Why You Should be Avoiding the Pec Dec

by Gary Matthews

The pec deck is an exercise that trains the chest (pectorals) and shoulder (front deltoid) muscles.

This exercise is performed by sitting at the machine with your back flat against the back pad. Placing your forearms on the padded levers and position your upper arms parallel to the ground. Pushing the levers slowly together and squeezing your chest muscles at the end of the movement. Return slowly to the starting position.

This exercise is potentially dangerous because it places the shoulder into one of its least stable positions, the dislocation position. Because of the extreme position when performing this exercise at the starting position it can also cause tearing of the ligaments and injury to the rotar cuff tendons.

More effective and less dangerous is the bench press, keeping the arms at shoulder width and exercising in the strongest range of motion (partial reps) and the parallel bar dip with the elbows out.

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