The pec deck is a popular chest isolation workout that will provide you results and not just buckets of sweat! You do this exercise using a pec deck machine, which is a staple in almost every gym. With the machine, you can do various workouts, including chest flys and reverse chest flys (rear delts)!  

Although the pec deck is an excellent exercise to train your upper body, it locks you into a repeated range of motion and movement pattern. Since every rep is indistinguishable, your body gets used to it. Because of that, the exercise loses some of its effectiveness. If you continue doing the repetitive cycle for too long, your progress will eventually come to a stop.

So, do you trash the pec decks and look for another workout? Of course not! Instead of completely cutting it out from your workout routine, include more variations to keep your chest muscles hungry for more. Check out these pec deck alternatives!

Pec Deck Alternatives (Our 10 Recommendations)

While leg extensions are the usual pec deck alternative, they will not give you the same results. For the workout to be a valid alternative, it should target the same muscle groups but use a different movement pattern or training equipment. 

When doing a pec deck, the primary muscles you target are the pectoralis major and minor (chest muscles). Alongside them are the secondary muscles, triceps, and anterior deltoids, which assist during the movement. 

Remember that when it comes to the alternatives you choose, most of these muscle groups should be present, and although they don’t have the exact same movement, at least it needs to have the same range of motion. So, before your muscles start to deflate, check out these 10 pec deck alternatives that will produce the results that you’re aiming for!

1. Dumbbell Fly

Pec deck machines were not always present from the get-go. Before, if you want to isolate your pecs, dumbbell flyes are the key! Although this exercise may be too old school for some, it’s still an excellent pec workout. If you don’t have any resistance training machine, dumbbell flys are the best alternative for you.

How to do it

  • Lie down on a bench with a dumbbell in each of your hands. Press the weight up and set them over your chest with your palms facing inward. Keep your elbows a bit bent but sturdy.
  • Open your arms and bring the weights out and down to create a T-shape. Ensure that you don’t hyperextend your shoulders but still get a good stretch in your pecs.
  • Squeeze the weights upwards and together, then repeat.
  • You can do this workout on a flat, decline or incline bench to focus on different parts of your chest. 
  • Perform as many reps as you can.

2. Archer Push-Ups

This alternative is an excellent exercise to add complete tension to your chest. With this workout, you create constant stress on your muscles and individually target each side of your chest. So, if you’re looking for a substitute that you can perform at home, do an archer push-up! 

Just remember to keep your back straight and ensure that you don’t drop your hips during the movement. You need to tighten your abs and engage your core to execute this exercise correctly.

How to do it

  • Start with a normal push up position with your arms and legs straight. As for your grip, it should be wider than the normal push up grip.
  • Bring your body down and move your chest towards one side with the aid of one hand. Your other hand should be placed on the side of the floor for balance.
  • Raise your torso by pushing with your arms and go back to the starting position.
  • Lower yourself down again, but it’s going towards your other side this time. Perform the same movement.
  • Repeat as many reps as you can.

3. Cable Supine Fly

If you’re looking for a pec deck alternative that lets you lie down on a flat bench, then cable supine fly is an excellent option. Since you’re using cables to perform this exercise, your pecs are under almost constant tension, which should create a good pump. Although setting up for this workout can be a bit awkward, all your efforts will not be in vain!

How to do it

  • Set up a Bench at the center of a Cable Crossbow Machine. Grab a handle in each hand and lie on the bench. Stretch your arms, so they’re vertical and your elbows in a slight bend but rigid.
  • Open your arms and bring down the handles towards the ground. However, ensure that you don’t hyperextend your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your arms back up and move the handles together over your chest.
  • That’s one rep. Perform as many reps as you can.
  • For variation, you can do this workout using an incline bench.

4. TRX Fly

Suspension trainers and TRXs are exceedingly versatile. They can add an element of instability to almost every bodyweight exercise and enable you to utilize a more extensive range of motion. Because of this, the bodyweight exercise becomes more challenging but will totally pump up your muscles!

When performing the TRX chest fly, the further you move your feet back, the more that you’ll lean forward. Because of this, more weight will be on your arms; thus, the more challenging this workout becomes. Just adjust your feet to choose your preferred amount of resistance. 

In addition, your shoulder blades should be pinched back and always keep your chest up when you go down to create constant tension on your chest without including the shoulders.

How to do it

  • Attach the TRX suspension to an anchor point where you can fix the strap. 
  • Hold each end of the bands and stand forward with your back towards the anchor point and your body leaning forward. Keep your arms straight. This will be your starting position.
  • Slowly bring your body forward and point your elbows to the side to shift your arms sideways. Keep it controlled as you go down.
  • Momentarily stop at the bottom when your wrist goes slightly above your lower chest. Then slowly push back, going to the starting position. 
  • Repeat as many reps as you can.

5. Cross Over Chest Fly

This alternative to a pec deck is another exercise that you can easily do at home since all you’ll need is a Resistance Band with Handles! When performing a cross over chest fly, you can take your hands beyond the midline of your body. This puts maximum tension on your chest, engaging both your inner and mid-chest. 

How to do it

  • Add a door anchor at about your hip length. Attach the resistance band to the Anchor. Now, grab the handles and move forward.
  • Place your hands forward as if you’re going to hug someone. Your hands need to go beyond the midline of your body.
  • Go backwards slowly and do the movement again. 
  • When your hand passes through the midline of your chest, it engages the chest more. Also, as you bring your hands across each other, it adds even more tension to your chest.

6. Chest Dips

This substitute to a pec deck is a great bodyweight exercise that helps you increase your upper body strength and build the thickness and size of your chest. Although dips are more complex than pec dec fly, it’s a potent workout that can give you the bulky and muscular chest that you’re after! In addition, Chest Dips also work your lower chest, triceps, and abs. 

If you’re a beginner to this workout, you can do Chest Dip Alternatives instead until you build up the strength to do it in good form. Also, if you don’t have a Dip Bar at home, you can easily purchase it online or at your local sports shop.

How to do it

  • Put your both hands on the dip bar as you hold it tight. Then raise your body balancing in the air.
  • Now begin lowering your body by keeping your elbows out slightly until it reaches the bottom position where your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Moving on from there, begin pushing your body up by tightening your chest muscles and extending your elbows as you reach the top.
  • Repeat as many reps as you can.

7. Sliding Push-Ups

Another pec deck substitute that you can do at home since it doesn’t need any equipment aside from your bodyweight and hand pads/socks is sliding push-ups. Aside from your chest, this exercise also activates your core muscles to a great extent, making them more athletic and functional. It can give your pectoralis major and minor as well as your abs a good burn.

How to do it

  • Get two pairs of socks or hand pads and place them on the floor. 
  • Keep both your hands close to each other and go into a push-up position by keeping your legs and arms straight. Your chest should be under your hands. 
  • Proceed with the exercise by pushing both your hands towards the sides for a slide as you keep your back straight.
  • Hold momentarily at the bottom when your chest is almost near the floor. After, slide back to the starting position.
  • Remember to breathe in as you make your way down and breathe out as you go up. Also, perform this exercise slowly. If it’s too difficult for you, you can bend your knees while you do the movement.

8. Swiss Ball Push-Ups

All you need for this alternative to pec deck fly is a swiss ball, and you’re good to go! The swiss ball push-up is an excellent workout to target your chest muscles and engage your core muscles. However, this exercise requires perfect balance and stability, so it can be challenging. Place the swiss ball behind the wall if you want to reduce the difficulty.

The swiss ball push-up is an advanced exercise, so if you’re a beginner, better stick with a regular push-up. Once you build enough strength and master the push-up, you can gradually incorporate this into your workout program. Also, you can use a medicine ball instead of a swiss ball if you’re looking for an alternative.

How to do it

  • Put your hands on a stability ball and slowly move your feet back while keeping it straight. Your hands should be further as the ball lets you. 
  • Keep your chest in line with your hands and ensure that it’s not away from the ball.
  • With your core and hips tight, begin bringing your body down until your chest is nearly touching the ball.
  • Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
  • Perform as many reps as you prefer.

9. Wide Grip Bench Press

While all barbell bench press variations activate your chest, it’s the wide grip bench press that emphasizes your pecs. Because of the wide grip, the range of motion at your shoulder increases, producing a more prominent pec stretch at the bottom of each repetition. 

However, this alternative to a pec deck can be hard on your joints. So, you should not go too heavy with the weights. Try to find the ideal grip width that will enable you to engage your pecs without troubling your shoulders.

How to do it

  • Lie down on your back on a flat bench and reach up to grab the bar in a regular grip. Now, slide your hands outward to about three to five inches towards the weight discs. 
  • Look for the placements that feel better for you to grip the weight without your arms being fully stretched outwards. Keep your elbows bent at an 80-degree angle. 
  • Unrack the barbell and move it directly over your chest. Aim for the midpoint of your chest and keep your wrist straight to reduce strains. Keep the movement focused on your chest instead of your forearm.
  • Breath in as you bring the weight down to just above your chest. Pause before the barbell touches your chest.
  • Breath out as you push the weight up. Stop before your elbows fully extend to prevent your joints from locking. 
  • Hold for half a second at the top of the motion, then breath in and lower again.
  • Do as many reps as you prefer.

10. Machine Fly

This exercise is similar to a reverse pec deck machine exercise, but instead of pressing your arms to the pads, you’re holding the handles with your hands. Since the handles are hinged, you can easily modify this workout according to your limb length. Because of this, some lifters find doing machine flys more comfortable than using the pec deck machine.

How to do it

  • Set the fly machine to your preferred range of motion.
  • Sit with your back against the pads and keep your feet on the ground.
  • Grab the handles with your arms stretched and elbows slightly bent.
  • Pull the levers together while engaging your chest muscles until your hands are nearly touching. 
  • Hold for a few seconds.
  • Then, let the levers spread apart until you feel your chest slightly stretched.
  • Repeat as many reps as you want.


Although the pec deck is a well-known exercise, it’s not a must to build an excellent chest. It’s just one of the many exercises that you can do to get a toned upper body. You don’t need to be solely dependent on a pec deck machine since, like other exercises, your body will adapt, and you may not get your desired benefits.

So, don’t always go for the pec deck and regularly mix your chest workout routine with these ten pec deck alternatives, especially the dumbbell fly and the wide grip bench press!

Frequently Asked Questions

Studies show that peck decks have almost the same muscle activation as the bench press. It’s neither better nor lacking, but rather it can bring about nearly the same results. So, feel free to do both!

The chest and its supporting muscles, primarily the pectoralis major are the main muscle groups that are effectively targeted by the pec deck exercise and its variations. 

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