- Chest: Large pectoral muscle
(Musculus pectoralis major)
- Chest: Small pectoral muscle
(Musculus pectoralis minor)
- Triceps: Three-headed arm muscle
(Musculus triceps brachii)
Here you can find example plans for decline dumbbell bench press training:
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press: Basics and alternatives
Involved main muscle groups:
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
Dumbbell decline bench press is a great alternative to the barbell decline bench press, targeting the lower part of the large chest muscle. The movement is the same: you lie on a decline bench and press dumbbells vertically through your chest with your arms. Like all bench press variations, it’s a compound exercise involving the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
You can also try decline barbell bench press, decline flys, or dips as alternatives to the dumbbell decline bench press. Dips are excellent for the lower chest but are more suitable for advanced athletes due to their difficulty.
For the right form, you need a decline bench or flat bench with an adjustable backrest. There’s no set rule for the angle, but around -15 degrees is common.
Dumbbell bench press is popular because it allows for less restricted arm and shoulder movement, providing a greater training stimulus. However, you’ll need to focus more on proper execution.
The decline bench press has a similar movement to dips, making both exercises interesting for lower chest muscle training. The more negative the bench angle, the closer the exercise resembles the dips movement.
Set the backrest to a negative angle (about -15 degrees). Grab the dumbbells, sit on the bench, and secure your legs in the supports to prevent sliding backward while lying down.
Lie on your back and position the dumbbells over your chest (refer to the video).
Press the dumbbells vertically over your chest, side by side, with your arms extended. Your palms should face your head.
Pull your shoulder blades back.
Slowly lower the dumbbells by bending your elbows and pulling your shoulders back. Keep your elbows close to your body without flaring them out too far. Maintain contracted shoulder blades throughout.
Stop lowering when you feel a stretch in your chest muscles or when your upper arms are about parallel to the floor.
Press the dumbbells back up to the starting position by straightening your shoulders and elbows, moving your arms in front of your chest, and extending your arms vertically again.
Incorrect shoulder posture can reduce the training stimulus during the decline bench press. Ensure you pull your shoulder blades back and push the weight through your chest.
Your elbows shouldn’t be too far apart or too close to your body during the exercise. The ideal position depends on your physique.