The Decline Bench Press

Bench pressing is an excellent exercise for overall upper body development. As stabilizers, it incorporates muscles from the lats, biceps, forearms, to the neck, glutes and abs. Primarily though, the bench press is for the triceps, anterior deltoids and the chest.

Because it’s such a good exercise, and because it’s such a highly recommended compound lift that should be in almost everyone’s program, people sometimes forget to apply the rule of change and variation to keep the bench press fresh. Without variation to the bench press, like all other exercises, it will become stale.

Enter the decline bench press. Undoubtedly the strangest and most unnerving of benching exercises because of the unusual position of the upper body being lower than the legs, the decline bench press is nevertheless, a valuable variation on the bench press which should be learnt and utilized.

Here’s how it’s performed:

Lay on a decline bench and place your feet underneath the hooks to prevent you from slipping down. Unrack the barbell, bringing it over the chest, and lower straight down to the upper chest. Press back up to lockout.

Practice will be needed to become familiar so go light.

Safety tips:

I highly recommend that when you do decline bench pressing, you have the correct equipment – which is a rack with multiple pins of different heights so you can easily rack the bar at any height should you encounter difficulty.

Becoming pinned by a heavy barbell on a regular flat bench press is bad enough, but if you are only working with regular pins that need arm lockout to be reached and you can’t get the bar on them whilst in decline – the bar is going to wind up on your throat and the consequences don’t bare thinking about.

It’s also a good idea to train with a partner when doing it for safety precautions.

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