How To

1 Lie on a decline bench. Grasp the barbell with a wider-than-shoulder-width overhand grip. Dismount the barbell from the rack.
2 Slowly lower the bar to your lower chest. Briefly hold.
3 Press the bar upwards until your arms are fully extended.

Muscle Worked in Decline Bench Press

Primary Muscles

Chest Your chest helps you move your arms across your body and up and down while stabilizing the shoulders
Shoulders Your shoulders are ball-and-socket joints which connect your arms to your torso
Triceps The triceps are the muscles on the backs of your upper arms

Secondary Muscles

Abs "Abs" refers to your abdominal muscles, which sit at the front of your trunk between your ribcage and pelvis
Forearms The forearms help you grip objects and move your hands, wrists and fingers
Lats Your latissimus dorsi, also called the "lats," help you to move your arms and keep your shoulders stable.
Traps Lie on the floor and place a foam roller below your traps and above your shoulder blades.

Pro Tips

  • Inhale as you lower the barbell, then exhale as you press your barbell up.
  • Wrap your fingers and thumbs around the bar so that your hand is fully wrapped around your barbell. This is the safest grip to use for any kind of bench press especially if you are a beginner.
  • Engage your feet and legs. Although the feet don’t directly help you bench press, planting your feet strongly onto the floor will help you to keep your body stable and to drive your motion.
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Decline Bench
Decline Bench


  • This move can help you grow the lower part of your chest.
  • Decline bench presses help to recruit a lot of tricep strength as you press. This can help to strengthen and define your upper arms.
  • For those with muscular imbalances between their upper and lower chest muscles, the decline bench press can help you balance out the look of your chest.
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Common Mistakes

  • Don’t bounce or rest your barbell on your chest. Instead, your barbell should be hovering just above the mid-chest in your decline bench press. This helps you to maintain more time under tension and avoid dropping your effort.
  • Breathing improperly or not breathing at all are common errors in a high-stakes and high-weight move like the bench press. Focus on inhaling as you bring your barbell down to your chest and exhaling forcefully as you press the barbell up. This will help you to get more power in your movement and facilitate a heavier lift.
  • Not using a full range of motion is common when decline bench pressing. Make sure your barbell comes all the way down to hover just above your chest.
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