A decline bench press is where the bench is set at 15-30 degrees. Your upper body is placed at a downward angle, activating the lower pectoral muscles while you lift weights.
Decline bench presses, when done as part of a complete chest workout, can make your pecs appear more defined.
This article will discuss the advantages and drawbacks to the decline bench press, as well as safety tips.
Your upper chest is where you will find the pectoralis main muscle. It is composed of the sternal head and the clavicular heads (upper pec).
The decline bench press’s purpose is to work the lower pecs.
This exercise uses not only lower pecs but also the:
- Triceps brachii on the backside of your upper arm
- brachiion your front side of the upper arm
- Anterior deltoidat the front of your shoulder
The lower pecs are responsible for extending the arm during the upward phase of a declining bench press. The anterior deltoid and triceps help to assist this.
The anterior deltoid and lower pecs work together to stretch the arm during the down phase of bringing the weights towards you. This movement is assisted by the biceps brachii to a lesser degree.
The decline version of bench presses is less stressful than other types. The decline angle shifts stress to your lower pecs which makes them work harder.
Tips for doing it
A spotter is a person who helps you to find the right spotter.
This exercise is best done with a spotter.
Spotters can safely help you move the weight up or down. They can also help you if you are in pain or discomfort.
Take a look at how far apart your hands stand
Pay attention to your grip. Wide grips can cause injury by straining the pecs and shoulder muscles.
To do a wide grip bench press, don’t lower the weight to your chest. To keep your shoulders stable, you should stop about 3-4 inches above your chest.
A narrow grip is easier on the shoulders. It can be painful if you have wrist, elbow, or shoulder problems.
Personal trainers can help you determine the right grip width for you.
Considerations and cons
Your torso and head should be positioned at a downward slope relative to the rest of your body, and the weight that you are holding during a decline bench press. For some, this angle can feel awkward.
Gravity pulls weight down as well. This can make it more difficult.
You might want to start with flat or incline bench presses if you are new to bench pressing.
Set the bench at 15-30 degrees and then start this exercise.
- Place your feet on the bench. Place your head under the barbell and Lie down.
- Hold the bar slightly wider than your shoulders apart, with your palms facing forward.
- To lift the barbell off the rack, straighten your arms. You can move it over your shoulders and lock your elbows.
- Slowly inhale, and gradually lower the barbell so that it touches your mid-chest. Keep your elbows 45° from your body. Pause.
- Inhale, and raise the barbell until it reaches its starting position. Lock your elbows. Pause.
- Do 12 repetitions. Return the barbell back to the rack.
- Continue to do this for 3 to 5 times.
It is best to start with lighter weights due to the angle. As you become more comfortable with the downward slope, you can increase your weight.
dumbbell or barbell
You can do the decline bench press with dumbbells or a barbell.
Every weight has a different effect on your muscles, so it is important to be able to tell the difference.
You can lift more weight with a barbell. Because your muscles don’t have to stabilize in order to lift more weight, this is possible.
Barbell bench presses are more effective than dumbbell bench presses for triceps activity.
Individual dumbbells, on the other hand allow you to rotate your wrists. This allows you to activate different muscles and gives you more options.
During the upward phase, for example, it is a good idea to lead with your thumbs. This increases pec activity. Your triceps will engage if you lead with your pinkies.
The dumbbell version is more active than the barbell bench presses.
Your comfort level and your goals will determine the best choice.
Incline and Decline Bench Presses
Both the decline and incline bench presses target the chest, shoulders and arms.
In an incline bench press, however, the bench can be set at 15-30 degrees on an inclined. Your upper body is at an upward slope.
Instead, it targets your upper pecs. This version also targets the anterior deltoids better than the decline one.
Flat bench press
The flat bench press is another alternative to the bench press. The bench should be parallel to the floor. Your upper body is horizontal so your lower and upper pecs are activated equally.
This table lists the most used muscles during different angles of bench pressing:
|Muscle||Incline bench press||Flat bench press||Decline bench press|
The decline bench press targets the lower pectoral muscles. The bench is set at 15-30 degrees on a fall.
This exercise can be done with flat bench and incline presses for a full chest workout. All three types of this exercise will work to sculpt your pecs.
You can reduce the risk of injury by resting your shoulders and chest after doing bench presses. Instead, work a different muscle group.
Talk to a personal trainer if you are new to strength training, or recovering from injury. A personal trainer can safely help you do decline bench presses.