How To And Tips: Decline Bench Press

The decline bench press is an exercise which helps you get the complete chest development.

It recruits more of the inner pecs, i.e. the sternocostal head, which not a lot of exercises can properly target.

Actually, this variation of the bench press was created to allow you to place a higher intensity on the stimulation of the chest fibers which the incline and the flat versions don’t target that well.

Also, the decline presses put less stress on your lower back and your shoulders than the other versions. And if you’re searching for a way to maximize your upper body power, you need to include this exercise into your training routine.


Targeted muscles;

Triceps brachii and the anterior deltoid; clavicular and sternal heads of the pectoralis major

How to:

  1. Lie down on a decline bench and set it at a 45 degree angle. Make sure you support your torso and your knees are bent. With a shoulder width grip un-rack the bar and hold it over your head.
  2. While inhaling, depress your shoulder in the bench, and make sure your upper back, lats and core are tightened. Slightly bend your arms and start lowering the bar towards your chest. Keep your wrists and elbows under the bar. The movement needs to be controlled.
  3. With the bar slightly touching your chest, exhale and extend your elbows so that you go back to the original position.

Recommended Volume: 3 – 5 sets x 8 – 15 reps, 1-3 minutes break between sets



With the range of motion being shorter, you will be able to use heavier weights, but you shouldn’t go for too heavy because it will make it hard to maintain the proper form.

If your lower chest is underdeveloped you should do the decline press before the flat and the incline ones. But if that’s not the case, you should leave the decline press for the end, i.e. after doing the flat and the incline bench presses.

If you want to increase the intensity of the decline press you can use forced reps, if you have a good spotter. You perform forced reps at your final set until muscle failure, and you push for 2-3 reps while your spotter holds the bar from under.