Pec Deck Alternative

11 Best Pec Deck Alternative

Pec Deck Alternative: Pec deck machines are one of the most used gym equipment to build chest muscles. This machine helps you train chest and shoulder muscles. But if you get bored of using the same machine over and over, or you at home where pec deck machines are not available. You have the chance to try some best pec deck alternatives. Find out how these exercises are similar to pec deck fly, and how they benefit you in training muscles. 

This article concludes if the 11 best pec deck alternatives, for you to try. It includes some bodyweight exercises, a few gym barbell exercises, and a few dumbbell exercises. 

These 11 great alternative exercises to the pec deck machine will target your chest muscles very quickly. 

Pec Deck Alternative

Muscles Used In Pec Deck Fly

The primary muscles used when working Pec deck fly are the pectoralis major and minor (chest muscles). In addition, the secondary muscles are also involved, like the triceps and anterior deltoids. These muscles help with the movement while performing the exercise. 


Thus, choosing an alternative exercise for pec dec fly, then we should consider choosing the exercise, that also focuses on similar muscle training.

So now let’s jump into the pec deck alternatives exercises!

1. Cable Crossover

This exercise is a great alternative to pec deck fly. This exercise can help you out a specific area of the chest you want to target, and it also your core muscle are activated during the exercise. 

Although, this can be a little harder exercise for beginners, as it requires the greatest balance and stability to perform the correct movement. Maintaining balance can be a real challenge for beginners. However, you can reduce weight training to tone down the difficulty level. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

This exercise engages your pecs as its primary target, and with a versatile cable machine, you can handle different levels of weight, to target a specific area. 

Pro Tip: 

When using heavyweight in a cable pulley machine, make sure to gently release your arm back out wide, to avoid a shoulder injury. 

How to:

  • Set the cable to its highest point, and stand at the center of the cable pulley machine. 
  • Hold the handles, and keep a slight bend forward, while keeping your chest open. Also, maintain a bend in your elbows too. 
  • On an inhale, Bring the handle close to the chest, and squeeze your chest muscles. 
  • Keep until they are about to touch, and hold that position for a second. 
  • On a exhale, let your arm go back to its original position. 
  • Avoid doing it quickly, keep a slow momentum. 

2. Dumbbell flyes

One of the old school exercises, which was also one of the exercises present on the Arnold Schwarzenegger chest workout routine. With dumbbell flyes, you have the ability to execute the full range of motion to stretch your pecs. 

Thus exercise requires good muscle mind connection, as the user require to perform the movement, without any use of motion. And the range of motion is bigger than any other chest exercise. The user will be targeting the lower and mid-chest in this exercise. 

Related: Cable Shoulder Workout to build massive shoulders

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

Both exercises have the same movement and also the same range of motion. The only difference is that the user can not rely on the machine for stability and balancing. The movement requires more stability than pec deck, thus it is a great alternative exercise for you to perform. 

Pro Tip:

For full engagement of chest muscles, try less involvement of shoulder muscles and keep a slight curve on your back during the exercise. 

In addition, if you feel discomfort in your shoulder joints, lower the dumbbell weight. 

How To:

  • Lie on the bench, and create an arch on the lower back. Hold a dumbbell in both hands, and palms should face inward, without locking your elbows.
  • Stretch your chest while lowering the dumbbell to the sides. Keep a slight bend in your elbows. 
  • Without using momentum, slowly bring the arms to their original position. This motion requires squeezing your chest. 
  • The arms should be directly above your chest area, not your face. 

3. Chest Dips

One of the best bodyweight exercises that target chest and triceps muscles. Despite, the change in movement and motion to the pec deck, the muscle execution is similar.

Although it can be a difficult exercise for some people, if you are going to perform, you can build your chest very few times. This exercise targets the lower chest, triceps, and abs, which is higher in comparison to the pec deck. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

During a pec deck fly, you are sitting and pushing weight, but in this exercise, your chest, as well as triceps, and abs are working out. If you are pumping 100lbs in the pec deck, you are pumping your body weight in this exercise, as you will be working against gravity. 

Related: 20 Minute Stairmaster HIIT workout 

Pro Tip: 

Try to keep your elbows close to your body, when you are lowering, and also bend your knees. Knew bending will help you achieve more stability. 

Make sure to keep the motion in a slow momentum, rather than rushing. 

How To:

  • Stand in between two parallel bars, and place both your arms on the handle. 
  • Rise with the help of your elbows, and keep your arms straight. 
  • Keep your forearm straight, and descend until your chest is in line with your hands. 
  • If difficult ( descent only for a few inches) 
  • Balancing difficultly( can cross your legs and bend knees). 
  • Move back to the original position. 
  • Triceps and chest only be engaged in the exercise. 
  • Keep your elbows inwards, if outwards, shoulder injury is high. 

4. Single-arm dumbbell bench press

This is a difficult exercise as compared to pec deck, as instead of using both arms at the same time, you’ll be using a single arm to train your chest muscle. The difficult part is maintaining stability, as with uneven weight distribution, there is a high risk of injury. 

This exercise gives a boost to the endurance of the chest muscles. There is no other chest exercise that can come close to this exercise; in terms of stability and endurance training. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

During the exercise, the weight is concentrated on one side, and another side is free of weight. This causes imbalance, and to gain balance and stability, your body has to work a lot harder. This additional force is required, boost your body’s endurance to lift uneven weights easily. Despite, weight on one side, the chest muscle on both sides jas to work consecutively to support the movement. 

Related: Average Calves Size : Male And Female 

Pro Tip: 

While performing the exercise, you might find the weight uneven distributed, to the front or that lower the weight towards your lower body. While doing this, keep your core, quads, and glutes engaged, as this will give you the push, to fulfill the motion easily. 

How To:

  • Lie down on the bench and hold a dumbbell in one arm. 
  • Keep a slight bend in your below, and the dumbbell should be above your chest. 
  • For stability ( use the other hand to touch the dumbbell side) 
  • Lower the dumbbell towards the middle chest, and hold it for 2 seconds. 
  • Push the weight back while squeezing the chest. 
  • Avoid locking your elbows. 
  • Repeat, 8-10 reps on each arm. 

5. Close grip barbell bench press

Despite the opposite movement of the exercise, as the chest muscle is not fully stretched outward, this exercise train the middle chest area. Pushing the heading weight, without the support of shoulder muscles, causes more engagement of chest muscles. It is a great exercise for people, who are unable to build a muscle mind connection, in a chest workout. In this exercise, only chest and triceps muscles are used. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

During this variation, of the bench press, your hands are closed to each other, and this causes the removal of most of the tension from the shoulders. The only muscles that are targeted are the chest and triceps. This is one of the primary exercises, bodybuilders perform, to give shape to the middle and lower chest area. 

Related: How Often To Train Calves 

Pro Tip:

When bringing down the barbell, try to create a muscle midnight connection with your chest muscle, by squeezing them. Also, keep your elbows close to each other, and avoid them moving outward when bringing down the barbell. 

If elbows move outward, your shoulder is also engaged in the exercise, and also it creates a higher risk of a shoulder injury. 

How To:

  • Lie down on the bench and create a small arch by bending the lower back. 
  • Hold the barbell with an overhand grip, and hands should be close to each other. 
  • Extend your arms, and bring the barbell to the top of your chest. 
  • Lower the bar, until it touches the middle chest, and hold it for 2 seconds. 
  • Push the weight back with full force. 
  • Avoid pushing your elbows outwards, during the movement. 
  •  Repeat for 10 reps. 

6. Chest press machine

If you are in love with the pec deck machine, you are going to love the chest press machine too. Both machines focus on targeting similar muscles. Instead of using an outward inward motion of arms, in this, you have pushed the arms in front of you. It is like doing a bench press, just you are sitting on a seat I stead on lying on the bench. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

Similar, to the pec deck, this exercise has a similar motion and movement. The lifter chest muscles are properly targeted, as the motion is predefined, Nd also it lowers the risk of injury. 

Related: Can You Train Calves Everyday 

Pro Tip:

While performing the exercise, keep your lower back attached to the machine, and avoid making an arch on the seat. 

How To:

  • Sit on the chest press machine, and adjust the seat height( handle shoulder be in line with the chest. 
  • Hold the handle with a neutral grip. Keep your lower back and upper back touch to the back of the seat. 
  • Push the handle forward, until your arms are fully extended. 
  • Hold for 2 seconds, and slowly bring back the handles, while squeezing your chest. 
  • Repeat for 10 reps. 

7. Low Cable Crossover

Another great pec deck alternative exercise, exercise focuses on targeting the lower chest muscles. As there is additional resistance like the pec dec machine the user has the ability to better target the muscles. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

Another pec deck alternative is lower cable crossover because it provides the ability to control the motion and movement of the cable in the exercise. Thus, giving the lifter full control over the area he wants to target. This is one of the best exercises to target lower chest muscles. 

Related: 4 Ways to Get rid of Sore Legs from Squats 

Pro Tip: 

Avoid making an arch, while doing this exercise, and also avoid keeping your spine forward.

Pull the cable while squeezing the chest muscles, and avoid depending too much on the arms. 

How To:

  • Set the cable pulley machine to the lowest setting. 
  • Attach a D-handle to the cable. 
  • Standing staring in the center and hold the handles with a neutral grip. 
  • Keep a slight ned in your elbows, and palms should face outwards. 
  • Bring the handle close to your chest, and keep squeezing your chest throughout the entire movement. 
  • Hold it for 2 seconds and lower the handle down slowly
  • Repeat 10 reps. 

8. Landmine Press

Some people might consider this as a shoulder workout, but it also targets chest muscles. Despite, the different motions as compared to the pec deck, the end result is the same; training similar muscles. It is a combo exercise of the chest and shoulder. 

Why It’s A Great Alternative:

This is one of the popular chest and shoulder exercises, as when pushing the weight upward, the deltoids along with pecs are targets. This is one of the best pec deck alternatives for you to do in a cheat workout. 

Related: Is chest and biceps a good combo 

Pro Tip: 

To exert full force on the movement, keep your knee slightly bend, or perform a kneeling position, and stretch your arms upward, with full force. Avoided, moving your body upward, only your arms should move. 

How To:

  • Stand straight and hold a barbell from a single end. 
  • Put some weight on the barbell( on the side where you will lift) 
  • Lean forward by steeping a short step towards the barbell, and rest the barbell on your shoulder. 
  • With a tight grip, the path the weight up with your single hand. 
  • Push until your arm is fully extended, and hold this position for 2 seconds. 
  • Slowly bring back the barbell, while squeezing your chest and shoulders. 
  •  Repeats for 10 reps of each arm. 

9. Floor Press

It is a great alternative to pec dec at home, as you might not have a proper bench, to exercise. Thus you can use a floor, to work out to your chest. 

The motion is similar to pec deck, as your back muscles are involved in the exercise, as when you lie on the floor, the shoulders and back are attached to the floor. Thus restricting the movement, and giving the lifter advantage to better target chest muscles. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

This exercise targets your pectoral muscles, which is similar to the pec deck. Thus it is a great pec deck alternative. The movement and motion, excluded the use of back and shoulder muscles, thus only chest muscles are targeted the most. 

Related: How to relieve Tight Hamstrings? 

Pro Tip:

Keep your elbows close to your body and avoid them moving outward. In addition, chest muscles shoulder be squeezed while moving the motion downward.

How To:

  • Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  • Can use a barbell or dumbbell, hold a dumbbell with both your arms at 90° to tout middle chest. 
  • Similar to the bench press, lower the weight close to the chest, and hold it for 2 seconds. 
  • Push your chest when pushing the right upward. 
  • Repeat for 10 reps. 

10. Prone Flye

It is difficult to exercise that only advanced athletes can pull off. But if you have great chest muscles, you can use this to target your chest and core at the same time. This is a bodyweight exercise, and palms are placed wider from the body. The lifter can only use its chest and core muscles to maintain stability and gain strength while doing the exercise. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

The movement is similar to the pec deck, the difference is that instead of moving your arm close to each other, the arms are spread on the floor, and your body has to move downward in a push-up motion. 

This is a difficult exercise, as your hand is very far spread from the body, thus you can only depend on your chest, shoulder, and back muscles to do all the work. 

Related: Can you work out chest and shoulders on the same day? 

Pro tip:

Keep the momentum of the movement slow, as when moving upwards speeding your cheat muscles, and moving downward spread your chest muscles. 

How To:

  • Lie on the floor with your face facing downward. Use the dumbbell, and spread your arms, as you will do in a dumbbell flye. 
  • Get into a push position, with spread arms, and bring your body downward. 
  • Avoid touching the ground, and keep a slight bend in your elbows. 
  • Your arms should be flexed, and squeeze your chest to bring back the body upward. 
  • Find it easy( put some weight on your back). 
  • Repeat for 10 reps. 

11. One Arm Medicine Ball Press Up

It is variations to the push-up, which actively affect the chest muscles. Despite, the exercise only requires the lifter to do a push-up, the additional use of a medicine ball, targets every area of the chest. 

Why It’s A Great Pec Deck Alternative:

The addition of the medicine ball adds an element of instability, meaning that your chest muscles need to work harder to ensure you don’t lose balance.

Related: How to Tell if Your Glutes are Growing? 

Pro Tip: 

If you want to make this move more challenging, then explode upward with each press up and switch sides, alternating the hand on the ball each time.

How To:

  • Get into a push-up position, with one hand on the floor, and another hand on the medicine ball. 
  • Lower your chest, while it touches the ball. Hold it for 2 seconds. 
  • Bring back the chest upward by squeezing the chest muscles. 
  • Repeat for 10 reps and then switch arms. 

Final Words

These are some best deck alternative exercises you can perform at the gym and home, to train your chest muscles. Every exercise can easily replace the pec deck machine. So, check out why, and how are these exercise alternatives to pec deck machines. Pick out the best exercise, that suits your workout and you are compatible with. If you find any difficulties, check out the pro tip mentioned below the exercise. 

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