A variation of bench press, a decline bench press is an excellent workout that focuses on your lower chest muscles. As the name suggests, you have to use a bench at a declined angle to perform the bench presses. But is that it? How can one perform a decline bench press exercise perfectly? And can anyone do it?
If you have been looking for answers to these questions, you are at the right place. In this article, we have shared the tips to perfect the decline bench press. Not just this, we have also shared the FAQs and other relevant information about the chest decline bench press. Let’s begin with first understanding some basic facts about this workout.
Decline Bench Press Basic Facts
Other names: Decline bench press is also known as chest decline bench press. Depending on the equipment used, you can also call it either decline barbell bench press or decline dumbbell bench press.
Equipment Used: A decline bench, dumbbells, or barbell
Fitness Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Decline Bench Press Muscles Worked:
Just like bench press, this variation also focuses on upper body muscles. However, specific decline bench press muscles worked include the following:
- Chest muscles: The main aim of Decline bench presses is to activate both the clavicular head and the sternal head of your pectoralis major. However, the most benefits are received by the sternal head located in the lower chest. If you want to activate muscles in your upper chest, consider incline bench presses.
- Shoulder muscles: Decline bench press exercise also activates your delts as stabilizers during the exercise, specifically your anterior deltoids.
- Arm muscles: As the workout requires you to move your arms through a full range of motion, it also activates your triceps, biceps, and forearms.
How To Perform Decline Bench Press
Even though you can use dumbbells to perform this variation of bench press, we would suggest you begin by using a barbell. This helps in first learning to stabilize the movement and have a smooth workout. Below is a step-by-step guide for decline barbell bench press you can follow:
- First set the decline bench press angle to 15-30 degrees decline. And then lie on it with your face up. Your feet should be anchored to the ground and your back and hips should be in contact with the bench. As for the head, relax and look towards the ceiling.
- Now, engage your core muscles but your spine should be neutral. Your upper back should stay tight and stable during the whole workout.
- With your form right, grab the barbell. The grip should be slightly wider than the width of your shoulders.
- To engage your lats, rotate the shoulders outwards. Lift the barbell off the rack and slowly lower it until your upper arms are in line with your back. At this moment, your wrists should be at an angle of 45 degrees. Lower down the barbell to your chest and pause for 1-2 seconds.
- Now, exhale as you push the barbell upwards. Also, squeeze your chest and triceps at the top of the movement. Your elbows may have a slight bend.
- This is one rep. Repeat it for at least 2-3 sets of 6-12 repetitions.
In case you wish to try a decline dumbbell bench press, you can follow the same instructions. Just grab the weights before lying down and maintain stability. You can also watch online videos to see how to perform both these decline bench presses or consult a gym instructor for better form and technique.
Tips To Perfect A Decline Bench Press
To make sure you do not make the common mistakes and avoid any unnecessary injuries, you can follow the below-listed tips while doing decline bench press at home:
- The Weight: Do not overdo the weights as it can lead to injury. Pick weights that you feel can be smoothly handled.
- The Tempo: Bouncing off with the weights during the up and down movement can lead to injury and also make the exercise less effective. Thus, be slow and controlled and your decline bench press will be much better and comfortable.
- The Straight Line: When you push the barbell up, make sure it should follow a straight line. This will increase your efficiency and you could lift more weight.
- Your Feet: Your feet should be rigid and completely fixed to the ground to provide more strength and stability. In addition to feet, your glutes should also be flexed during the decline bench press. This will create tension in the lower body and help your press even harder.
- Breathing: It is very important that you should focus on your breathing pattern too. Proper inhaling and exhaling improves blood circulation and helps in muscle recovery. Thus, make sure you exhale while pushing the weights up and inhale as you bring it down towards your chest.
What is the best decline bench press angle?
There is no one best angle you should use. Ideally, the decline bench press angle should lie between 15 to 30 degrees. To know which one is the best for you, talk to your gym instructor.
Can you do decline bench press at home?
Yes, you can easily do decline bench press at home. However, you would require a few types of equipment – a bench, barbell, or dumbbell. Also, since it is a comparatively difficult weight training exercise, it is better to perform this home workout only when you have an intermediate level of fitness. If you are a beginner, it is advised to not perform it alone. If the weights are not balanced properly, they can cause you serious injury.
What are the benefits of decline bench press?
Decline bench press can lead to the following benefits:
- Decline bench press helps in targeting your lower chest muscles; thereby giving you a toned and muscular upper body.
- It also alleviates stress for the muscles through a range of full motions in the shoulders, arms, and lower back muscles.
- People also include decline bench press in their weight loss workout as it can reduce chest fat.
- Decline bench press not only builds muscles but also improves your body’s strength and stability.
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