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Decline Bench Press Alternative

Decline Bench Press Alternative

Don’t have a decline bench press available? Or is that one decline bench press station always taken? Or are you’re just bored of doing the same exercise over and over again? Here are my top 8 best decline bench press alternative exercises you could do.

What Muscles Does a Decline Bench Press Target & What Makes a Good Alternative?

The decline bench press primarily targets the lower pectoral muscles. So what makes a good alternative? Well, exercises that target and hit the lower pecs! Below we have put down some of my favorite decline bench press alternative exercise that will burn and build your lower chest.

Related reading: Pull Up Bar Exercises For Abs, Leg Press Foot Placement

Want The Best Decline Bench Press Alternative? Here Are 8 of My Favorite!

Don’t get me wrong, decline bench press is an amazing exercise to target your chest (especially your lower pectoral muscles). But what if you’re trying to diversify your routine with new exercises or would simply like to change things up. Here are my top 8 favorite decline bench press alternative exercises.

1. High To Low Cable Fly

When you’re looking for a decline bench press alternative, high to low cable fly should be one of your choices. High to Low Cable Fly is not only great for building up your lower pecs, but they also effectively target your triceps and shoulder muscles. It is a perfect exercise to finish your upper body workout with. So how do you do it?


  1. Set the cable handles to the highest point – this will help isolate the lower chest even more! Setting them lower will emphasize on the upper chest.
  2. Grab the handles with each hand and take a step or two away from the cable machine. You must have your elbows slightly bent.
  3. Stand with one foot in front of the other for balance and lean forward.
  4. From here pull the cable from the high position down until the cables touch.
  5. Pause for a second and come back to the starting position.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?Aim for 3 sets, 8-12 reps

Remember form is everything for this exercise. There is no point increasing the weight while sacrificing your form.

2. Incline Push ups

Incline push ups offer an excellent decline bench press alternative. These push ups allow you to work you lower pectoral muscle to a greater extent and also involve your triceps. But isn’t this push up variation for beginners? No! This might not seem as hard to perform however it is very effective to target you lower chest. What’s best about this exercise is that you don’t need a gym. A bench, a stool or your bed might just do the job. So how do you do it?


  1. Place your hands on an elevated surface and position your body in a plank position. You should form an angle but make sure you form straight line from your head to your heels.
  2. Bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself down till your chest is touching the bench. Your elbows must be by your sides.
  3. Squeeze your lower pecs and push yourself back up.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?3 sets of 10–20 repetitions

Want to make this an even better decline bench press alternative? Try using an underhand grip. To do this, place your hands in a way that makes your fingers point your toes. With this grip, you will be holding the under the raised surface.

3. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

This is the most obvious alternative to a decline bench press since you are using dumbbells instead of a barbell. This exercise primarily targets the lower pecs, making it a suitable alternative. A lot of people have problems with their dominant arm being stronger then there other arm. Using dumbbells can actually help fix this because you will be targeting each arm separately. According to Men’s Health targeting each arm separately results in your body’s natural muscle-balancing system to play a significant role.


  1. Lie down on the decline bench with your dumbbells gripped firmly on each arm. Keep the dumbbells near your chest.
  2. Straighten your arms and push the dumbbell over your chest.
  3. Slowly bring the dumbbells back until they are again on either side of your chest. Repeat this.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?3 – 5 sets of 8 – 12 reps

Is there a way to maximize your lower pecs involvement throughout this exercise? There is! When you reach the top of your movement, rotate the dumbbells at the top, so that your pinkies touch. This will make this an even better alternative to a decline bench press.

4. Dips On Parallel Bars

Want an alternative exercise of the decline bench press? Dips on parallel bars is a great and effective choice. Note that this exercise isn’t easy, in fact it is hard because your lifting your own body weight. If you can’t do one, try doing negative dips or go to an assisted dips machine. This exercise targets your lower pectoral muscles , your triceps and shoulders making this an effective alternative to a decline bench press.


  1. Grasp the parallel bars or the handles on the dip station.
  2. Step off the floor or platform so that your bodyweight is on your arms. Make sure your arms a straight.
  3. Lean forward slightly.
  4. Slowly lower yourself down while bending your elbows.
  5. Keep lowering yourself down till your elbows are above your shoulders.
  6. Press back up till your arms are straight again. Make sure your still leaning forward.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?2-3 sets of however many reps you can do.

Want the most lower pec activation? You must lean forward. Doing the dips on a parallel bar in an upright position targets more on the triceps so lean forward to get that lower chest involvement. If you find dips too easy (that’s amazing), try adding more weight or increase the time it takes for you to do one rep. Go down slower and go up slower.

5. Decline Dumbbell Fly

Another really good exercise that targets the lower chest and is a great alternative to the decline bench press. Other muscles such as biceps and shoulders are also involved. Remember form is everything, especially in this one since you could injure your shoulder when doing it incorrectly. So how do you do it correctly?


  1. Grip a pair of dumbbells in each hand and lie down on a bench.
  2. Raise the dumbbells so that your arms are fully extended above your chest. Make sure your palms are facing each other. This is your starting position.
  3. Having a slight bend in your elbows, open your arms to lower the dumbbells to your sides until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  4. Hold this position for a second.
  5. Bring the dumbbells back up slowly to the starting position.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?3-4 sets of 8 – 12 reps

Of course don’t bring your arms way to low (past the point where they are parallel to your body) since this can cause shoulder injuries. Also if your struggling performing this, use a lighter weight. Using weights that are too difficult can cause injuries so instead use lighter weights and focus on more reps.

6. Dumbbell Pullover

This is a great upper body exercise that targets the lower pecs, your lats and also your serratus anterior. You won’t be fully isolating your lower pecs however it is a great exercise for shaping and building your upper body.


  1. Grab a dumbbell and sit on a bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lie down on the bench and extend your arms over your chest.
  3. With a slight bend in your elbows and your core engaged, lower the dumbbell over your head slowly.
  4. Keep lowering till your arms are parallel to the floor.
  5. Pause for a moment.
  6. From here bring the dumbbell back to the starting position.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions

To avoid shoulder pain throughout this, reduce the weight and focus on more reps. If shoulder pain continues, DON’T PERFORM THIS EXERCISE and instead speak to your doctor or trainer to see the reason.

7. Jackhammer Pushdowns

This exercise, if done correctly, can be a very useful and effective alternative to the decline bench press. It’s similar to the triceps pushdown exercise however the difference is with your elbows. In this movement, you will take your elbows out to the side and lean forward to get that lower chest activation.


  1. Stand closer to the triceps pushdown machine than usual. Grip the handle making sure your elbows are flared out and lean forward. This is your starting position.
  2. Push the bar down until your elbows are fully extended.
  3. Slowly come back to the starting position by allowing your chest to open up and your elbows are out and up.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?3-4 sets of 8 – 12 reps

8. Dumbbell Hip Extension Floor Press

Don’t have a decline bench press but have a pair of dumbbells? Perfect! Performing this exercise is a great alternative of the decline bench press. It targets the lower pecs (because of the decline angle of your body), triceps and the shoulders.


  1. Lie on the floor with your knees bent gripping a pair of dumbbells on each hand positioned on your sides.
  2. Press your feet on the floor to lift your hips of the ground so your body is in an angle. This is your starting position
  3. Raise the dumbbells so that your arms are fully extended.
  4. Slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position.
How Many Reps & Sets Should You Do?3 – 5 sets of 8 – 12 reps

Not only will this exercise work your lower chest, it also helps hip mobility and glute strength. This exercise is pretty safe to do however ensure the weights you are lifting aren’t to heavy. Aim for good form! So you want an alternative to a decline bench press? Definitely take this into consideration.

Benefits Of Lower Chest Exercises?

People tend to overlook the benefits of targeting the lower chest. Not only does it help build that bigger chest that you’ve always wished for, but it also has a lot more benefits. One being your posture. Yes! Working your lower chest IMPROVES YOUR POSTURE as its length and strength contributes to your shoulder position. Strengthening and lengthening your chest supports deeper BREATHING because your pecs are connected to your ribcage which expand with every breathe. Lastly, it help with your EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES. You might not realize how much you use your chest muscles. From lifting an object to pushing something all require your chest. So don’t forget to train your chest.

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