The Difference Between Incline Bench Press and Decline Bench Press

Learn Why You Should Add Incline Bench Press and Decline Bench Press to Your Lower Chest Workout Program

The Difference Between Incline and Decline Bench Press Picture

Are You Including Incline and Decline Bench Press in to Your lower chest Workout Routine

Whether you’re in the dip training your shoulders by going through a rigorous day of swimming, throwing a ball as far as you can, carrying heavy shopping bags in each arm, or simply pushing a grocery cart down the aisle as you go about your Sunday errands, having properly strong muscles are essential in almost any everyday activity.

Because of this, it’s only common sense that you need to work out your chest muscles just as much as any other muscle group in your body. There’s leg day, and there’s also chest day. Neglecting your chest muscles is the last thing you want to do when you want to work out, and trust us, all that hard work will pay off later, especially as your body starts to slow down with age.

But before you bust open the gym doors and try all of the exercises available, you need to know what exercises will benefit your chest, and how they differ from each other. Of course, you can never go wrong by doing pushups at the comfort of your own home, but crank it up a notch and you’ll get the chest press, which is undoubtedly one of the most effective lower chest workouts you can do. However, you might be met with the choice of picking between the incline or decline chest press on your full body day or lower chest workout day.

Incline or Decline Bench Press - Which Is Better?

Truth is, there really is no wrong or right answer in this one. Both variations and forms exist for a reason, and both will impact your body (and chest) differently. With this, the choice usually comes down to your personal preferences, and what type of goal you have in mind.

But to understand more about their differences, let’s go take a closer look:


Incline bench press breakdown

Relative to its name, the incline bench press focuses on the upper part of your chest, mainly the top part of the pectoralis major muscle, which is comprised of both clavicular and sternocostal head, also known as the upper and lower pec. Building the upper portion of the muscle helps give a more fuller look when in the t-shirt and that all around fullness when at the beach.

To do this specific form of workout, you need to first make sure that the bench is set at an incline of around 15 to 30 degrees, which essentially lets you use your shoulders more, what with it mimicking a traditional shoulder press. Furthermore, this exercise also takes away most of the stress you usually get on your rotator cuff, which, for people using the flat bench, is a common place of injury.

Safety Precaution for The Incline Bench Press

Performing an incline bench press allows you to actively use your deltoids at this specific angle, meaning that you may overtrain them. When overtrained, it is advisable that you give it a proper rest day. Overworking it may lead to injury, especially on your lower chest workout day.


How to do Incline Bench Press

  1. Make sure your bench is adjusted between 15 to 45 degrees on the incline before lying down on it.

  2. Wrap your fingers around the bar firmly and lift it from the rack, making sure that you’re holding it straight over yourself.

  3. Come down slowly while breathing in. Stop when it’s only an inch above your face, and while your arms are on a 45-degree angle.

  4. Hold position, exhale, and push it back up.


Decline Bench Press breakdown

While the incline bench press focuses on the upper part of our chest muscles, the decline bench press dangles your feet up in the air and gets to work on the lower part of your pecs.

Due to its upside down nature, the decline bench press is generally very much underrated as opposed to its incline bench and flat bench counterparts. In fact, it’s often ignored, and trust us, the cobwebs on your gym’s decline bench aren’t leftovers from last Halloween.

Its results are far from being leftovers, as it completes what the incline bench press can’t do on its own. The decline bench press gives you a properly developed chest. In addition to finishing off that lower rounded portion of the pecs that everyone is chasing.

Safety Precaution for The Decline Bench Press

Due to the nature of its position, the decline bench press is generally riskier to do. Make sure you lift with caution or have a spotter when you’re executing this exercise.

How To do decline bench press

1. Secure both your legs at the bench’s top part and slowly lay down on it.

2. Utilize a medium-width grip, and slowly lift the bar from the rack (you may ask for help from a spotter).

3. With your arms perpendicular to the floor, slowly lift the bar and hold your position.

4. Exhale while you slowly lower it down, holding the position when it goes down on your chest muscles.

5. Hold the position, and inhale as you slowly lift it up again.

6. Repeat until the set is completed.


Although both are different variations of the basic flat chest press, both are different in discipline, execution, and of course results. Because the incline bench presses train its focus on the upper fibers of the pectoralis major, it’s mainly suitable for those who want a slim yet controlled and strong chest. Whilst decline bench presses work on your lower pecs and give you a buffer and bigger chest.

Decline Bench Press

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Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

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Incline Bench Press

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Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

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Why Use a Dumbbell vs a Barbell On Your Lower Chest Workout

When taking into factor whether you should use the dumbbells or barbells you should take a look at how long you have been training for. When performing these exercises it will require a lot of your rotator cuff stabilizers to work. Dumbbells will require a lot more coordination, and shoulder stability. When first starting it’ll be more recommended that you use the barbell, as well as have a spotter at hand. Eventually when you become more familiar with the exercise and develop those rotator cuff muscles you can dip your foot into the water and grab those dumbbells and take them for a ride.


Which One Is Right For You?

When evaluating what should be right for you, you should look at what you’re not doing, for most it might be the decline press, due to it not being such a common piece of equipment and people’s familiarity with it. For others it might be the incline press, both can be somewhat intimidating but let me assure you that they are easy to perform, especially when taking in my cues and guidance. Feel free to alternate both on your lower chest workout.

Wrapping up What Is the Best for Your Lower Chest Workout

Of course, to fully maximize the benefits of these exercises, you can incorporate them both, leading to a strong, muscular, and well-balanced chest. Plus, not only does it help you achieve a fuller chest, but it also helps you add variety to your workouts, which in turn, can help target other parts of your body too.

So don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit, and don’t forget to be safe and have fun!

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