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Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

What Is A Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

How To Do A Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

The decline dumbbell bench press uses a decline bench to manipulate the muscles worked. While the primary target is the chest muscles, the decline of the bench means that a greater focus is shifted to the lower portion of the pecs, known as the sternal head, compared to a flat bench press. The shoulders are also used less in this exercise than the flat and incline bench press.

Commonly Asked Questions On Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

  • The decline press works the pectorals, anterior deltoids, and triceps, with more emphasis on the lower chest (known as the sternal head) due to the decline of the bench. The lack of support from the legs and feet mean the core is activated to a greater degree as more stability is needed.

  • The incline bench press has a greater focus on the upper chest, known as the clavicular head, whereas the decline bench has a greater focus on the lower chest, known as the sternal head. The decline bench press also has less involvement from the shoulders, and can put less strain on the shoulders as a result. Both variations are good to include for well-rounded pectoral strength.

  • The decline bench press is not necessarily harder than the flat bench press, but it does offer different challenges which means some people will find it more difficult. The lack of leg drive means there is more stability needed and some will be unable to lift as heavy in the decline, however the lesser shoulder involvement means some people find they can lift more weight in this exercise.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press Tips

The decline dumbbell bench press is an advanced chest movement, and we advise building a suitable amount of chest strength through the seated chest press, dumbbell press and incline press, as well as working on core strength and stability, before attempting the decline. 

How To Do A Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

  1. Gripping two dumbbells, sit on a decline bench before slowly lying down and extending your arms so that the dumbbells are above you.

  2. Retract your shoulder blades by pulling your shoulder blades into the bench.

  3. As you lower the dumbbells, keep the elbows tucked to prevent the elbows from flaring. Think about creating an arrow shape with your arms and head. 

  4. Lower the dumbbells in line with your mid chest, ensuring to lower the dumbbells until they are either side of the chest.  

  5. Extend your arms up while pushing through chest to lift the dumbbells up above the chest.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.