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What Exercise Works the Outer Pecs?

author image Joshua McCarron
Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.
What Exercise Works the Outer Pecs?
Working on your outer pecs improves your upper body physique. Photo Credit Art-Of-Photo/iStock/Getty Images

To have a complete-looking upper body physique, you must have developed pectoral muscles, including the inner and outer pecs. Many weight trainers concentrate on building mass with movements such as heavy bench presses and neglect working on the details. Your outer pecs help define the outside and lower portion of your pecs and must be worked if you want to have well-developed pecs.

Decline Presses

Decline presses refer to chest presses performed on a decline bench, where your feet are higher than your head. To perform this exercise, use a barbell, dumbbells or machine with cables if one is available. Perform the movement like a typical bench press, using slow, strict form. If using dumbbells, lower them a bit farther than chest level to get a good stretch in your outer pecs.

Pushup Variations

Moving your feet up onto a chair, couch or bench and widening your hands hits your pecs from a different angle. You can also use pushup bars, two benches or even medicine balls to get a more substantial stretch in your outer pecs with a pushup.

Parallel Bar Dips

Doing dips on the parallel bars at the gym is a challenging movement. Any time you lift your own body weight, it's a challenge. Get up on the bars so your arms are straight and you're holding yourself up. Bend your knees so they're at about a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower yourself as far as you can, then press yourself back up again and repeat.

Dumbbell Flyes

Performing flyes or cables crossovers on a decline, incline or flat bench involves the outer pecs in some way. To do a flye, get two dumbbells and lie on your back on a bench. Hold the dumbbells with straight arms up over your body, then lower them on an arc until they're out at your sides at about chest level. You should feel a good stretch in your outer pecs. Bring the weights back up along the same path so they meet up above your chest again. Virtually the same exercise can be done with cables.

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