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Decline Barbell Bench Press

Decline Barbell Bench Press is a variant of the Barbell Bench Press performed on a declined bench. It allows focusing on the work of the middle and lower parts of the pectorals.

Often considered a finishing exercise, the Decline Barbell Bench Press allows deepening work for the pectorals, the targeted portion being already used by the classic Barbell Bench Press.

It is possible to lift larger loads using this exercise than in the Barbell Bench Press or Incline Barbell Bench Press, the lower part of the pectoral muscles, which is highly mobilized, being the most powerful portion of the muscle.

Why do The Decline Barbell Bench Press

The Decline Barbell Bench Press is an excellent strength training exercise to build muscle in the lower chest. The muscle fibers of the lower chest are the most powerful, so you can push heavier loads than at the incline or classic bench.

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Execution Of The Exercise

1- Starting position

Installation on the bench
  • Lie on a white decline, between 20 and 40 degrees, making sure to center the back.
  • Position yourself so that the bar is vertically at a level below the pectorals.
  • Lock your feet so that you are very stable.
Unhook the bar
  • Place your hands overhand (thumbs inward) on the bar, slightly wider than your shoulder width.
  • Take the bar out of its support while exhaling during lifting.
  • Position the bar, keeping your arms straight, above the bottom of your chest.

2- Execution of the Movement

Lower and raise the bar
  • Once the bar in position, lower it to the bottom of the pectorals (under the nipples) until it comes to graze this area.
  • The descent must be perfectly controlled and ideally last at least two seconds.
  • After touching the pectoral muscles, raise the bar and return it to the starting position, arms outstretched.
  • As with the other bench press exercises, it is important not to pull the shoulders out, but to keep them down and back, in order to use the chest as much as possible.
Replace the bar on the support
  • To replace the bar on its support at the end of your last rehearsal, force yourself to finish the movement entirely, that is to say, come back with arms outstretched with the bar above the bottom of the pecs.
  • Once in the starting position put the bar back on its support.
  • This step is important because many are the practitioners who, tired by the last repetition of their series, finish the movement diagonally to set the bar quickly. This has the effect of straining the shoulders more and spoiling the last repetition.

Targeted muscles

It solicits the pectoralis major (sternal portion), the anterior deltoid, the triceps, the brachial camisole, the small pectoral, and the large dentate.
On the biomechanical level, there is horizontal adduction of the arms which approach each other under the action of the pectoralis major and anterior deltoid. At the level of the back, the scapula moves outward thanks to the contraction of the large serrated, the small pectoral, and the trapezoids (upper and lower beams), it pivots (external bell) so that the arms come together in all ‘amplitude.

In fact, the shoulder blades move away from each other to allow the arms to approach more easily. You can see it by trying this little maneuver which consists of pushing a virtual wall in front of you with your arms without moving your torso. You will feel the contraction of the large indentation which is under the large pectoral and just above the obliques. Then, if you put your hands together at the end of the movement, the shoulder blades will move away.

Risks And Mistakes To Avoid

  • Loads too heavy: do not take unnecessary risks, as the bar may fall at head level or suffocate you. Do not hesitate to have a partner insure you to run the Decline Barbell Bench Press.
  • Bar rebound on chest: remember that you are sloping, head down. If the rebound on the pectorals is generally not recommended for the risk of injury, it is particularly recommended on the Decline Barbell Bench Press.
  • Force with the pecs: keep your shoulders back!

Safety Instructions

Do not use the bar to perform this strength training exercise if you do not have a partner and support. A partner is essential because you risk getting stuck under the weights. The alternative is to use the dumbbells as they can be safely placed on the floor. The Smith machine can also do the trick.
The low position causes blood to rise to the head. Take a few steps between sets and avoid long sets in this exercise.

Interest Of Decline Barbell Bench Press

Thanks to its straight trajectory, the Decline Barbell Bench Press is an excellent exercise to take pectorals when you take “everything” in the shoulders with the Barbell Bench Press and Incline Barbell Bench Press.

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Breathing

Inhale while lowering the dumbbells and exhale while returning to the starting position when you have passed the delicate point. Blocking breathing in the low position stabilizes the bust.

Variants

  • Different takes possible at Decline Barbell Bench Press:
    • Tight grip: targets the sternal (central) part of the pectorals and the triceps.
    • Normal grip: used in the presentation, targets the bottom of the muscle.
    • Wide grip: target the outer part of the lower chest more.
  • Decline Barbell Bench Press With dumbbells.
  • Decline Barbell Bench Press by guided machine.
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