One Arm Pec Deck Flyes

Another variation using the pec deck is to employ one arm at a time. Grab one handle in the conventional way. Support the other arm by holding on to the side of the seat. Now, contract the handle inward as usual but lean into the movement. This is something that obviously cannot be done if both arms were contracting simultaneously. Each arm will now be contracting far beyond the halfway mark, once again, forcing the inner portion of the pecs to work more intensely. This will give that awesome split in the middle of the chest that can be so elusive.

By now you're probably getting the idea of how this principle works. A little ingenuity and creativity can go a long way in developing interesting new variations. Look around the gym. Study the angles of the various machines. Sometimes sitting down in the opposite direction is all you need to do. By sitting down facing out on the lat pulldown, it becomes a whole new angle to straight arm pull downs, tricep extension and abdominal crunches. Here are a few more examples you may want to try.


Everyone knows the SMITH machine is a versatile apparatus. Squats with unusual foot placement that couldn't possibly be performed with the free standing squat can be executed with relative comfort on the Smith. However, the Smith machine makes a great standing calf raise machine! Place a block under the balls of your feet and put the foam pad on the bar for extra comfort. (The Manta Ray works especially well for this.) The movement, I feel, is far more "natural" than most calf machines.

Midsection Meltdown

Midsection Meltdown

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