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Pec Deck

Here is an exercise that beginners in bodybuilding appreciate a lot: Pec Deck. This pectoral isolation exercise develops the middle part of the pectoralis major and usually ends the training routine, after the basic exercises. It allows us to have intense congestion — especially in long series — and excellent sensations, which is normal considering the amplitude of the movement.

If it allows to strengthen the chest muscles and gain muscle, athletes of various disciplines can also benefit. This is the case of gymnasts, martial arts practitioners such as boxing, throwing sports and even tennis to strengthen the forehand.

Unlike the Dumbbell Bench Press, the resistance on the pec-deck is constant, especially when the elbows are closer together. These help to stress the central part of the pecs.

There are different types of pec-deck, with the forearms flexed in support against the supports as on the demonstration or with arms almost stretched. These machine spreads are even more difficult. It’s up to you to see the machine you prefer.

Targeted Muscles

If the pec-deck is primarily intended to work the pecs, however, it is not the only muscle that is solicited. Indeed, the muscles located at the shoulder also work, such as the anterior Deltoid and correct-brachial.

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Pec-deck has many advantages. First of all, during the whole exercise, your chest muscles will be under tension thanks to the pulley system. In addition, this exercise really targets the entire chest, both the upper and the lower parts. However, keep in mind that this exercise will not allow you to gain strength alone, but only to gain in aesthetics.

When you bring your arms towards each other, you will surely feel that the hollow located inside your pecs is strongly stimulated.

Execution Of The Exercise

The pec-deck is realized sitting on a dedicated machine. It is necessary to first adjust the seat so that your arms are well-positioned in line with your shoulders. To be sure of having the correct height, check that your shoulders and elbows form a right angle.

Sit with your back straight up against the backrest and your forearms against the dedicated supports. Your knees should be bent at a right angle so that your feet are flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.

Once the position is gained, grasp the wrists, making sure your elbows and forearms rest against the support. Start by taking a deep breath, and then hold your breath. Then push the handles you have entered to bring them in front of you. At the end of the movement exhale, and push energetically to reach the final position. The latter happens when your hands are almost touching (they must be touching). Slowly, and while controlling your movement, return to the original position, being careful not to put your shoulders back too much. If your machine allows it, use the pedal to avoid too much pressure on your shoulders.

Coaching Tips

An exercise to strengthen the pecs first!

The common mistake when performing the pec deck movement is to bring the elbows closer to the arms. While the biceps will be solicited but it is an exercise to strengthen the pecs. The approximation of the elbows must induce a voluntary contraction of these muscles throughout the execution. You must bring your elbows closer to the strength of your pecs.

 Keep the rib cage “open”

For maximum effectiveness, the exercise of the butterfly, or butterfly, requires optimal positioning of the rib cage. Beginners tend to tuck their breasts when they bring their elbows together. However, it is necessary to open his rib cage during the entire execution of this movement of bodybuilding. The head and shoulders are fixed. Be careful not to sag during the positive phase.

Chargeless and concentrate on the technique!

As with bodybuilding, many practitioners tend to help themselves by giving momentum to the movement. If you use the back to perform the pec deck exercise, the pecs will be less stressed. Lower the load and if necessary, have a professional sports coach guide you to control the movement.

How To Avoid Injuries?

To build muscles safely, it is important to follow a few rules.

First of all, there is no need for your elbows to be too far back from your shoulders. It takes a heavy toll on your shoulders and may result in an injury.
In addition, to avoid jolts, it is advisable to keep your back well against the backrest.

If you do not have a lot of flexibility, avoid putting your elbows too far back when you return to the original position.

The advantage of practicing this weight training exercise on a dedicated machine is to have a safe movement thanks to the guidance. Some of them allow moving the handles slightly forward by pressing a single pedal. This makes it possible not to start in a completely stretched position.

Be sure to keep your starting position throughout the exercise. That is to say, the back well glued to the backrest, your feet flat on the floor. Above all, do not bring your shoulders forward, which may hurt you, and you will not get the results you want.

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In the case of a machine spread, the pec deck or butterfly can be replaced by spreads on the dumbbells or the pulley vis-a-vis.

Regarding the spreads to the dumbbells, you can achieve them on a flat bench to focus on the work of the pectoralis major as a whole, inclined to solicit priority top pectorals (clavicular bundle), or even declined to further strengthen the lower chest.

Concerning the spreads on the pulley, one can add the sitting position on a straight or standing bench to the high pulley vis-a-vis.

Finally, some machines make the pec deck with arms almost stretched, which is easier to contract the chest end of the movement.


Inspire by spreading your elbows. Exhale when they get closer when the pectoral muscles contract.

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