Decline Barbell Bench Press
The decline barbell bench press is a good exercise to help target the lower part of your chest pectoral muscles. As the bench is on a decline, you will often find that this exercise is harder to perform than a standard flat bench chest press, so use a lighter weight than normal.
Whenever doing any bench work with a barbell, it is wise to have a partner stand behind you to assist with your final lifts, especially if doing heavy weights or using a decline bench. Never push yourself to the limit on your own – you don't want to get the bar stuck across your chest.
Set up an decline bench so that your head is about 6 - 12 inches lower than your hips, you may decide to place a secure step box under your foot end to make the decline.
Grasp the barbell with your thumbs underneath, with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with your feet on the floor.
With your arms locked out in the starting phase, smoothly lower the bar down towards your chest, keeping your elbows wide. Avoid letting the bar drift too far forward, your aiming for the bar to touch your lower chest and nowhere else.
Aim with each lift to get a full range of movement by actually touching or getting close to the chest – if you can't get close, then your weight is to heavy – focus on good technique with the weight you can lift – let those who do heavier weights with poor technique risk injury.
Exhale as you lift the weight back up to your starting position, pausing for 1 – 2 seconds at both your final lowered phase, and also the upper phase, prior to repeating for desired reps.
Concentrate on keeping your head and hips on the bench, avoiding excessive arching of the back throughout the movement and never bounce the bar off your chest.
Always make sure that you position your hands equally apart from the central part of the bar, having any locking collars securely fastening the weights onto the bar.
Can also be done with close or a wide arm grip.