I consider this to be one of the single most underrated exercises in the weight room. Gym bros always say, “Decline bench helps make the lower pecs bigger,” and they are partially correct. What most people don’t know is that the dumbbell decline bench press actually recruits the most muscle fibers out of any bench movement. You can dispute this or you can try this exercise out and see for yourself.
How To Do IT: Set up on a decline bench with a 30-degree angle (any steeper is counterproductive). With a dumbbell in each hand, lock yourself in and press the weight with your elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your body. Flaring your elbows out puts more stimulus on your shoulders, and you want to isolate your chest as much as possible. Press the dumbbells up, perpendicular to the floor. As you complete the rep, squeeze your pecs and flex them. Lower the weight and repeat.
Expert Tip: These can be done heavier in sets of eight reps up to sets of 20. I don’t recommend heavy sets of dumbbell presses (five reps and fewer), as safety and stability is an issue with dumbbells. Experiment with pausing on the chest and at lockout while squeezing your pecs.
By Jay Ashman