Decline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
- Begin by sitting on a bench that is declined to your liking (generally 20 to 40 degrees).
- There are two primary options for getting the dumbbells into position. The first is to have a training partner hand them to you once your feet our under the foot pads and you have laid into position. The second is to carry the dumbbells over to the bench, and while holding them, get your feet positioned and carefully lean backwards (keeping them tight to your front and side as you descend). Performance Note: If the dumbbells are balanced correctly, your grip should not need to be firm on the handles (though it may be if you'd like).
- Once in position, the elbows should be pointing outward and the dumbbells should be positioned wider than shoulder width.
- Lower the weight in a controlled manner to the nipple line, inhaling throughout the movement. (It is conventionally thought best to pause briefly at the bottom of the movement and not to rest the weight on your chest).
- Press and extend the arms, while exhaling throughout the movement.
- Repeat motion. (Sets should generally fall between 3 to 6 with 6-12 repetitions)
As with any pressing motion, your elbows are susceptible to injury. The best way to avoid injury, as always, is proper form. Remember to not "lock out" your elbows in the extended position, especially if you believe you are susceptible to such injuries. This means that before you press to the point where you cannot press any further, stop - that is, keep an ever-so-slight bend in your elbow at the top point (full extension) of the movement. This won't be a concern for everybody because as was discussed earlier, everybody's body is unique in make up. So, if you aren't experienced enough to determine if this motion is a possible point of injury, just don't do it. Refraining from complete flexion by just a fraction will not detract from you training or overall strength and may very well prevent an unnecessary and possibly long-lasting injury.
A false grip - that is, a grip where the thumbs are not wrapped around the bar - can provide additional power and enable more weight to be lifted. However, a potential consequence of using this grip could be injury. If the hands are sweaty or form falters the weight may fall at the peril of you or others. Many claim that it is more comfortable to hold the bar in this manner, but for most a false grip begs for wrist hyperextension and falling weight injuries. Unless you are a professional, a false grip should prove unnecessary.
This myth pertains to women. A common myth that has propagated over the years is that doing incline presses can tone the breasts, and thereby prevent sagging. This is false. Breasts are fat - more exactly, they are comprised of adipose tissue, which is a sort of connective tissue. However, as is obvious, the more lean and healthy an individual is, the more likely they are to be pleased with the aesthetics of their appearance and overall feeling of well being.