If you're like me, your chest is stubborn. When I say stubborn, I mean it doesn't seem to want to grow. You pound away at it, you try different routines. You try just about every exercise in the books, and nothing seems to work. I personally have a hard time developing the lower/outer part of my pecs.
About three months ago, I got a bench that was able to decline. I had never done any decline chest exercises before, so I decided to add one to my routine. After my first workout, my chest was pumped! For the first time, my chest actually looked "big". Of course, I know I was bigger because I had just got done working out.
At first, lying on a decline may seem awkward, but you'll get used to it. I attach my leg attachment to my bench and load it with weights. Then I position my legs as I would when doing leg extensions. This keeps my body from sliding down the bench.
The three exercises that I recommend doing are the decline bench press, decline dumbbell press, and the V-bar pulldown.
Decline Bench Press
The main muscles worked in the Decline Barbell Bench Press are the lower pecs. The middle chest, triceps, and shoulders, however, are also worked. This is done just like a flat bench press. It is important to control the weight on the negative and really stretch those pecs.
Decline Dumbbell Press
The Decline Dumbbell Press is my favorite exercise, simply for the fact that it makes my chest look so full! You may need assist getting the dumbbells into the starting position. When you start this exercise, the dumbbells should be parallel to your legs. They should also be level will your chest.
When you push the weights up, you should rotate your thumbs towards each other. Stop rotating a little bit before the dumbbells are perpendicular with your legs. At the top of the movement squeeze your pecs together. Now on the negative, slowly bring the dumbbells down, rotating them back to parallel with your legs. At the bottom of the movement, you should stretch your chest.
I like these declined exercises because I feel they really isolate the chest, instead of using your shoulders. When doing the standard flat or inclined presses, it feels like your shoulders take a lot of the load off your chest. Declined presses make you use your chest.
A word of caution when doing the declined dumbbell press: Make sure you can handle the weight and stay balanced with it. Using a weight that is too heavy will take away from your range of motion and overall effectiveness of this exercise. Also make sure you stay balanced.
Just last week when I was doing this exercise, I lost my balance and had to bail out. Luckily, I was not hurt. It is important to control the weight throughout the entire exercise. Losing control could lead to you injuring your shoulder.
An exercise that I feel helps assist in making your chest fill out is the V-Bar Pulldown. This exercise hits right between the chest and the armpits. Adding this exercise can help enhance your chest.
Here is the routine that I recommend doing:
- Decline Bench Press: 2 sets x 4-6 reps
- Declined Dumbbell Press: 2 x 4-6
- Inclined Dumbbell Press: 2 x 4-6
- Dips: 2 x reps to failure
I personally like the 4-6 rep range. I have made my best gains with this range. If you do not like this rep range or you do not gain from, use a different rep range.
This routine lets you hit the entire chest. If you are having trouble developing your chest I highly recommend this routine. I am about to restart this routine in two weeks. If you try this routine, email and tell me your experiences - good, bad, whatever!
After your workout, take time to look yourself over. You will be pumped and look bigger. This can be very motivational. Keep a mental picture of yourself of how you look after you workout. Strive to look like this when you are cold (before you work out or when the pump has left). Think about this picture while you workout!