Decline Bench Press

decline bench press

Exercise Details for Decline Bench Press

  • Primary Muscle
  • Secondary Muscle
    Triceps, Front Delt
  • Equipment
    Barbell, Bumbbell
  • Level

Why should you do decline bench press?

Decline Bench Press is a version of a classic Bench Press with the big difference that it is made with a tilting bench; the butt is higher up than the head compared to the floor. This decline means that the lower muscle fibers of the chest will have to work extra hard during this exercise. The pectoral muscle is a single muscle (however, one on each side of the chest) that originates out at the shoulder with two major attachments. One runs along the collarbone, and the other runs from the sternum down to the ribs. The muscle, therefore, becomes a bit triangular. This causes the muscle fibers in the muscle to tilt a little differently. By doing exercises that tilt the bench or lift your arms at various angles, you load the chest differently. This exercise aims at just this, to put extra strain on the lower parts.


Adjust the bench so that you get a decline of the bench downwards. Your head should therefore be lower than your butt in height. Select the appropriate weights for the exercise and adjust the bench so that you can easily reach the barbell. Ensure that you ALWAYS have a friend or safety railing in place, as you will not be able to roll the bar off if you can no longer bear it. Then lie down on the bench. Grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Your thumb should not be on the same side of the bar as your other fingers; you can easily drop the bar if the thumb does not hold up, with hazardous consequences. Lift the bar and hold it over your shoulders. Pull back the shoulders and pinch the shoulder blades together so that the chest moves forward. This is your starting position.


Slowly lower the bar to your chest. Try to have your hands above your elbows during the movement. When you lower the bar to your chest, hold the position for a few seconds before pushing up the bar at a slightly faster pace than on the way down. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up. Your shoulders should not move forward when you push up the bar, but they should remain retracted so that the chest performs the exercise to the maximum.

Guide for Decline Bench Press

  • Your thumb should be on the other side of the bar from your fingers as you may drop it
  • Make sure you always have a friend or safety railing in place, you can not roll off the bar
  • It is safer to do this exercise with dumbbells
  • Do not bounce the bar on the chest but lower it slowly, pause quickly and push up
  • Lower the weight in a slow and controlled manner, tense the muscle you are exercising 
  • Pull back your shoulders and pinch your shoulder blades 
  • The shoulders should not move forward when you push up the bar

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