The Decline Bench Press: A Full Guide

The Decline Bench Press: A Full Guide

If you are looking to get a bigger and stronger chest, you are not alone. I am always on the lookout for new exercises and techniques to grow my chest muscles.

While we've all heard of the bench press, and it's one of the most common exercises ... it isn't the only one that can help. In fact, there are quite a few different exercises you can do for your chest.

One of the exercises that is often overlooked, but can be very beneficial, is the decline bench press. While it is less popular than a lot of other chest exercises, the decline press can be very effective.

But, what is the decline bench press? What are the specific benefits it has to offer? How do you do a decline bench press? All of this and more, we'll discuss now!

What Is A Decline Bench Press?

The decline bench press is a variation of the bench press. Instead of lying on a flat bench though, the bench is set at a decline. This is where your upper body will lay lower on the bench, and your lower body higher.

For this reason, decline benches offer a place to anchor your legs. If there wasn't, your body would simply slide head-first off the bench!

The decline bench press is a great exercise in addition to other chest-day staple exercises like the flat bench press or chest flys.

So, what is it that makes the decline bench press beneficial? Let's cover that next.

Benefits of The Decline Bench Press

There are quite a few ways the decline bench press can be beneficial. A lot of these benefits are because of the different angle you are lifting the weight.

I would argue that the biggest benefit is that it's a great way to target your lower pectoral muscles. These are the lower muscles of your chest that don't get nearly as much love from other chest exercises.

On top of that, the decline bench press can relieve some of the pressure on your shoulder joints. This is because the angle allows for the shoulder muscles to play less of a role in stabilizing the weight.

Also, the decline bench press can be great for tricep engagement. Again, the angle of the press is ultimately what's responsible for this. So, if you're looking to grow your triceps along with your chest, the decline bench press could be a great exercise to add to your routine!

Now, while the decline bench press does have a lot to offer, there is one main drawback. That drawback is that it can be uncomfortable and difficult for many people. If it's your first time trying it out, I'd definitely recommend using lighter weight and grabbing a spotter.

In addition to that, it may be more difficult to come across a decline bench. Since it's not as popular, it's not a piece of equipment that most smaller gyms may prioritize.

But, let's say your gym does have a decline bench and you want to give it a try ... Awesome! Let's talk about exactly how to perform a decline bench press for the best results.

How To Do a Decline Bench Press 

Before you get started, consider what kind of equipment you'll be using. As long as you have a bench, you can perform this movement with any kind of resistance. You can use a barbell, dumbbells, and even resistance bands.

Most of the time, you'll likely be using a barbell. This is because benches normally have a rack overhead to mount a barbell.

To keep things simple, I will explain the exercise as if you'll be using a barbell. With that being said, let's get into it!

Find a decline bench, then start by loading the barbell with the weight you're going to use for the exercise. Make sure the bar is set at a good height - slightly shorter than arms length away.

Lock your feet or legs into the pads on the decline bench and slowly lower your back to the bench. Your head should be directly underneath the barbell racked above.

Reach upward to grab the bar with each hand slightly outside of shoulder-width apart. Feel free to adjust your grip based on what feels most comfortable. The wider you space your hands, the more your chest will be involved in the exercise. The closer you space your hands, the more your triceps will be involved in the exercise.

Lift the bar off the rack and slowly move it directly over your chest. From here, inhale as you slowly lower the bar to meet your chest.

Once the bar meets your chest, pause for a second, then squeeze your chest and exhale to push the weight back over your chest. That's one rep!

Do this exercise for a set number of reps before re-racking the barbell overhead.

One Last Tip With For The Decline Bench Press 

Remember: The decline bench press is a great chest exercise to add to your program. However, that doesn't mean you should use it as a replacement for an incline or flat bench press. Rather, it would be best to do both.

There is always a benefit to incorporating several diverse exercises in your workouts. After all, different exercises can help target different muscle groups more effectively. For a decline bench press, that would mean targeting your lower pectoral muscles better.

If you're curious about other exercises for your chest, or workout programs as a whole ... that's where we can help! In fact, custom workouts and programs catered to your goals is one of the many things you'll get in the 1st Phorm App.

The 1st Phorm App is the all-in-one tool to help you reach your fitness goals. On top of getting a full library of workout programs to help you earn real, long-term results, you'll also get:

• 1-on-1 access to your own certified advisor
• Nutrition programming and food tracking software
• An easy way to measure and manage your progress
• Daily livestreams and instructional videos
• A culture and community of accountability and support

…and so much more!

If you have any other questions in the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out!

We have a full team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches right here in St. Louis, Missouri. Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or shoot us an email at any day of the week from 6 AM to 10 PM Central.

If you want more great exercises for your chest, and you're ready to get incredible results ... download the 1st Phorm App to get started today!

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