T Nation

decline vs incline presses etc...

i’m looking to build my chest in a fairly balanced way. i’m mixing it up, incline benches and decline benches but not flat benches…

i seem to be doing well with it, i’m growing in a nice enough way and i’m not unhappy but could someone tell me what the difference is in terms of workout, i’m not sure which one does what, which press helps widen the chest into the shoulder area, which one builds the pecs area low down?

what should i be doing to get the muscles around my ribcage to grow?


Decline presses take the upper pecs out of the movement and also incorporate the lats more. Incline presses take the lower pecs out of the movement and incorporate the deltiods more. Dumbell presses incorporate the pecs more and the deltoids less.

thanks for the lucid answer. you should see the answer i got to this question on the “renegade” forum.


Those answer I gave you were correct… See coach davies response. They were simple but u did as what is the purpose/reason for a incline movement and bench movement. You didn’t ask for any thing else.

So again the purpose/reason for any lifting is to move an object form point A to point B in the simplest answer. to a simple question.

now you ask the question differently over here… so you’ll get a diffrent answer. And I would agree w/ Patman. Although I would also include Dips.

Don’t forget dips and limited ROM db pullovers to hit your pec minors. Development of these muscles is necessary for fullness and overall structure of your chest.

fitone - You came across as a complete asswipe in answering his question on the Renegade forum (doesn’t mean you are, just that people could garner that from what you wrote). I understand (read: hope) that English is not your first language, and that is why you misunderstood the nature of his question. To the common reader who hasn’t picked up on that fact yet, though, you sounded as if you were being a smartass. You completely avoided the nature of his post by focusing on one possible, but wrong, meaning of the wording he used. Maybe he should have used his rephrasal to begin with, but you should should have cut him some iota of slack.

ok people. bygones…


are the lower pecs part of the pectoral major or minor?


Roulsam, you should take a look at a decent anatomy text. That’ll answer your questions for you.

When you look at it, you’ll see that there’s no such thing as a “lower” pec. You’ve got the major and the minor, and the minor is located higher than the major, but it sounds from your question that you’re thinking that you can train the lower part of the major by itself.

Not the case.

Also, I was just wondering what everyone’s opinion of those limited range pullovers is. I gave them a shot and didn’t get anything from them at all. Not even a little soreness. As a result, I’m pretty sceptical about how well that particular movement really works.

One could get picky and say that the mid and lower pec may be a referce to the fibres that attach to the strenum (and ribs) and the upper fibres are the claviular fibres.
Pec minor on the other hand is underneath the claicular fibres of the pec major, so hypertrophy of the muscle make the upper chest look better (eg swimmers, check out the pop’em out muscle article).
as for working the inner and outer fibres, there arent any so it cant be done.
As for partial pull overs tried them and couldnt really notice anything, should work theoretically, but it bored the tits off of me, so i dropped it. ive been swimming for 12 years pretty hard out so im not too worried about ol’pec min.

Jared Didn’t mean to come out like an ass. I sorry if anyone felt that way. But that was not the intent. SORRY.

Now as for dumbell pullovers or any pullover it hits more lats then anythingelse.

char-dawg, in answer to your question, I have found that doing limited ROM db pullovers (mentioned in pop 'em out muscles for those that don’t know) work just fine, but you have to really focus on what you are doing and more than any other exercise I have tried in a long time, you need to really pay attention to the instructions down to the letter. Keep your arms as close to your body as you can get them, raise the db no more than 6-12 inches while keeping the arms locked and focus on contracting the pec minors hard at the top and hold the contraction. I go very light and concentrate much more on the contraction than on the weight.

I got laughed at the other night when a guy told me “don’t go too heavy, you might do something good.” That was on top of the people who looked at me and shook their heads, thinking I didn’t know how to do pullovers.

CGB But still pullovers hits you back muscles not you’re chest muscle.

Yeah, I gave it two or three shots, concentrating on form, but still didn’t see anything from it. Oh well.

Fitone… [sigh] The guy just said that he got some results from the movement. I would assume that meant in his chest, wouldn’t you?


I tried pullovers as a chest exercise. At best, they present an isometric load on the chest at the top of the movement. I think that’s where people get that idea. Ineffective chest movement IMO, and I never thought much of them for the lats either.

fitone, the lats don’t come in until you’ve gone past the ROM that is prescribed for the movement. Try the exercise, just as described and keep the ROM to 6-12 inches and concentrate on the pec minors contracting. It may take time. It was the second time I tried them that I got in the groove. I’d rather do dips to hit these, but I’m laying off of these for another few weeks.

Whetu - right, I was referring to the upper pecs as the part originating on the clavicle, and the lower/middle pecs as the part originating on the sternum (collectively the pectoralis major). I agree that The entire pec is used for all pec exercises, but the upper part has a better mechanical advantage for incline presses (and consequentally will be recruited more), while the lower part has a better mechanical advantage for decline presses.

The pec minor has a different action: it’s what you use moving up and down on parallel dip bars without bending the elbows. The pec minor is underneath the pec major and its hypertrophy wouldn’t be too noticable.

And, of course, don’t forget dips as an excellent pec exercise.

CGB, shitheads in the gym like that piss me off and deserve to be shot.

I include db pullovers in EVERY chest routine. It’s a good finisher just prior to db flies. I grip the dumbell longways, with a diamond grip on the inside handle. I do the full motion as well. And while it does hit the lats (I do upper back on chest day too, which works well), I find ti hits the chest as well.

This may sound stupid, but I found I’ve developed a little dimple the corner of each pec. While this is normal, it didn’t occur till I started doing pullovers. That said, it seems to hit the outer edges of the pecs, if that’s possible.

Just my two cents.