How To Do The Machine Decline Press Properly

The machine decline press is a lower chest exercise that makes use of the Smith machine. Unlike dumbbell extensions, you can really push yourself with slightly heavier in this workout since you do not have to worry about stabilization.

  • Lie down on your back on a decline bench and secure your feet.
  • Your bench should be set at an angle of about twenty to thirty degrees with your upper body on the downwards slope.
  • The bars should be aligned with the lower part of your chest with your eyes below the bars.
  • Use an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width, to hold the handle.
  • Push the bar upwards by the thumb and palm as you squeeze and tighten the core. Pushing the chest out as you extend your arms.
  • Bring the bar back down and let the bars back close to the chest with slow controlled movements.
  • This is one rep, repeat for six to eight reps for this set

MUSCLES WORKED BY THE MACHINE DECLINE PRESS

THE PECS

The pectoral region is made up of the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and serratus anterior. The pectoralis major is the main muscle worked. It is a fan-shaped muscle located around the thoracic cage (the ribs). It’s divided into the clavicular, sternocostal and abdominal part. Its main function is rotation and adduction of the arm and shoulder.

THE DELTOIDS

The deltoid is a muscle of the shoulder that gives it a rounded structure. Its comprised of the clavicle, spinal and acrimonial parts, each of which has its own origin. Main function of the deltoids is rotation of the arm as well as attaching the arm to the trunk of the body.

THE TRICEPS

Located in the dorsal part of the upper arm, this muscle consists of the lateral, long and medial part of the arm. It extends the forearm at the elbow joint and fixates the elbow joint in order to carry out tasks such as writing.

BENEFITS OF DOING THE MACHINE DECLINE PRESS

BUILDS MUSCLE

As the pectoral muscles (that is muscles in the chest region) are engaged, there is increase of muscle. This will give you a toned and well-defined chest. This change in appearance is. very encouraging to new gym members

REDUCED STRESS ON THE BACK AND SHOULDERS

The decline bench press stabilizes the shoulder and back in order to reduce stress put on these muscles. The declined set of the bench puts weight off the shoulders as the chest muscles are targeted. If you powerlift or bench press, then this exercise allows you to work on a big stable arch with little risk of injury.

YOU CAN USE HEAVIER WEIGHTS TO INCREASE STRENGTH

Many have found that the decline bench allows you to increase your bar weight. This is without causing damage to the back and shoulders and with lower risk to injury. As compared to other weight lifting workouts such as the incline bench, the decline bench will really let you push your limits in order to lift more. This increases the strength of the muscles targeted.

MORE VERSATILE

The decline machine is more versatile as compared to the inclined bench. It remains similar to a barbell workout hence your grip can be adjusted for your comfort or to further engage the arm muscles.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE MACHINE DECLINE PRESS

INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS

Unlike the decline bench in which the upper body is on the lower part of the slope, in this workout the upper body is on an incline. Remember to use a lighter weight than what you normally lift when beginning then work your way up to avoid injury.

  • Lay on your back on an incline bench, feet planted on the ground below your knee.
  • Your butt, shoulders and head should also stay rooted to the bench throughout this workout.
  • Pick a dumbbell in each hand and place them on the knee before bringing them close to the upper body and laying back on the bench
  • Extend the arms as you raise the dumbbells to the ceiling
  • Lower your dumbbells as you open the arms at a ninety-degree angle at the elbow joint.
  • This is a single rep. You can do ten per set.

DECLINE DUMBBELL FLY

The decline dumbbell fly is a weight lifting exercise that makes use of a pair of dumbbells and a decline bench. It works the pecs (muscles in the chest region) and shoulders while keeping the form stable.

  • Lie flat on your back on a decline bench with your lower body on the downwards slope.
  • Grip a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other.
  • Extend your arms until they are perpendicular to the ground and inhale.
  • Exhale as you open the arms and bring them back on a ‘fly’. The movement should occur in your shoulder joint.
  • Squeeze your chest and core as you feel the stretch in your chest when raising the dumbbells back to your starting position.

COMMON MISTAKES WHEN DOING THE MACHINE DECLINE PRESS

FAILING TO USE A SPOTTER

The bench in this workout is set at a slightly weird angle. This means that you may struggle to re-rack the bar after you’re done especially with the added exhaustion. You could easily injure yourself because of this. Instead, ask anyone with knowledge on the Smith machine to keep an eye out and assist you through your set and as you re-rack the bar.

BOUNCING THE BAR OFF THE CHEST

You may choose to add more weight to your bars than usual to push your limits more. Bouncing the bar off the chest to add momentum during lifting is not the right solution of how to better manage the added weight. This could easily cause an injury. Use controlled movements when lifting and lowering the bar, bringing it close to the chest without bouncing it off.

IMPROPER BREATHING

When carrying out a weighted exercise especially heavy weight lifting, breathing is crucial. Lower the bar to your chest on an inhale then exhale after a short pause with the bar pulled close to your chest and as you extend your arms to raise the bar. This increases efficiency of the workout.

CONCLUSION

Developing the chest area and shoulders is a goal for most gym-goers. The machine decline press targets these very muscles to get you toned and well-built in no time. Don’t shy away from the machine decline press because of its weird angle. Just use a spotter to lend a hand.