, you risk putting too much strain on the shoulders, which will lead to bigger problems in the future.
- Avoid overstretching the muscles: For example, never lower your body to the floor when doing pushups, no matter how tempted you may be.
- Train chest after a rest day: You will have more energy after a rest day, and this will make your chest muscles grow faster.
Although we often neglect them, lower chest muscles play a critical role in performing plenty of daily tasks. So now that you know how to workout lower chest, you can easily incorporate these exercises into your routine! There are plenty of phenomenal lower chest workout options that you can do regardless of whether you are a beginner or professional!
So have you ever done any of these workouts? Are there some lower pec exercises that you prefer?