Chest Training | Decline Press The Underrated Chest Builder
Chest Training or building your best chest can prove to be difficult for some. There are several common mistakes are reasons for this. Tucked away in the corner of your gym is the decline bench which is a piece of equipment is rarely used for its intended purpose, often serving as a glorified coat rack. For those of you who ignore the Decline Bench, it’s time to change your attitude towards this chest-building tool.
Decline Bench Press Benefits
There’s a gym myth that doing the Decline Bench Press just works your lower pectoral muscle. In actuality, the Decline Bench may be more beneficial than the standard Bench Press for building chest strength and size here is why:
- Less stress on the shoulder
- Increased Pec Activation
- Less Stress on the Lower Back
- Multi-Purpose Movement
The traditional Bench Press involves a lot of rotation at the shoulders, potentially causing impingement. This limits range of motion and puts your shoulders in a compromised position that can lead to injury. Benching at a decline minimizes rotation at the shoulder, shifting stress from the anterior deltoids to the pectoralis major. EMG analysis revealed that the Decline Bench activates the fibers of the sternal head of the pectoralis major. Arching the back during a Bench puts immense stress on the lower back. Doing this frequently can cause back pain, especially in the lumbar spine. Another benefit is through simple adjustments such as altering hand placement or varying the degree of decline can significantly change the focus of the exercise.
How to properly execute the movement
- Lie on a decline bench and grasp the bar with a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Let your shoulders depress into the bench, arch your lower back and bring your chest up and your bring your shoulder blades together.
- Inhale and tighten yours lats, upper back and core. Focus on mind to muscle connection, feel your chest doing the movement.
- Lower the bar down to the bottom of your chest, keeping your elbows and wrists directly beneath the bar.
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