Lower Pecs - 'Shelf'?

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    Jul 12, 2010 9:13 AM GMT
    Can someone please advise what the best exercise(s) is/are for developing the bottom of the pecs, to get them to really stick out and give the chest that 'shelf' look?

    I am assuming decline bench press would be a main one... currently all I'm doing for chest is flat bench press and flyes.
  • mtneerman

    Posts: 476

    Jul 12, 2010 3:27 PM GMT
    decline flyes work, where you bring you hands together over your belly button.
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    Jul 12, 2010 3:49 PM GMT
    mtneerman saiddecline flyes work, where you bring you hands together over your belly button.


    So rather than have your arms stretched out at right angles they would be angled down? Will have to have a go.

    Really annoyingly, my gym doesn't have a dipping station, as I think they're supposed to be good for lower chest development. Not sure about alternatives...?
  • mtneerman

    Posts: 476

    Jul 12, 2010 5:04 PM GMT
    i use a treadmill for dips, i put towels over the treadmill arms to keep it from hurting my hands, you cant get weighted assistance if you need it, but you can always put a foot down to help yourself up.

    another lower pec exercise is decline push ups, where your feet are on a bench, or a ball.

    i guess that ones already been mentioned.
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    Jul 12, 2010 5:20 PM GMT
    Decline bench press also works as dose up-lift cables. The last may need a little explaining. You need a machine with dual cables that are somewhat close together. Most gyms have cable machines (used a lot for triceps pulldowns and back work) with cables spaced widely, facing each other, but they should also have a machine with cables facing each other and close together. lower the cable pulley to the lowest comfortable setting (ideal is on either side of your ankles when they are shoulder width apart) and attache one-hand grips to each carabiner. Grasp the grips with your arms straight down by your side and your palms facing front. With your arms as straight as possible, lift so that your biceps and palms are facing upward. The end of motion should be with hands at shoulder height and grips touching at the center of your pecs.

    Hope this helps!
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    Jul 12, 2010 8:08 PM GMT
    Incline push-ups (head higher than feet... for a real challenge squeeze a stability ball between your hands while doing pushups), decline BENCH PRESS (feet higher than head) and a low-fat diet. Any area that you want to emphasize you want to have the weight directly opposite that area. Thus for the outside of your pecs you do wide grip, for the middle you do close grip, etc. Same thing works on upper vs. lower. To emphasize your upper chest you do incline bench, to emphasize lower chest you do decline bench so it's that area doing the bulk of the pushing.

    However, that said, the shape of your pecs or any muscle is dictated in part by your own structure... where the muscle fibers are attached to the rest of you. The bottom of my pecs angle up towards the center of my chest and although my chest has gotten deeper and more defined, there is nothing I can really do to make them more square, it's just the shape of my muscles.
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    Jul 12, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    NickFit said
    mtneerman saiddecline flyes work, where you bring you hands together over your belly button.


    So rather than have your arms stretched out at right angles they would be angled down? Will have to have a go.

    Really annoyingly, my gym doesn't have a dipping station, as I think they're supposed to be good for lower chest development. Not sure about alternatives...?


    What if you put two benches about 5' apart, put your feet on one and your hands behind you on the other one and do dips that way?

  • biathlete01

    Posts: 81

    Jul 12, 2010 8:14 PM GMT
    I do the decline and very heavy.

    Also do flat, incline, and machine flies.

    Once you get the technique down, you should always be able to do more weight on the decline than flat or incline.
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    Jul 12, 2010 10:19 PM GMT
    Decline press and see those bad boys bounce! Also do cable crossover for the sides to even it out Good luck mate
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    Jul 13, 2010 7:57 AM GMT
    Thanks for the suggestions, will be trying some out later! icon_cool.gif
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    Jul 13, 2010 7:59 AM GMT
    Diamond griped push up followed up by doing "pryamids" (Figure pushing the sky) Then back to diamonds and repeat.
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Oct 24, 2010 9:26 AM GMT
    do decine bench press i think it is the best. i have always done that and my lower chest is string and looks good. now i need to build the rest lol lol
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    Oct 24, 2010 1:08 PM GMT
    declines all the way............
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    Oct 24, 2010 1:13 PM GMT
    im having a hard time picturing what a shelf pec is...I need pictures to see if i want one or not
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Oct 24, 2010 1:26 PM GMT
    mtneerman saidanother lower pec exercise is decline push ups, where your feet are on a bench, or a ball.


    If you're feet are on the bench/ball and your hands are on the ground that would work the upper pecs and shoulders. I think you mean the reverse.

    Cable flys (and variations) can also easily be targeted to the lower pecs (and do so rather naturally if the cable attachment point is much higher than shoulder level).
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Oct 24, 2010 1:31 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile said
    What if you put two benches about 5' apart, put your feet on one and your hands behind you on the other one and do dips that way?


    If you put two benches side-by-side, you can put one hand on each (body in the space between) and do dips. However, in order for the dips to target the pecs you have to be able to bend slightly (straight vertical dips are almost entirely triceps). I don't know if you'd have enough clearance to easily do pec-involved dips, but you could try and see.

    Doing dips on a treadmill would be much easier (like mtnneerman said).
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    Feb 27, 2012 12:26 PM GMT
    Last I checked the pectoral muscle is 1 muscle. There are no upper/lower middle pec exercise. If you activate the muscle, you activate the muscle. What determines how much of the muscle you recruit is the intensity of the contraction. What determines the intensity of the contraction is the weight. If you're not getting results, lift heavier weight. If you can't lift heavier weight, start lifting ballistically (ie slam that car trunk shut sorta movement). This sort of neural innervation temporarily recruits more muscle than a slow and steady neural innervation does. Which of the three bench presses (incline, flat, or decline) can you lift the most weight safely? I say flat bench because you can lift the most weight safely without dropping it on your ribs or face and do not need to rely on a bar, which would less activate stabilizers, which are obviously important to you if you care about the mythical upper and lower pecs. A spotter isn't as necessary for a horizontal press either as it is for a decline. I don't know anyone who can lift more weight on incline than decline or flat, so it's not even a good pec exercise but more of a shoulder exercise, in which case you may as well do overhead press or military press. If you still don't like the shape of your pecs, blame parents for poor aesthetics in terms of muscle origin and insertion shape.

    Decline won't get you any different results than flat bench and is more dangerous.
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    Feb 27, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    I rescind my previous post. Research shows the incline press is better for recruiting the clavicular head of the pectoral muscle than the horizontal bench press. The horizontal press is better for the sternocostal head of the pectoral muscle.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

    I need to add that back into my routine. I forgot the pectorals have two origins.