Decline Bench Press: Good, Bad, or Waste of Time?

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    Jan 07, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    chest-exercises-decline-dumbbell-bench-p


    Two of my friends who are much more experienced than me at weight training say this useless at best and dangerous at worst.

    It is supposed to focus on your lower (edit)pecs, but they say doing it on a decline can lead to injury and doesn't give you much of a range of motion.

    I have used it as one of my chest exercises that I rotate between. I felt like it worked my pecs pretty good, but now I'm not sure.

    What do you think? Have you done these..and to what result?
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    Jan 07, 2011 6:03 AM GMT
    How does it work your lower abs? Did you mean lower pecs? I read, and agree with, and article that said it's never good to do an exercise that causes all the blood to rush to your head. There are machines where you can do a decline press sitting up. That's what I try to do.
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    Jan 07, 2011 6:05 AM GMT
    I dunno if it's useless. I'm sure some/most guys get some type of benefit from it. But I don't do them.
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    Jan 07, 2011 7:07 AM GMT
    I just started doing them with a smith machine because im not comfortable doing it freestyle.
    Its supposed to work my lower pecs, but i feel its working my Upper pecs more!
    So i guess its working either way.
  • asupas

    Posts: 234

    Jan 07, 2011 7:11 AM GMT
    I always have a hard time getting heavier weights into the right position with this exercise. It always feels like I'm straining my lower back.

    Instead of this exercise I've been doing dips with weight attached to my waste.. it feels much more comfortable.
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    Jan 07, 2011 7:12 AM GMT
    Ive been doing decline bench press for a while with a loaded barbell and it's my favorite bench press chest exercise. I really feel the burn on the lower pecs. I dont think it's useless in any way, it's still a press, and you def do a range of motion.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 07, 2011 7:50 AM GMT
    I did this exercise for the first time ever last night. I didn't feel like I was getting much on the lower pec.
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    Jan 07, 2011 7:55 AM GMT
    Useless.

    Dips instead.
  • alwaysonpoint

    Posts: 173

    Jan 07, 2011 7:58 AM GMT
    I love decline bench and always feel it working my lower pecs. I use a barbell and find it much harder to get the individual dumbbells in the air, especially with heavier weights.

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    Jan 07, 2011 8:07 AM GMT
    Injured my shoulder doing this, and I should have known from the amount of shoulder pressure it put on the joint. I was not sensitive to those cues at the time, had only been working out for a year without prior injury. Not a bad injury, but given that it didn't really do much different than other stuff, I cut it.
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    Jan 07, 2011 8:22 AM GMT
    iguanaSF saidUseless.

    Dips instead.


    I agree. Dips work better especially when you tuck your chin to your chest. makes my cleavage pop.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 07, 2011 8:33 AM GMT
    It's absolutely the best chest exercise.
    For years, I used only dumbbells, as heavy as I could control and still use good form.
    When I needed to go up in weight (more than I could control, using dumbbells), I had to switch to machines.
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    Jan 07, 2011 8:49 AM GMT
    I used to do a shitload of dips until I fucked up my wrist... too much pressure on the wrist muscles.

    So for lower pec I really feel that decline bench is good and cable flys are awesome too, one of my faves.

    cable_flys2.jpg

    This bald dude is me at the gym earlier today.
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    Jan 07, 2011 8:55 AM GMT
    I'll make a slightly less categorical statement...

    Declines have one good use -- if you're trying to really get rid of involvement from the front delt, either due to injury, or you're one of those people whose shoulders are stronger than their chests, and flat bench makes it difficult for you to recruit enough pec fibers to the task (i.e. your front delts are doing too much work). These two cases definitely exist, but they are also definitely a small minority of cases.

    Flat bench should recruit plenty of muscle fibers throughout the whole pec muscle if done with proper form. The VAST majority of guys do NOT have trouble with lower pec development -- in fact the common problem is the reverse, which is why you need incline movements in your chest workout.

    But broadly speaking, except for these cases above, declines are useless.

    And that dip station is never used in your gym. It's lonely. Well, except once or twice a week by that guy with the amazing chest and shoulders. Be like him.
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    Jan 07, 2011 10:40 AM GMT
    decline has definitely given me the lower pec definition,...also include, cable fly, incline, and regular bench press for overall chest size and proportion.... icon_idea.gificon_idea.gif
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    Jan 07, 2011 11:10 AM GMT
    Fools on here stating they do nothing for you are far off the mark.

    There are definite benefits to adding the decline press to your workout. Do the research yourself. Don't trust the opinions of anyone in this forum. One thing I've noticed about RealJock is just how wrong so many weight trainers, even alleged certified personal trainers, tend to be. While RealJock packages itself as a web site for the fitness minded, it's anything but.

    Seek the advice of qualified individuals, not random people on a watered down version of Manhunt.
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    Jan 07, 2011 12:53 PM GMT
    Nothing wrong with decline press to change things up, but I generally prefer dips.
    You can also wear a belt that has a hook for weight plates if you want to add weight to the dips.
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    Jan 07, 2011 12:58 PM GMT


    I find them effective, even with a lighter weight in-between flat and incline.


    I've never experienced back issues.
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Jan 07, 2011 2:07 PM GMT
    iguanaSF saidAnd that dip station is never used in your gym. It's lonely. Well, except once or twice a week by that guy with the amazing chest and shoulders. Be like him.


    What? It's always in use at mine.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 07, 2011 3:11 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Flat bench should recruit plenty of muscle fibers throughout the whole pec muscle if done with proper form. The VAST majority of guys do NOT have trouble with lower pec development -- in fact the common problem is the reverse, which is why you need incline movements in your chest workout.


    I thought the same thing before. I always see guys with developed lower pec muscles, but skinny/sometimes boney looking upper pec muscles. I think you hit the nail on the head.
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    Jan 07, 2011 4:08 PM GMT
    kew1 said

    What? It's always in use at mine.


    Congrats. You use a serious gym.

    Single data points, however, don't invalidate the notion of a statistical median.

    In this case, that median is the fact that way fewer people are dipping than they are other chest exercises.