Decline Bench Press – What is it, and why you should be doing it?

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When it comes to chest exercises, there appears to be quite a divide amongst keen gym-goers with some insisting that barbell based presses are the most beneficial, whilst others suggest that dumbbell based presses are more effective.

In reality the truth is that barbell and dumbbell based exercises are both incredibly effective and that ideally a person should do their upmost to incorporate both into their weekly routines.

As well as arguing about dumbbells vs barbells, people are also undecided about which form of press is actually best for the chest. Many people tend to favour flat bench presses or incline bench presses, with many of them overlooking the importance of the decline press.

What is the decline press and how is it performed?

Decline presses can be performed with either a barbell, or a dumbbell and are performed in the same way as a flat bench press or an incline bench press, except the bench is set at a decline angle. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Begin by ensuring that your legs are secure and then lay down on a flat bench set at a decline.
  • Grip the barbell using an overhand grip just wider than shoulder-width apart and carefully lift the bar off the rack and hold it above your chest for a second or two.
  • Slowly lower the barbell down towards your chest until it grazes your chest and then slowly raise the barbell back up in air by extending your arms.
  • In the contracted position, squeeze your chest muscles for a second or two and then repeat for as many reps as required.
  • Do exactly the same thing if using dumbbells.
  • The decline bench press is a fantastic exercise for working the lower pectoral muscles.

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