How do I make the bottom of my pecs cut and defined?
April 28, 2007 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Can I shape and define my lower pecs without doing bench presses?

I've been working out consistently for the last four months, and I'm mighty proud of the toning I've achieved on my upper arms and between my pecs - my cleavage, as it were. The bottom of my pecs, however, are still gently sloping towards my abs... and I don't like that. I want them to be cut and defined, but how do I target the bottom of those suckers?

I'd like to keep using the same low-impact equipment I have available, which is: my body weight, a chin-up bar, two push-up bars, and an exercise ball. Is it possible to target that area with my meager exercise arsenal?
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Could you do a high rep decline bench press with light dumbbells?
posted by null terminated at 7:23 PM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

seen here
posted by null terminated at 7:24 PM on April 28, 2007

Dips between two chairs. Attach weights to your waist for extra resistance.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:37 PM on April 28, 2007

Sorry to tell ya, [unusualusername], but cutz 'n' def come only with reduced bodyfat levels. Attend to your diet, sir.
posted by rob511 at 7:44 PM on April 28, 2007

The thing that defined my lower pecs for me was the decline bench press. If you want to do it at home style, you could get an ab board and put it on a decline and use dumbells. You can get a set of dumbells for under 100 bucks with adjustable plates to change the weight. The single most versatile home workout thing you could have. Besides those I have 2 different size exercise balls, ankle weights, and a chin up bar, and I can work out everything with that equipment. Check out for exercise instructions.
posted by baking soda at 7:45 PM on April 28, 2007

like rob511 said, you gotta reduce bodyfat levels to get true definition. There is no such thing as spot training, you can't reduce fat on one area of your body, but you can make certain areas of your body stronger which could help to hide the extra body fat that you have. Sorry to say you're not going to get much strength just from straight pushups, you need more resistance. The gym is one way to do that, lifting with free weights is probably the most effective way of getting quick gains. If it's strength and mass you're looking for go with fewer reps and high weight, it also wouldn't hurt to mix in some high rep excercises. Whenever I don't have time to go to the gym I strap on a bookbag, load that sucker with the heaviest textbooks I can find and do pushups that way. A chinup bar is an awesome back excercise, keep on with those.
posted by BrnP84 at 8:15 PM on April 28, 2007

Unfortunately there aren't too many options for pectoral muscles--the very nature of their range of force and motion suggest a pretty narrow exercise regiment. You could substitute dumbbells, as null terminated offers. Bar-dips will help, but won't specifically target the muscle group.

Small aside: Honestly, the pectoral muscles are probably the most overrated muscle group on the human skeleton, given far too much emphasis by those that don't even use them. If you've ever examined the physiques of true athletes (Olympic-caliber), you hardly ever see huge pecs (save for weight-lifting events). Compared to your abdominals, shoulders or arms, the pecs are nothing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:58 AM on April 29, 2007

Civil_Disobedient - Yes, but the girls do like the way they look. It all depends on your goals. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 8:54 AM on April 29, 2007

C_D, swimmers, too.
posted by dame at 9:35 AM on April 29, 2007

The key to targeting the lower pecs is to do the pressing movement with your arms at some angle between pointing straight out and toward your feet. Hence the decline press if you have an adjustable bench and free weights.

Using only the equipment you already have and bodyweight, you could elevate the push-up bars on...say...a coffee table so that your body is at less than a 90 degree angle to your arms. Wear a backpack with books in it if you need more resistance, as BrnP84 suggested.
posted by randomstriker at 12:20 PM on April 29, 2007

Definition is, as everyone's said, all a matter of body fat.

But on "getting big", I'd honestly not worry about specific muscle groups too much. Concentrate on big compound movements: deadlift, bench press, squats. If you want to mix it up, try gymnastics stuff: hanging leg raises, handstand pushups, the press to handstand, muscle-ups, etc - the Crossfit site will get you started on this. Eat lots, too - this is why it's hard to get well defined at the same time you're getting strong.

One suggestion I've found works lower pecs intensely: straight bar dips are much harder than dips on two bars. Begin in a front support on a single rail, for example an oly bar in a squat rack. Keep your core tight, bend your legs, and bend your arms as low as possible, at least till the bar touches your sternum. Then straighten your arms and round your back so that the bar touches the middle part of your thigh. This should challenge you if you have not done it before.
posted by Bletch at 1:03 PM on April 29, 2007

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