Guide to Dumbbell and Barbell Decline Bench Presses

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dumbbell-barbell-decline-bench-pressThere has been always a debate about if decline bench press exercises are worth doing or not. Some bodybuilders do it. Others say it is good for nothing. Someone do it because they feel that it is easier to perform and more “shoulder-friendly” than the standard flat presses.

On the other hand, it is a fact that many professional bodybuilder such as Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman has done barbell and dumbbell bench presses on a decline bench.

To tell the truth, I do not care about what others say until I do not try an exercise. And I have to say I love decline chest exercises, and I always feel that they train the lower and outer side of my pectoralis muscles.

Of course, I still do presses on the flat bench as I believe it is the most beneficial chest exercise for strength and mass, but it is always good to add some variety to my workout routine.

What are the decline bench press benefits?

  • It is an excellent solution for those who has shoulder problems as it puts less stress on the joints on deltoid.
  • Attacking the pecs from various angles is always good. Decline moves target the lower part of the chest muscles efficiently making your upper body even more perfect.
  • If you are bored with doing the same types of exercises, it is a good option to add some variety to your chest workout routine.

Are there are cons?

Since the bench is not flat, it is not so easy to keep the position and to perform the move correctly. Hence, it is strongly suggested to have a helper, especially if you want to use heavy weights. You should also pay attention to use regular grip to avoid the slipping of the bar.

When I first tried it found it a bit dangerous and uncomfortable, but with practice you can get used to quickly.

How to do decline bench press?

There are two techniques you can do it with a barbell or with dumbbells.

If you are a beginner, start with a barbell since it does not require so much control and with that it is maybe easier to perform at first.

Watch the following video to learn how to do the decline barbell bench press exercise correctly.


As you get used to the decline movement, you can try the dumbbell version which obviously going to be harder and you will not be able to handle so heavy weights.

Decline dumbbell bench press needs more focus and involves your shoulders more. To get the benefits of this move pay attention to performing it correctly. The best is if you ask someone to help you.

Watch the tutorial below.



In my point of view, both incline and decline chest workouts are beneficial but flat bench press should not be neglected. These moves can help a lot to strengthen and tone your pectoralis major and minor from various angles. And this certainly leads to a more sculptured chest.

Hence, if you have not done any decline bench presses before it is time to include them in your chest training.

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