Lower Chest Workout with Dumbbell Exercises

Building a big ‘ol chest that hangs is among the goals of every gym bro in existence, and for a good reason – it looks awesome! That said, it might be easier said than done, especially when you only have a pair of dumbbells. 

Let’s look at the 5 best lower pec exercises you can do with dumbbells. 

5 Best Lower Chest Dumbbell Exercises

Building your lower chest doesn’t have to require a barbell or cable machine. Here is a list of 5 of the best dumbbell exercises you can do with only dumbbells. 

1. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Difficulty: 6/10

This will be your bread and butter when it comes to building lower pecs. The reason is that it’s hard to replicate as a compound movement with good stability and room to progress. You’ll be able to get nice and strong over the course of weeks, allowing for maximal growth. The only people who should not be doing this movement are those who suffer from any tendinitis in the shoulders or elbows. 

This movement will target the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. 

How to do it: 

  1. Set up a bench in a decline position and sit on it, legs in place, dumbbells on your knees 
  2. Lay down on the bench and hold the dumbbells in position over your body 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells down towards your chest with your elbows at 45 degrees. 
  4. Once the dumbbells touch your chest, press them up to their original position.
  5. That’s one rep 

Pro Tips:

  • Remember to use a spotter at all times to ensure your safety.
  • Breath out as you press the dumbbells away from your body
  • Do not flare your elbows to 90 degrees, but rather 45 degrees between the torso and shoulder line. This puts less tension on the shoulders.  

Sets and Reps: 

As it is a primary movement, you should put this in the first part of the workout and do 3 – 4 sets. Your rep range can be anything from 8 up to 15 reps. 

Alternatives: 

  • Decline Barbell Bench Press 
  • Standing Decline Cable Press

2. Decline Dumbbell Flyes

Difficulty: 7/10

Whenever trying to hit the lower pecs, we have to shift the resistance profile, meaning we have to move where the weight is straining the muscle. Thus, we angle the body so the lower chest does most of the work. One of the easiest ways to do this is by doing decline chest movements such as Decline Flyes. 

Decline Flyes are a bit harder than decline presses. They will not train the triceps. However, they will strain the shoulders more. Typically, more of an isolation exercise that should be done later in the workout. 

This movement will target the pecs and shoulders. 

How to do it: 

  1. Set up a bench in a decline position and sit on it, legs in place, dumbbells on your knees 
  2. Lay down on the bench and hold the dumbbells in position over your body 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells by flaring your arms open (like you are about to give someone a hug) 
  4. Once the dumbbells are as low as you can allow them to go, “fly” them up to their original position (do not bend your arms at any moment in this process) 
  5. That’s one rep 

Pro Tips: 

  • Do not attempt these if you are brand new to the gym. 
  • Make sure you use an experienced spotter for these. 

Sets and Reps: 

Typically, isolation movements are done with less intensity but more volume, so you can aim for 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps. 

Alternatives: 

  • Standing Decline Cable Flyes 

3. Dumbbell Pullovers

Difficulty: 7/10

The Dumbbell Pullover sparks hot debates about whether it trains the back or chest, but our simple question is, why not both? While not the most conventional of exercises, the pullover grants you the ability to isolate the chest without using any other pushing muscles, namely the shoulders and triceps. 

This movement will target the pecs and lats (might stretch the triceps as well). 

How to do it: 

  1. Set a bench in a flat position and lay sideways on it, with only your upper back on it. 
  2. Set a dumbbell on your chest to get ready for the movement. Grab the insides of the weight plate of the dumbbell with both hands (like you would make a diamond shape with your hands) and press the dumbbell above your body. 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbell overhead without raising your back off the bench. 
  4. You will feel a stretch in your chest, back, and triceps. Once you can no longer lower the dumbbell, bring it back to its original position. 
  5. That’s one rep. 

Sets and Reps: 

These are more of an isolation exercise, thus, do them later in the workout and stick to 2 – 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps each. 

Alternatives: 

  • Cable Pullovers

4. Weighted Dips with Dumbbell 

Difficulty: 8/10

Back in 200 AD, the Romans invented these as a means to beef up their military. That is, of course, a complete lie, but I could’ve fooled you! Dips are definitely old-school, but they are amazing at developing the lower chest. They require a good amount of base strength, so don’t be ashamed if you cannot start with a dumbbell or have to start with a regular bench. 

This movement will target the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. 

How to do it: 

  1. Set up a dipping station for your body structure before attempting the movement
  2. Set the dumbbell between your feet and lift yourself into position 
  3. Grab the dumbbell between your feet (squeeze hard!) and raise yourself into position
  4. Slowly lower your body until your chest is in line with your hands. Then, press your body up to the starting position.
  5. That’s one rep. 

Note! You don’t have to use a dipping station. Other methods include using a bench or chair. Another thing to note is that this particular exercise is really hard on the triceps, so you can also use them to train the triceps! 

Pro Tips:

  • Having someone place the dumbbell between your feet will save you a lot of trouble
  • Going deep may look cool, but going as deep as your body allows is better since you won’t end up hurting yourself (don’t lie to yourself, though!)  

Sets and Reps: 

Another bread-and-butter movement that you can get really strong on. Put these earlier in the workout and complete 3 – 4 sets of 6 – 12 reps. 

Alternatives: 

  • Any Decline pressing movement. 

5. Decline Dumbbell Neutral Grip Bench Press

Difficulty: 6/10

Using a neutral grip compared to a normal grip won’t magically shift the load to a different part of the chest. What it will do, however, is take some strain off the shoulders! And while your fellow gym brethren might have you believe this grip means more tricep, it doesn’t. 

This movement will target the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. 

How to do it: 

  1. Set up a bench in a decline position and sit on it, legs in place, dumbbells on your knees. 
  2. Lay down on the bench and hold the dumbbells in position over your body in a neutral grip (palms facing one another) 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells down toward your chest 
  4. Once the dumbbells touch your chest, press them up to their original position
  5. That’s one rep. 

Pro Tips: 

  • You can get more depth using this grip. However, make sure you only go as deep as your body allows
  • As before, make sure you have a spotter when doing any decline movement.

Sets and Reps: 

Similar to Decline Dumbbell Bench Press, the intensity and load should be higher on these. With less strain on the shoulders, you can use a lot of weight here, so aim for 4 sets of 6 – 10 reps. 

Alternatives: 

  • Decline Barbell Bench Press
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Standing Decline Cable Press 

Lower Chest Workout

Before you start, make sure you do a good warmup for the shoulders, triceps, and chest. This doesn’t mean you have to spend 20 minutes stretching, but some mobility movements will help prevent injuries. 

  1. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 8 – 15 reps
  2. Decline Neutral Grip Bench Press: 2 sets x 6 – 10 reps, 1 set x 12 – 15 reps 
  3. Dips: 2 sets x 6 – 15 reps (with weight), 1 set x As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) 
  4. Decline Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets x 12 – 15 reps
  5. Dumbbell Pullovers: 2 sets x 10 – 15 reps

FAQs

How do I build my lower chest fast?

To build muscle, you need to train the muscle to get stronger week to week, follow a calorie surplus diet, and rest enough to allow the muscles to recover. 

How can I target my lower chest at home?

It will certainly be harder at home, but it can be done. Try doing some dips on a bench or chair, as well as a myriad of different pushup variations. 

Is the lower chest hard to grow?

It is no harder to grow than the rest of the chest. However, most men tend to carry a lot of fat there, making it appear less muscular than the rest of the chest. 

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