The primary muscles stressed in this movement are the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor). The secondary muscles stressed are the shoulders and triceps.

Starting Position

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and carefully lay on a decline bench set at a 30-45 degree angle with your arms extended straight up toward the ceiling. Push your chest up and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This will help to isolate the lower and central muscles in the chest.

decline bench press


Take two to three seconds to lower the dumbbells until your elbows are at 90 degrees with the dumbbells outside your chest. Keep your forearms straight up and down and your elbows out to the sides. Press the dumbbells straight up to the starting position (two inches apart). Contract your chest hard during the movement.

Training Tips

  • When pressing the dumbbells up to the starting position, do not overextend your shoulders and raise them off the bench. This will help to isolate your chest muscles.

Warning Tips

  • Do not overextend your shoulders when pressing the dumbbells up. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to your shoulders.
  • Do not excessively arch your back or raise your hips off the bench. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to your back.
  • Do not lower the dumbbells any faster than two to three seconds. You must stay in control at all times will increase your risk of injury.


Guest Authored by Robert Bovee Certified Master PPT, RTS, ETS, FTS


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