Decline Dumbbell Bench Press Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Compound
  • Push (Bilateral)
  • Beginner
  • Shoulders, Triceps
Chest Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on the edge of an decline bench.
  2. To get into position, lay back and keep the weights close to your chest. Once you are in position, take a deep breath, and press the dumbbells to lockout at the top.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells under control as far as comfortably possible (the handles should be about level with your chest).
  4. Contract the chest and push the dumbbells back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

**Dropping the dumbbells to the side is discouraged unless you are experienced with the technique or using excessively heavy weights.

**Ideally you should twist the dumbbells back to neutral (palms facing each other), bring your knees up so the ends of the dumbbells are touching your thighs, then use the weight of the dumbbells to rock back to an upright, seated position.

Exercise Tips

  1. Maintain more tension through the pecs by not locking out the elbows entirely.
  2. Keep the weights slightly tilted at a 45 degree angle in order to keep the elbows in a neutral position.
  3. Don’t allow the dumbbells to collide at the top of each rep - bouncing them together may cause you to lose stability within the shoulder and injure yourself.
  4. Squeeze the dumbbells as tight as possible to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
  5. Keep your shoulder blades pinched together to ensure the shoulders remain in a safe position.
  6. Imagine you’re trying to push yourself away from the weights rather than pushing the weights away from yourself.
  7. If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
  8. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
  9. Keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t allow the lower body to move during the set.

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6 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 03/26/2015 - 18:56

I am wondering if I can do an alternate exercise instead of the decline dumbell bench press

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Posted Wed, 01/30/2013 - 08:53

Is it all right to do this exercise and the incline dumbbell bench press using a barbell? Or is there a specific reason for using dumbbells?

mnsjason's picture
Posted Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:39

You can sub the dumbbells for a bar if you would like. Dumbbells have the advantage of forcing you to use each side independent of the other, which can help if you think there are issues with strength balance (dominant side stronger/bigger). It also challenges you to keep the movement controlled, which in turn can strengthen the mind-body connection. Form is key!

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Posted Thu, 01/31/2013 - 14:20

Ahh ok. Yeah, I do find a bit of the strength problem you underlined. Not so much on my chest but one of my biceps definitely looks bigger than the other, especially when working out; but I'm a little scared to do more reps on one than the other to make up for it, the way I see it, it could just make things worse. I've been working on the form recently, sacrificing reps for slower, more controlled movement. Thank you for your time and advice mate.

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Posted Sat, 03/24/2012 - 15:23
Ben Jordon

What if you do not have an incline bench? Is there another way

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Posted Mon, 04/02/2012 - 09:23
khalood alshamsi

make ur own incline bench :)