The Pec Deck (also known as the butterfly) is a simple exercise that hits the chest nice and hard. This is one of my mainstay exercises because it’s easy to use, it requires no spotter and it really works the chest. The pec deck is also nice because proper form is easy to get right on this one. Everyone from complete newbies to hardened gym warriors can use the pec deck to get results.
Pec Deck Technique
Technique for the pec deck is pretty simple, but here’s a quick list to get you started:
- Set the pin at the appropriate weight, adjust the seat to the appropriate height and adjust the arms to a comfortable starting position.
- Sit in the pec deck seat with your back flat against the pad and your heading looking straight forward.
- Grasp the pec deck handles, bend your elbows slightly and bring the handles together by contracting your chest.
- When the handles have touched, hold that position for a second and squeeze your chest.
- Slowly return the handles back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Pec Deck Tips
- Always practice proper form with the pec deck. When you increase the weights Too much, you will find your head jutting forward and back lifting away from the pad. You should always be able to do each rep with strict form. You will not lose any benefits by lowering the amount of weight and working on your form.
- Pay attention to your shoulders. Fly exercises like the pec deck can put strain on the shoulder. Listen to your body and stop if you get any strange pains or tweaks in your shoulder. It is better to take a day of rest than it is to have to stop weight training for a few months thanks to a bad shoulder.
- Do not start the arms of the machine at an extreme position that hyperextends the shoulders. A big range of motion is good, but you don’t need to take it to the extreme. This can cause long term wear and tear of the shoulder or sometimes even immediate injury.
- The pec deck is a great exercise to do at the end of your chest day. Other exercises such as the bench press, dumbbell press and dumbbell flyes are a little more “compound” in that they require more stability. When your energy is almost spent, the pec deck is the perfect exercise because it is simple, safe and requires very little balance.