10 Best Lower Chest Exercises To Build a Stronger, More Defined Chest

Looking to build a bigger, stronger, and more defined lower chest? If so, you’re not alone. The lower chest is one of the most coveted and admired muscle groups, and for good reason.

The lower chest is one of the harder areas to train because of the lack of variations available and the limited motion range. That is why it is so important to include these best lower chest exercises into your routine.

People who want to develop their lower chest muscles can try doing a range of exercises that strengthen the pectoral muscles.

In this post, we will explore the way to effectively train the lower chest.

We will discuss the following topics:

  • Anatomy of the lower chest
  • Best lower chest exercises
  • Correct form and technique
  • Lower chest workout plans.

Lower Chest Muscle (Anatomy)

To effectively train the lower chest, first we need to take a closer look at the chest anatomy and how to train it.

The muscles of the chest consist of the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor.

The pectoralis major is the primary muscle of the chest. It is generally divided into two main parts:

  • The clavicular part is the smaller, upper portion, which originates from the first half of your clavicle. This is what we usually mean by upper chest.
  • The sternocostal part is the larger, lower part that mainly comes from your sternum (and to a small degree from your upper abdominal sheath and ribs) This is your middle and lower chest.

Muscle fibers from this whole range come together into one single tendon that inserts on the front of your upper arms.

The pectoralis minor is the triangle-shaped muscle located under the pectoralis major, a layer deeper, and draws the shoulder blades down and forward.

upper, middle, and lower Chest head

How to Train the Lower Chest

Training your lower chest isn’t as straightforward as targeting other muscles, like your biceps. You won’t find one exercise that directly isolates that exact area of the chest muscle group, like curls do for your arms.

Chest exercises will engage the complete muscle group more broadly, so you’ll also be training the other parts of your pectorals as you aim to hit the lower portion.

What you can do is focus on training your chest muscles as a whole unit. You can change up the angles on some of these exercises to give your muscles a different stimulus to better activate the lower chest—some studies do suggest this method might be effective.

Here are some key tips for effective lower chest training.

1. Pressing Position

The pectoral muscles work differently depending on the angle at which you bring your arm forward.

Research indicates that the correct angle for the decline bench press should be 15–30 degrees declined from flat in order to target the lower chest. 

Even though 15-30 degrees may seem like a small angle, it is the proper decline for placing the strain on your lower pecs and minimizing the effect on the anterior deltoid muscles.

Effect of Inclinations on Lower Pec Muscle Activation
Upper, Middle, and lower Pec Muscle Activation at Different Pressing Angles (Rodríguez-Ridao, 2020)

2. Body Position

In Incline push-ups, the surface is slanted, so more of your lower chest, shoulder muscles, and tricep muscles are used.

Incline push-ups are easier than compared to the normal push-ups ones because of the angle at which the exercise has to be done. 

3. Training Volume

Strength, Hypertrophy and Endurance table of Mell Siff’s Supertraining

  • Strength Gains: To build your lower chest muscles, strength, do 2 to 6 sets of exercises and do 3-5 reps. Use a load that is at least 85% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM). For fewer reps, aim for closer to 90% of your 1RM.
  • Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth) To promote muscle growth perform 3-4 sets of each exercise and 8 to 12 reps per set. Use a load that falls within the range of 60 to 80% of your 1RM.
  • Endurance: The purpose of endurance training is to enhance both cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Use a load that falls within the range of 40 to 60% of your 1RM. Aim for 15 to 40 reps per set.

10 Best Exercises To Build The Lower Chest

Here is a list of 10 best lower chest exercises that help to build a well-developed chest. You can also find out how to put together a lower chest workout.

1. Barbell Decline Press

If you’re looking for straightforward chest exercises to add to your lower chest workout routine, then decline press is a great staple exercise to get you started.

Although the flat version works the lower chest, the decline press specifically focuses on the lower chest.

It is performed on a decline bench with the head positioned lower than the hips. This angle places greater emphasis on the lower chest and aids in the growth of its size, strength, and definition.

Decline Bench Press

How To Do Barbell Decline Press

  1. Adjust the decline bench to a suitable angle (usually around 15 to 30 degrees).
  2. Secure your feet at the end of the bench to maintain stability.
  3. Position yourself on the decline bench with your head lower than your hips.
  4. Grasp the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  5. Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it directly above your chest with your arms fully extended.
  6. Slowly lower the barbell towards your lower chest while maintaining control and a steady pace. Aim to bring the barbell to the mid/lower chest area.
  7. Push the barbell back up to the starting position.
  8. Perform the desired number of reps.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Focus on lowering the barbell slowly and carefully.
  • If you’re lifting heavy weights, it’s recommended to have a spotter
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.

2. Decline Dumbbell Press

The decline dumbbell bench press is an upper body workout that engages the lower pec muscles, the triceps, and the anterior deltoid muscles of the shoulders.

The decline angle of the dumbbell press allows for a greater range of motion than flat presses. This enhanced flexibility can result in enhanced range of motion, joint wellness, and enhanced muscle activity throughout the lower chest.

To add variety, try different hand and grip positions to target your muscles from different angles.

Decline Dumbbell Press

How To Do Decline Dumbbell Press

  1. First, adjust the decline bench press angle to 15-30 degrees. And then lie on your back with your face upward.
  2. With your form right, grab the dumbbell. The grip should be slightly wider than the width of your shoulders. 
  3. Hold the weights above you at shoulder height.
  4. Now extend the weights to the top overhead, feeling a good chest muscle contraction.
  5. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position and feel a good stretch in your lower pecs.
  6. Repeat the desired number of reps.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Keep your back pressed firmly against the bench and avoid excessive arching.
  • Don’t use momentum or bounce the weights off your chest.

3. Decline Dumbbell Fly

The decline dumbbell fly is a fly variation performed on a slight decline, which targets the lower chest muscles slightly more than the flat and incline fly variations.

This isolates the lower chest muscles even more because the triceps and shoulders are less involved.

There are several variations of the decline dumbbell fly that you can try to add variety and challenge to your lower workout routine.

  • Single-arm decline dumbbell chest fly,
  • The decline chest fly with twist
  • Decline dumbbell chest fly with neutral grip,
Decline Dumbbell Fly

How To Do Decline Dumbbell Fly

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie on your back on a decline bench. Hook your feet into the footpad or roller.
  2. Extend the dumbbells above your chest. Turn the palms to face each other and the dumbbells directly over your upper chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above.
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your lower pec muscles to draw them back together.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Keep the movement slow and controlled.
  • Use a slight decline, such as 30 degrees. Extremes are never the best option.
  • If you’re using heavyweights, have a spotter hold the dumbbells for you once your body is in position.

4. Parallel Bar Dip (Chest Dip)

The parallel bar dip is a compound exercise that primarily targets the chest muscles (pectoralis major), triceps, and shoulders.

Parallel bar dips allow for a greater range of motion compared to many chest exercises. When performing dips, you should lean forward rather than upright in order to effectively train the lower chest.

Range of motion of the dip allows for a deeper stretch on the lower chest and triceps, resulting in greater strength and muscle growth.

How To Do Parallel Bar Dip

  1. Stand between two parallel bars, grasping each bar.
  2. Lift your body off the ground by pushing down on the bars and supporting your weight on your hands.
  3. Keep your torso upright, engage your core, and slightly lean forward to shift the emphasis onto your lower chest muscles.
  4. Lower your body by bending your elbows until your shoulders are slightly below your elbows. Maintain control and a smooth movement.
  5. Push back up by straightening your arms, focusing on squeezing your chest muscles and triceps.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout the set.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Hold a dumbbell between your legs if you need additional resistance.
  • A little forward body bend will hit the chest muscles harder.

5. High Cable Fly

The High to low cable fly is a variation of the chest fly is a great exercise to target the lower portion of your chest. It primarily targets the lower chest and to a lesser degree also targets the shoulders and triceps.

Cable provides constant resistance and helps develop the lower and the central chest muscles by providing the much-needed stress in the lower and the inner chest.

High Cable Fly (High to Low Cable Fly)

How To Do High Cable Fly

  1. Set both pulleys as High as possible and select the desired weight.
  2. In a standing position, grab the handles with a neutral grip.
  3. Bend slightly forwards, and extend your arms feeling a good stretch in your chest muscles.
  4. Bend your elbows slightly, pull your hands (high to low) toward each other in wide arcs in front of you, pausing when your hands touch.
  5. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to arch excessively.
  • Focus on form before choosing a heavy weight.
  • Breathe out as you pull the handles together.

6. Decline Cable Fly

Decline Cable fly is one of the most suitable exercises for isolating the lower chest muscles. During the exercise, you will use a cable machine with handles attached at the bottom, while lying on a decline bench.

The handles are pulled inward and upward in a sweeping motion, crossing in front of the chest, to work the lower chest muscles

It is usually performed after big compound lifts, like the bench press and dumbbell press.

Decline Cable Fly Muscle Worked

How To Do Decline Cable Fly

  1. Set a Decline bench at a 30-degree angle. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the foot pad or the roller.
  2. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders and hold the cable handle directly over your chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above.
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your lower pec muscles to draw them back together.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the lower chest.
  • Hold and contract the chest muscles when hands are together.
  • Set bench at about 30 degrees Decline.

7. Incline Push-Ups

Incline push-ups are one of the best lower chest bodyweight exercises that you can do at home. Pushups are a great multi-functional exercise because they work the entire upper body and back.

The Incline Push-up is one of the greatest conditioning exercises for the outdoor athlete, it can be performed, regardless of where you are and, best of all, they are completely free—no expensive equipment or no annual gym fees required. All you need is a stable surface such as a table, desk, or wall.

As with many push-up variations, you can potentially rep out for added volume.

Incline Push

How To Do Incline Push-Ups

  1. Stand in front of the bench. Place the hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the bench.
  2. Adopt an incline plank position by extending the legs backward until the legs and back form a straight line.
  3. Slowly bend the arms to lower the chest toward the bench.
  4. Remember to keep the elbows and arms close to the body.
  5. Slowly push the body away from the bench, extending the arms but maintaining a slight bend in the elbow.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Be sure the bench or chair is stable and secure before you perform the push-ups.
  • Stand at a comfortable distance from the bench.
Know More: Best Push-Ups For Lower Chest That You Can Do At Home

8. Dumbbell Pullover

Dumbbell Pullover is the best exercise to build a strong rib cage and build serratus anterior muscle to build a complete chest and back.

This dual muscle engagement can help build upper body strength and muscle definition. It also engages the core muscles, which work to stabilize your body on the bench.

Dumbbell Pullover

How To Do Dumbbell Pullover

  1. Lie across on a bench on your shoulders so that your head is hanging.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands and get it straight over your chest.
  3. Extend your arms overhead and slightly behind your head, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
  4. Lower the dumbbell in an arc, slowly getting a good stretch in your rib cage.
  5. Lower the dumbbell as far as possible and then raise it back to the starting position.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Keep your core engaged, back pressed against the bench.
  • Maximum stretching ensures the greatest expansion of the rib cage.
  • Relax your hips and let them fall, as relaxed hips help in extra expansion.
  • Inhale as you lower the dumbbell, and exhale as you lift it back to its starting position.

9. Seated Machine Fly

The seated machine fly is a popular exercise that targets the muscles of the chest. It helps to develop and strengthen the lower chest by allowing for focused isolation of it.

It allows you to focus on the mind-muscle connection and feel the chest muscles contracting while you exercise.

Many different machines fly variations are available to try out, which require different types of machine flying equipment.

  • Single-Arm Seated Machine Fly
  • Elbow Supported Pec Deck Fly
Machine Fly

How To Do Seated Machine Fly

  1. Sit on the machine, taking care to place your back flat against the pad.
  2. Grab the vertical handles with elbows slightly bent.
  3. Keep your chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, and feet planted firmly on the ground.
  4. Start with your arms extended out to the side, with your elbows slightly bent.
  5. Contract your chest muscles and bring the handles or grips together in front of your chest.
  6. Squeeze the handles together until they touch in front of your chest.
  7. Slowly and under control, reverse the motion and let your arms move back out to the sides.

Tips for Proper Form

  • Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your eyes straight ahead while performing the exercise.
  • Try to bring the handles together so that your hands meet your chest.

10. Smith Machine Decline Bench Press

Finally, if you’re looking for one more effective lower chest exercise, try the smith machine decline bench press.

The smith machine decline bench press eliminates some of the need for shoulders stability during the exercise, allowing the lifter to better isolate the lower chest muscles.

Smith Machine Decline Bench Press

How To Do Smith Machine Decline Bench Press

  1. Lie flat on a decline bench inside the smith machine and set your hands just outside of shoulder width.
  2. Lower the bar in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest.
  3. Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench.
  4. Hold this position for a count and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Perform them before triceps in any workout.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements
  • For heavyweights, use a spotter.

Benefits of Training Lower Chest Muscles

  • Targeting the lower chest muscles helps create a well-rounded and balanced chest appearance.
  • It helps improve posture by preventing rounded shoulders, which are often caused by weak chest muscles.
  • Strong lower chest muscles help prevent injuries when doing upper body exercises.
  • Assist with everyday tasks that involve pushing, lifting, or carrying objects.
  • Well-defined lower chest muscles contribute to an aesthetically pleasing and muscular physique.
  • Increases the range of motion of the shoulders and arms.

Advanced Techniques To Train The Lower Chest

When it comes to training, the lower chest, advanced techniques can help to grow more muscle and improve overall development.

Here are some advanced ways to work on your lower chest:

1. Supersets

Combine two exercises that work on the lower part of your chest in a superset way.

For instance, perform a set of decline dumbbell presses immediately followed by a set of decline fly, without any rest in between.

Supersets increase training intensity, promote muscle fatigue, and enhance the overall effectiveness of your workout.

2. Drop Sets

Start with a heavier weight and perform an exercise until failure. Then, immediately reduce the weight and continue the set without rest.

Drop sets help increase muscle fatigue and recruit additional muscle fibers for greater stimulation.

3. Pause Reps

During your sets, incorporate pauses at different points of the exercise to increase time under tension and challenge the muscles further.

For example, perform a Decline bench press and pause for 2-3 seconds at the bottom, mid-range, or top of the movement. This technique stimulates greater muscle recruitment and promotes muscle growth.

4. Eccentric Training

Research has shown that eccentric training increases muscle growth and strength more than traditional training methods.

Eccentric training focuses on emphasizing the lowering (eccentric) phase of the exercise, which has been found to stimulate muscle hypertrophy.

To incorporate this technique, perform the eccentric phase of the exercise (e.g., lowering the weight during a decline bench press) slowly and under control.

5. Rest-Pause Training

According to research, the utilization of rest-pause training results in a greater level of muscle activation and metabolic stress as compared to traditional sets.

Rest-pause training involves performing a set to failure, briefly resting (10-20 seconds), and then continuing with additional reps using the same weight.

This technique helps to recruit more muscle fibers and increase training volume.

Complete Workout Plans To Train Lower Chest

If you want to make your chest workout more balanced, you should add 1-2 of the following lower chest exercises to it. We recommend that you train your entire chest during your chest workouts because your lower chest muscles are a small part of your whole chest.

  • If your lower chest is considerably undeveloped, I suggest choosing 2 of these exercises, and performing 1 of them at the start of your Chest workout.
  • If your lower chest is well-developed, but you’re looking to continue to add mass, then I would suggest choosing only 1 exercise.

Before you get started with a chest workout, make sure you warm up properly. Then do a few warm-up sets with lighter weight or just your bodyweight before doing the exercises with heavier weight.

Sets And Reps For Chest Workout

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.

When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress. 


The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • 6-8 reps with heavy load
  • 8-15 reps with moderate load
  • 15-20+ with light load

The load should bring you to or near failure within the given rep ranges for the exercise to be effective.

Find the workout that suits your experience level and goals.

Challenge Yourself

Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself if you want to see actual results. This could mean doing supersets or drop sets, which are a great way to work towards failure. Rest when needed between sets but keep going if you can to complete a superset. 

Beginner Lower Chest Workout Plan

If you’re new to lifting weights, don’t worry. This beginner-friendly chest workout routine is a great place to start.

When this gets easy, choose a heavier free weight. After you’ve upped your weight several times and feel strong in the movements below, move on to the intermediate routine.

Until then, you can follow this beginner chest workout plan.

Incline Push-Ups48-1260-90 sec
Decline Dumbbell Press48-1060-90 sec
Cable Fly38-1060-90 sec

Intermediate Lower Chest Workout

If you are an intermediate level or have outgrown the beginner routine, try the intermediate chest workout routine below.

Regardless of how many reps your programming is calling for, you should be unable to complete the last one with proper form.

Dumbbell Bench Press48-1060-90 sec
Decline Barbell Press48-1260-90 sec
High Pulley Crossover38-1060 sec
Dumbbell fly312-1560 sec

Advanced Chest Workout

If you are an advanced level athlete or have already completed the beginner and intermediate chest workouts, give the advanced routine a try.

Here, you’ll challenge more of your balance, stability, and strength.

Decline Barbell Bench Press48-1060-90 sec
Machine Fly48-1260 sec
Decline Cable Fly3-48-1045-60 sec
Smith Machine Press312-1545-60 sec
Incline Push-Ups315-2060 sec


Are lower chest exercises necessary?

Lower chest workouts in your first few days of weight lifting are not necessary. However, once you start to feel your chest muscles growing, you will need to start doing lower chest exercises in your chest training routine in order to achieve well-defined chest muscles.

Do you have to train lower chest?

Yes, To build a well-defined chest that stands out, you have to target the lower chest. The best way to add size and strength to your chest is to press, press, do a fly, and press some more.

How often should you work lower chest?

You should train your lower chest 1 to 2 times per week to build mass and strength. If your goal is muscle hypertrophy, then you should do 8-12 repetitions per set.

If you’re looking to tone your muscles, then 1-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions should be sufficient.


For anyone interested in building upper body strength and gaining muscle, this best lower chest exercises and workout plan is highly recommended. It is best to add these exercises to a full-body strength training routine to achieve a well-balanced physique.

It not only allows for targeted muscle development, but also provides an overall body workout. Furthermore, it is easy to do and requires no more scientific details. If done consistently, the results will speak by themselves.

Thanks for reading, enjoy working your chest training.

Stay Fit, Live a Happy and Healthy Life


10 Best Lower Chest Exercises To Build Your Pecs

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