The decline bench press is much like the flat bench press, besides it includes mendacity on a decline bench that places your butt greater than your head.
To do the decline bench press, you’ll want a specialised decline bench that places the again pad at a couple of 30-degree angle.
There’s no query that the decline bench press is an efficient chest train. That stated, it’s additionally controversial.
Some individuals say that it’s a lot better than the flat bench press for constructing your decrease chest muscle mass, which supplies your chest a fuller, denser, extra enticing look. Others declare that it’s no higher than the flat bench press for constructing your chest, and is extra prone to trigger accidents.
The reality is that the decline bench press is a superbly fantastic chest train, however it’s not as “good” or “dangerous” as many individuals make it out to be. It’s merely one other viable various to the flat bench press with its personal set of execs and cons.
On this article, you’ll discover ways to decline bench press with correct type, the muscle mass labored throughout the decline bench press, the decline bench press advantages and downsides, and extra.
Just like the flat barbell bench press, the principle muscle mass labored by the decline bench press are the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Analysis reveals that the decline bench press targets the decrease chest and triceps simply in addition to the flat bench press.
Opposite to what many individuals assume, the decline bench press doesn’t prepare your decrease chest higher than the flat bench press. It additionally doesn’t “form” the underside of your pecs or burn away man boobs.
That stated, it’s additionally not worse than the flat bench press and affords a enjoyable method to combine up your exercises if you happen to’re uninterested in flat and incline bench urgent.
The decline bench press is barely much less efficient for coaching your entrance shoulder muscle mass (anterior deltoids) than the flat bench press, which could be a professional or a con relying in your targets.
When you’re coping with shoulder ache or need to give attention to constructing your chest and are much less involved with constructing your shoulders, the decline bench press is an efficient choice. If you wish to construct your chest and shoulders, the flat and incline bench press are higher choices.
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Through the flat bench press, you lie on a flat bench, plant your toes on the ground, and press the load straight up and away out of your chest.
The decline bench press works the identical manner, besides the bench is angled in order that your hips are greater than your head, your toes are wedged below pads hooked up to the bench, and your head is pointing towards the bottom.
As you now know, the decline bench press isn’t higher than the flat bench press for constructing your decrease chest, so why do individuals do it?
One purpose is that many individuals are ready to make use of extra weight on the decline bench press than flat bench press, in all probability as a result of it includes a shorter vary of movement. Whereas this makes the train simpler, it additionally often makes it much less efficient for constructing muscle, which is strike one in opposition to the decline bench press.
Strike two in opposition to the decline bench press is that it doesn’t prepare your shoulders as successfully because the flat bench press. When you aren’t involved with bettering your shoulder improvement otherwise you’re already doing loads of different shoulder workout routines, then this isn’t an enormous deal, however it does imply you’re getting a bit of bit much less muscle-building bang on your buck with the decline bench press.
Strike three in opposition to the decline bench press is that as a result of your head is positioned under the remainder of your physique, this will typically trigger lightheadedness. Granted, you’re solely on this place for a second, so it’s not a difficulty for most individuals, however it might probably occur. And getting dizzy whereas holding a heavy barbell over your gullet will be . . . unhealthy.
All of for this reason I don’t usually suggest individuals decline bench press—it merely doesn’t provide any main advantages that you may’t get from the flat bench press. That stated, if you happen to’re uninterested in flat bench urgent or are already flat bench urgent and need to use the decline bench press as an adjunct train in your exercises, that’s fantastic, too.
One of the simplest ways to do the decline bench press is with a devoted decline bench press station.
These often function leg lockdowns (pads you hook your toes beneath) and are particularly designed for decline bench urgent, and a decline bench press angle of 15 to 30 levels.
In case your fitness center doesn’t have a decline bench press station, you may make do with an adjustable bench that may be set to a decline of 30 levels. Then, set the barbell on pins about two to a few inches decrease than it will be if you happen to have been holding it whereas mendacity on the bench together with your elbows locked.
First, lie down on the bench, safe your toes below the pads (if obtainable) and alter your physique so your eyes are below the bar.
Then, holding your butt planted on the bench, elevate your chest up and tuck your shoulder blades down and squeeze them collectively. Your higher again ought to seem like this:
Seize the bar together with your fingers barely wider than shoulder-width aside, about 22 to twenty-eight inches, relying in your construct.
Arch your decrease again barely, and unrack the bar by straightening your arms to push the bar off the hooks.
Whereas holding your elbows locked, transfer the bar horizontally till it’s instantly over your shoulders.
Preserving your elbows tucked and in place, decrease the bar to the decrease a part of your chest, over your nipples. The bar ought to transfer in a straight line down, not towards your face or stomach button.
As soon as the bar has touched your chest (touched, not bounced off of), you’re able to ascend.
Preserving your shoulder blades down and pinched, your elbows tucked, your decrease again barely arched, and your butt on the bench, push in opposition to the bar to get it off your chest.
The bar ought to transfer up with a straight, however barely diagonal path, shifting towards your shoulders, ending the place you started throughout the descent: with the bar instantly over your shoulders, the place it’s most naturally balanced.
Management the load as you descend and contact the bar to your chest, however don’t bounce it off of your sternum. Permitting the load to fall shortly and bouncing it off of your physique not solely makes the train simpler and fewer efficient, it additionally will increase your threat of harm. When you can’t carry a weight with out bouncing it off your chest, then that you must cut back the load.
Tip: Think about there’s an egg resting in your sternum, and take into consideration reducing the bar till it touches the egg with out breaking it earlier than urgent the bar upward.
You may study extra about why and easy methods to management your rep tempo on this article:
Ought to You Raise Weights Quick or Sluggish? The Fast and Soiled Information
Whereas the bar will transfer barely diagonally (out of your decrease chest to instantly over your shoulders), the trail must be roughly straight (not jerking horizontally in entrance of your chest). This can improve effectivity of the motion, permitting you to carry extra weight.
Take into consideration pushing your toes into the bottom, “screwing” them into the ground, and flexing your glutes (whereas holding your butt on the bench).
Many individuals are so targeted on their higher physique throughout urgent that they permit their decrease physique to calm down and shift place. These cutes—screwing your toes into the ground and flexing your glutes, create stress in your decrease physique, which stabilizes your torso and helps you press extra weight.
+ Scientific References
- Saeterbakken, A. H., Mo, D. A., Scott, S., & Andersen, V. (2017). The Results of Bench Press Variations in Aggressive Athletes on Muscle Exercise and Efficiency. Journal of Human Kinetics, 57(1), 61–71. https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2017-0047
- Barnett, C., Kippers, V., & Turner, P. (n.d.). Results of Variations of the Bench Press Train on the EMG… : The Journal of Energy & Conditioning Analysis. Retrieved April 4, 2021, from https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Summary/1995/11000/Effects_of_Variations_of_the_Bench_Press_Exercise.3.aspx
- Lauver, J. D., Cayot, T. E., & Scheuermann, B. W. (2016). Affect of bench angle on higher extremity muscular activation throughout bench press train. European Journal of Sport Science, 16(3), 309–316. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2015.1022605
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