How to perform the decline barbell bench press

Bodybuilder decline barbell bench press

How to: Decline Barbell Bench Press

The decline barbell bench press is a variation of the standard barbell bench press. It should be an exercise that you should be looking to include in your chest workouts for the reason that it really targets the lower pectorals. This exercise requires no special equipment other than a flat bench however, this bench must have the ability to decline. If the bench is able to do this it will generally have somewhere to hold your legs in place so you don’t slide down during the movement.

Target Muscle

Main: Sternal (lower) Pectoralis Major

Synergists: Clavicular (upper) Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Triceps Brachii


Steps to performing the decline barbell bench press

  1. Locate a decline bench in your gym (or home gym) and load up a barbell with a weight that you are comfortable with.
  2. Sit on the machine and place your feet between the pads securely and lay back onto the bench completely flat.
  3. Without arching your back pick up the bar making sure you have an even grip just wider than shoulder width.
  4. Holding the weights over the chest begin a controlled movement bringing the bar down while inhaling.
  5. Pause for half a second just above your chest then press the barbell up to the starting position while exhaling.
  6. Take a short break of around 30 seconds and then repeat within a rep range of around 8-12 repetitions.


Looking for more exercises for the gym? Check out our workouts page.


VIDEO: How to do the decline barbell bench press