The decline barbell bench press is a compound exercise for the lower chest, and it’s a great addition to any chest routine. Now, it’s not always utilized during a chest workout by most gym-goers or athletes but it does have strength and muscle-building benefits. The shorter range of movement allows you to use heavier weights and the decline bench is also effective for working anterior deltoids, and triceps as secondary movers.
Many people might think it’s not a necessary exercise variation but it’s worth trying to see how your chest responds. Sometimes a new stimulus can shock growth into a muscle; which can benefit you in other ways too.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Sternal (lower) Pectoralis Major
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Decline barbell bench
- Difficulty: Beginner
- Lay down on the decline bench and secure your legs at the bottom.
- Grip the barbell wider than shoulder-width and position your arms at a 45-degree angle to your sides.
- Slightly arch your back and unrack the barbell.
- Slowly lower the barbell to a few inches above your lower chest while inhaling.
- Press the barbell until your arms are extended without locking out at the top while contracting your chest and exhaling.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips
- You can use dumbbells or the smith machine as alternatives.
- Never lock out at the top to keep tension on the muscles and to avoid elbow injury.
- Arch your chest forward during the movement.
- Keep your upper arms tucked into your sides during the movement; which protects the shoulder joint from injury.