Home / Chest workouts / Decline Barbell Bench Press: Forms, Benefits, Muscles Worked

Decline Barbell Bench Press: Forms, Benefits, Muscles Worked

The decline barbell bench press or decline bench press is a strength gaining exercise that trains your upper body by targeting the chest muscles. Many fitness experts and bodybuilding legends like Jay Cutler and Dorian Yates prefer doing this exercise for pectoral development since it works harder on the chest than the flat and incline bench presses. Moreover, the decline bench press puts less stress on your shoulders as compared to its flat counterpart.

Decline Bench Press Benefits

  • Pressing on the decline bench reduces rotation at your shoulders and increases pectoral activation by transmitting stress from the deltoids through the pectoralis major.
  • Owing to the decline angle, performing the exercise puts more emphasis on your lower chest than the flat bench press.
Decline Barbell Bench Press

Decline Barbell Bench Press Exercise Information

Exercise Type Strength
Skill Level Beginner, intermediate
Equipment Needed Barbell
Muscles Worked Primary: Chest; Secondary: Triceps, deltoids
Mechanics Compound
Force Push
Alternative Forms/Substitute Decline Dumbbell Bench Press, Chest Dips, Bench Press with Smith Machine
Variations Wide Grip Decline Barbell Bench Press

How to Decline Bench Press

  • Lie down so that your back is on the decline bench and your legs are securely locked at the end of the bench.
  • Use a medium-width grip (creating a 90-degree angle between your upper arms and forearms) to lift the barbell from the squat rack and press it overhead until your arms are locked. Make sure your arms are perpendicular to the ground. Pause for a second in this starting position.
  • Slowly bring down the bar until you feel it on the lower chest.
  • Take a brief pause and push the barbell with your chest muscles to bring it back to the initial position. After locking your arms, squeeze your chest to achieve the maximum contracted position. Hold for a few second before coming down with the barbell again.
  • Do the recommended number of reps.

Wide Grip Decline Bench Press

Perform this exercise by following the same steps as the normal form of decline barbell bench press but with a wide, pronated grip, placing each hand 3-4 inches away from the shoulder width.

Wide Grip Decline Bench Press

Decline Barbell Bench Press Tips

  • Ask someone to supervise your movement if you do not have any prior experience in doing this exercise. You may start with the lighter weights if you do not find someone to help you out.
  • Do not let the barbell deviate too far forward. It should touch the lower chest.
  • Be in complete control of the movements and do not allow the barbell to bounce off your chest.

Video: Decline Barbell Bench Press Proper Form

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