Decline Barbell Press-

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    Aug 19, 2007 3:28 AM GMT
    These are supposed to be a pec exercise but my shoulders seem to be doing all the work. Are theses good to develop upper pec?
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    Aug 19, 2007 11:19 AM GMT
    No, this does not target the upper pecs.

    The muscle groups used are primarily the lower pecs and lats, and secondarily triceps.

    What did you mean by your "shoulder doing all the work"?

    Do you mean you feel a lot of muscle contractile activity by your armpits? That would be normal as that is your lats working...

    Do you mean you feel your deltoid work harder? Which I really do not think this is the case as the deltoids in this position would not be assisting anti-gravity load...

    Do you mean you feel stress, discomfort, or even pain in your shoulder joint? That may have to do with your position, form, and possible already present shoulder issues that only reveals itself with this exercise...
  • GQjock

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    Aug 19, 2007 12:17 PM GMT
    I used to do this exercise but I've found that I needed to work on the upper rather than my lower pecs
    ... question for those in the industry
    for chest are Regular bench presses, inclines and flyes enough or should declines be added back for a good chest workout...?
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    Aug 19, 2007 1:01 PM GMT
    I suspect you're holding the bar above your shoulders instead of rotating the shoulders and pushing the weight up over your chest.

    You should have a spotter for this exercise anyway - so have them check your position.
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    Aug 19, 2007 1:40 PM GMT
    As far as using the shoulders in a decline press...

    Most people tend to fuss with the orientation of their hands/wrists and elbows... Meaning pressing the bar with the elbows closed to the trunk (shoulders in extension when the bar is lowered) or elbows away from the trunk (shulders in internal rotation and abduction).

    If your elbows are sticking close to the trunk as you lower the bar in an incline press, you will recruit more of the tricep and this would also feel a bit unstable as it is unnatural for your wrists to do it this way, since the bar is in front of your chest and your hands placement forces your elbow to move away from your trunk. If you have biciptial tendonitis or a lax anterior shoulder problem, this will hurt (not as much as a dip though, as in a dip, the position of your hands/wrists with bars on the sides of your trunk exaggerates shoulder extension even more.)

    If your elbows are away from your trunk (shoulders in internal rotation and abduction)as you do the movement, this will increase the use of lower pecs and lats as both of these muscle groups are indeed shoulder internal rotators. However, this position is notoriously bad if you have a rotator cuff impingement or AC joint problems...

    The other thing people can fuss with while doing this exercise is with the actual path of the bar as it goes up and down. As the bar does up and down, you can move the bar in a path that is either too close to your legs, or towards the direction of your head... This is NOT as likely as either path of movement of the bar is in line of the gravity, and drifting away from the line of gravity would fee severely out of balance and unstable.

    But if you are moving the bar not in line with the pull of gravity, moving the bar too close to your legs will indeed use the shoulder/deltoid muscle groups. The deltoid is trying to bring the bar in line with thepull of gravity and therefore actually doing constant shoulder flexion. It is trying to bring the bar more towards the direction of your head...

    If the bar is traveling too close to the head when it goes up and down, your lats will do a lot more work as they will try ot bring hte shoulders into extension, or the bar closer to the legs as the bar goes up and down..

    So there you go, you are either doing it not quite right, or you have a shoulder problem...
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    Aug 19, 2007 3:45 PM GMT
    Damn, so how do I work the upper pec? All the info on here points to pressess but it seems to me flys are the way to go. Flys with thumbs leading when u bring the weight up.
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    Aug 19, 2007 5:04 PM GMT
    OK, so what's a chest / lower pec exercise that, as much as possible, AVOIDS working the lats?

    I've been using decline dumbbell presses as part of my upper body routine. But... You know how some guys have ONE body part that bulks up effortlessly and disproportionately while the rest remain scrawny? For me, it's the lats. I've gone through life looking like a flabby manta ray. Every time I try to build up my chest (or even legs) the lats just balloon out.

    I need a strategy to disengage them, somehow.
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    Aug 19, 2007 5:06 PM GMT
    Upper pecs?

    You need to sit in a incline seat/bench and do either incline bnech press, incline dumbell presses, incline flies, etc.

    Standing incline cable flies tend to do the deltoids and biceps more than pecs because of the angle of the body to the resistance... Unless you also do this also with an incline seat/bench...
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    Aug 19, 2007 5:31 PM GMT
    Hummm..., to recruit the lower pec and avoid the lats...

    Presses will recruit the lower pecs more than flies. Presses recruit more of the tricep but they do not engage the motion of shoulder adduction (NOT the same as horizontal shoulder adduction, that is an entirely different plane.) Shoulder adduction will recruit the lats a lot...
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    Aug 20, 2007 4:37 AM GMT
    i'm gonna give the incline flys a shot. But check out this exercise I found. Take a 10lb weight pick it up like you put you are palms together to pray...weight between the palms. Stand up str8 and raise it from your crouch to chest height. kinda weird .i gonna try this too.
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    Aug 20, 2007 10:21 AM GMT
    Can you provide a link to the website instructing this exercise, perhaps with a sequence of picture illustrations...? I have no idea what you were describing accurately.... That is the problem with common language, it is not precise...
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    Aug 20, 2007 2:42 PM GMT
    checkout this link for upper pecs


    http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/PectoralClavicular/BBInclineBenchPress.html
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    Aug 22, 2007 12:03 AM GMT
    DAK- That incline press started this discussion. It seems when I do it the shoulder / anterior deltoid does all the work. The chest is not engaged at all.
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    Aug 22, 2007 1:48 AM GMT
    Oh you were talkig about incline press instead of declein press al this time...?

    Incline press will work on your anterior deltoids, no way around not using them.

    However, the steeper your incline seat, meaning the more vertical it is, the more your will use your anterior deltoids as at this angle, you are doing something close to a military shoulder press... You may want to use an incline bench that lets youlean abit further back...
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    Aug 30, 2007 1:19 PM GMT
    burninman it's just a question of degrees. place the bar in just the right place and get the bench at the correct angle so that you do feel your upper (or lower, depending on what you want) pecs working. of course other synergistic muslces will be employed as well. that's why benching at any angle is called a compound exercise, because it does utilize so much of the body.

    btw your chest certainly looks pretty damn good to me.