I have a good amount of upper chest but lack lower chest, giving my chest a somewhat breast-like appearance. I've gone online to figure out which home exercises I could do that targets mainly the lower chest and all I could get is incline pushup. But the thing with that is, it's too easy. Isn't there a harder form of exercise that targets my lower chest so that I can efficiently cause progressive overload OR do I just need to do as many incline pushups as I can handle, increasing it gradually?

  • If you find it too easy, do it with a backpack that you filled with heavy stuff (books for instance)
    – P154
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 14:37
  • Since you are unware of dips or the backpack idea or simply doing them pre fatigued, i would get a 2nd opinion on your chest - is it really lacking to the point where you need to target it more or is it just your subjective impression or the natural shape of your pecs - or perhaps something else?
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Anatomically speaking you can't isolate a muscle into parts but the Pectoralis Major is split into two heads which makes it easier.

enter image description here

Common myth is that the more you press in an incline the more upper Pectoralis you use, which is quite the opposite since the upper/clavicular Pectoralis is almost horizontal and not vertical.

J Hum Kinet. 2017 Jun

This study shows that Unlike popular belief, vertical movements don't work the upper chest more, due to it's position the muscle is always active. Going from decline/flat to incline only reduces triceps activity while increasing biceps activity.

Boeckh-Behrens & Buskies. 2000 found that decline work (Dips/inverted bench press) Uses even more upper chest.

enter image description here

From this chart things like dips or inverted bench press are best for upper chest development but also best for "lower chest" too.

If you do Dips I suggest sticking with bodyweight only for safety and to progress just add more repetition every time you train.

  • I removed the studies that you edited in from another answer, as they do not do anything to answer the question and are noise.
    – JohnP
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 15:24

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