The decline dumbbell bench press exercise is popularly known as the decline dumbbell press. This exercise is an alternate to the barbell decline bench press, but requires comparatively lesser equipment. All you need is a bench that can be set at a decline, and a pair of dumbbells. This exercise mainly targets the lower part of the pectoral or chest muscles.
Correct Form of Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
The following is a step-by-step guide to perform the decline dumbbell press exercise in the correct form.
- Find a bench which can be declined to an angle of ~30° and sit on the high end of the bench, dumbbells resting on your thighs.
- Place your legs between the leg-rests and lean back onto the bench, dumbbells held against the sides of your body.
- If you have spotter (and I recommend that you do) tell him/her to hand you the dumbbells after you have placed your back firmly on the bench and legs are locked in position.
- Bring the dumbbells above your chest, so that your arms are perpendicular to the floor and palms facing forward. Keep your arms straight. This is the starting position.
- Slowly bring the dumbbells down, inhaling along the way, till your biceps are almost parallel to the floor. Feel the stretch in your chest muscles.
- Exhale as you push the dumbbells back to the starting position. This completes one repetition.
Alternate Exercise: Decline Barbell Bench Press
Benefits and Variations In Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
The decline dumbbell bench press is an important exercise for developing or giving shape to the lower chest.
- This exercise targets the lower pectorals specifically and the anterior Deltoids and triceps to a smaller extent.
- Although the same function is also done by the barbell decline bench press, however here you have to keep balance of both arms individually.
- Hence more muscles (like biceps) are used to stabilize the arms, leading to more muscles being involved than the barbell decline press.
- However, you cant lift weight equal to what you lifted in the barbell decline bench press.
You can also add a few variations to the exercise:
- You can vary the incline to put more effect on your chest or shoulder muscles.
- You can bring the dumbbells down wide or narrow, to put more effect on the shoulders or triceps, respectively.
Precautions To Keep During Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
Keeping the following precautions will ensure your safety while performing the decline dumbbell bench press.
- If you are new to this exercise, always have a spotter to guide you. Also keep a spotter handy whenever you lift heavy weights.
- If you are lifting heavy weights, always let the spotter hand you the weights after you are in position on the bench.
- Always bring the dumbbells down on your own, and not with the help of gravity.
- Try to maintain a 45° angle between your elbows and torso. Too close, and your triceps get involved; too wide and your shoulders get involved.
- Keep your shoulders and back planted firmly against the bench at all times.
- Never strike the dumbbells together at the top. You wont like dust falling on your face and eyes.
- When you are finished with the exercise, never drop the dumbbells, as this might damage your rotator cuffs.
- Always ask someone to take the dumbbells away, or try to sit up using the dumbbells to create an upward momentum.
Video: Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
Muscles used in Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
The muscles used in the decline dumbbell bench press are:
1. Lower Pectoral Muscles
2. Anterior Deltoids
3. Triceps Brachii