Skip to content
- Target muscle: Sternal (lower) Pectoralis Major
- Synergists: Clavicular (upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Triceps Brachii
- Mechanics: Compound
- Force: Push
- Lock your feet under the leg brace of a declined bench and lie on your back.
- Using a grip that is a little wider than shoulder width, dismount the barbell from the rack.
- While holding the barbell, retract your shoulder blades (push them together) and straighten your wrists.
- Keeping your elbows tucked in a little, inhale as you lower the barbell to your chest.
- Exhale as you press the barbell back up to the starting position.
Comments and tips
- Never use a thumbless grip (aka suicide grip)!
- Do not lock your elbows out at the top of the press.
- If lifting heavy, have a spotter ready.
- Retracting your shoulder blades, keeping your elbows tucked in a little, and keeping your wrists straight help you to drive the barbell upward.
- Keeping your elbows tucked in also reduces the pressure on your shoulders, which are prone to injury.
- Compared with the standard barbell bench press, many lifters can lift more weight with the decline barbell bench press. The exercise also often feels easier on the shoulders.
- See also the decline hammer-grip dumbbell bench press.
Decline barbell bench press video