I am looking for exercises specifically for the lower pectorals. Other than pullovers and decline bench, what will work this group best?
First, it should be noted that during any pushing, pressing or horizontal adduction exercise, the entire pec major will be involved. Yes, depending upon the angle of resistance, particular fibers will have more involvement than others, but it is important to understand that in a "DEcline" press for example, the exercise is not recruiting more lower pec major fibers as a prime mover. It may be simply recruiting less upper pec major fibers as a prime mover. Research has shown that in general, slight decline presses (15 to 20 degrees) recruit the largest total amount of pec major fibers due to the "stacking" of these fibers when in this position. It should also be noted that all of this is vary relative to individual structure, which is genetic.
Second, a dumbbell pullover is a highly over-rated pec exercise due to the fact that in the end position (dumbbell over the chest) the angle of resistance has disappeared as it passes straight down through the arms, placing very little stress on the pec major.
Finally, a great and highly underrated "lower pec major" exercise is the old stand by: the push up. As pictured in the diagram below, the closed-chain nature of the push up creates a "decline" angle at the chest (which can better be seen when flipped up side down). There are many progressions and variations of the push up which, when all is said and done, make it an awesome highly "integrated" CORE and chest exercise. I've listed a few variations below.
- FLOOR PUSH-UP
- PUSH-UP WITH ROTATION
- PUSH-UP WITH ROTATION - WITH DUMBBELLS
- PUSH-UP WITH HIP EXTENSION
- PUSH-UP WITH HIP ABDUCTION
- STABILITY BALL PUSH-UP (HANDS ON BALL) with any of the above variations.
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