Aditya Sahu ‧ CPT & Head Coach
Aditya is an ACSM certified personal trainer and exercise physiologist with more than 7 years training various people and transforming people's lives. He has written various publications for various sports and fitness magazines.
If you don't have a decline bench press readily available. Then I have got you covered with following substitutes for decline bench press which you can do easily even at home.
Also many modern gyms have removed decline benches presses due to possibility of higher injuries for beginners.
Decline bench press targets following muscles in your chest:
Though decline bench press targets mainly lower pecs. But it also works on triceps brachii which are on the back of your upper arms.
And biceps brachii which is also know as bicep muscle constituting long head and short heads of the biceps.
And also targeting anterior deltoids, which is also called front delts of the shoulder muscles.
If you are looking to substitute decline bench press then you can do the following exercises to target same muscles group.
Best Alternatives For Decline Bench Press:
- 1Incline Push Ups
- 2Cable Chest Fly
- 3Suspension Decline Press
- 4High to Low Cable Fly
- 5Dumbbell Decline Fly
- 6Bodyweight Hanging Dips
- 7Decline Floor Press
- 8Seated Decline Cable Press
- 9Dumbbell Decline Bench Press
This one workout you can do even at home, all you need is elevation to work on. And it would target exactly the same muscles as decline press.
Equipments Needed: None
How to do Incline Push ups:
Step 1: Start by standing on an elevated surface such as a bench or step with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step 2: Place your hands on the elevated surface slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and walk your feet back until your body is in a straight line from head to heels.
Step 3: Keep your core tight and your body straight as you slowly lower your chest towards the elevated surface.
Step 4: Push through your palms and straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
Step 5: Repeat for desired number of repetitions.
Muscles Worked : Incline push up works on the lower pecs , and also targets pectoralis major and minor muscles. Apart from triceps long head, tricep lateral and works on front delt muscles..
To increase the difficulty of the push up, you can elevate your feet on a higher surface. Higher the elevation more the difficulty.
2. Cable Chest Fly
Its a great exercise for chests. Though its works complete chest but also helps with lower pecs and other muscles as decline bench press.
Equipment Needed: Cable Machine
How to do: The cable chest fly is an effective exercise for strengthening and toning the chest muscles. To do a cable chest fly:
Step 1: Stand in front of a cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and the cable pulley at chest height.
Step 2: Grasp the handle with both hands and keep your arms slightly bent.
Step 3: Keeping your arms slightly bent, push the handle away from your chest, feeling the pull in your chest muscles.
Step 4: Slowly bring the handle back towards your chest, feeling the stretch in your chest.
Step 5: Repeat for desired reps. Try to target atleast 12-15 reps of 3 sets.
Muscles Worked: Cable chest fly majorily works on the pectorials muscles and also works out lower pecs. Apart from front deltoid (anterior delt) and biceps.
Make sure to keep your arms slightly bent throughout the exercise and focus on the chest muscles. You can also do the cable chest fly with a single handle or with a band.
3. Suspension Decline Press
The suspension decline press is an excellent way to target the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles.
Equipment Needed: TRX or Suspension Rope
How To Do Suspension Decline Press:
Here is how to perform the exercise:
Step 1: Begin by setting up the suspension trainer in a decline position, with your feet higher than your head.
Step 2: Stand facing away from the suspension trainer and grab the handles with your palms facing inwards.
Step 3: Engage your core and slowly lower your body down until your arms are fully extended and your chest is close to the floor.
Step 4: Hold this position for one second and then press your body back up, keeping your arms extended and your core engaged.
Step 5: Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Suspension decline presses can be a great way to add variety to your chest and upper body workouts.
Muscles Worked: Suspension decline press works on lower pecs and triceps.
Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and keep your form strict in order to ensure you are receiving the full benefit of the exercise.
4. Kneeling High to Low Cable Fly
Equipment Needed: Cable Machine
How to Perform High to Low Cable Fly:
Step 1: Begin by adjusting the pulleys of a cable machine to their highest setting.
Step 2: With a handle in each hand, kneel with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly move your arms out to your sides.
Step 3: Keep your elbows slightly bent and your palms facing downward.
Step 4: As you move your arms out, draw them together in front of you while maintaining control throughout the movement until your hands are almost touching.
Step 5: Then slowly move your arms back out to your sides, resisting the weight of the cable. That’s one rep. Aim for 8-12 reps and 3-4 sets.
Muscles Worked: High to Low Cable Fly kneeling works on your lower pecs muscles and front delts.
5. Dumbbell Decline Fly
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells & Decline Bench
Step 1: Begin by lying on a decline bench with your feet locked on the bench foot reset.
Step 2: Hold two dumbbells at arm's length above your chest, palms facing each other.
Step 3: Slowly lower the dumbbells out to your sides in a wide arc until your arms are extended at the bottom of the movement.
Step 4: Pause at the bottom and then bring the weights back up to the starting position by pressing the dumbbells together.
Step 5: Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
Muscles Worked: Dumbbell decline fly works majorly on lower pectoral muscle apart from front delts and biceps.
6. Bodyweight Hanging Dips
Bodyweight hanging dips are a great way to strengthen your arms, chest, and shoulders.
Equipments Needed: To do a bodyweight hanging dip, you will need a pull-up bar or a set of rings.
How to Perform Bodyweight Hanging Dips:
Step 1: Start by grabbing the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you).
Step 2: Once you have a secure grip, lift yourself up so your arms are straight and your body is suspended.
Step 3: Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
Step 4: Push yourself back up to the starting position.
Step 5: Repeat for 8-12 number of reps and 3-4 sets.
Muscles Worked on: Hanging dips helps build pecs especially targeting lower pecs and triceps.
Make sure to keep your body straight and your core engaged throughout the exercise. You can also add weight to increase the intensity.
7. Decline Floor Press
Decline floor pressi is a great workout you can do with bare minimum equipments. All you need is dumbbells to do the workout.
How To do a decline floor press:
Step 1: Start by lying flat on the floor with your feet extended away from you.
Step 2: Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor.
Step 3: Push your hips up and press your lower back into the floor.
Step 4: Keeping your arms bent, lower the weight to just above your chest.
Step 5: Pause, and then press the weight up, extending your arms and locking your elbows at the top. Slowly lower the weight back down to complete one rep.
Make sure to keep your core braced and your hips up for the duration of the exercise. Also, keep your elbows tucked in close to your body and your wrists straight.
8. Seated Decline Cable Press
The seated decline cable press is a great exercise for toning and strengthening the chest muscles.
How to Perform Seated Decline Cable Press:
Step 1: Start by adjusting the cable machine to the appropriate weight.
Step 2: Sit on the seat of the cable machine, with the cable handle in your right hand and your left hand resting on the thigh pad.
Step 3: Keeping your elbows close to your sides, press the handle downwards until your arms are almost straight.
Step 4: Slowly return the handle to the starting position.
Step 5: Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
It's important to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise and ensure your elbows remain close to your sides as you press the handle downwards. You should also focus on maintaining proper form and breathing deeply during the exercise.
9. Dumbbell Decline Bench Press
The dumbbell decline bench press is a great exercise for isolating the lower chest muscles.
Hot to Perform Dumbbell Decline Bench Press:
Step 1: Begin by positioning yourself on a decline bench with your feet flat on the floor and your head near the top of the bench.
Step 2: Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm's length over your chest.
Step 3: Lower the dumbbells until they reach your chest, then press the dumbbells up until your arms are straight above you.
Step 4: To complete the set, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise and avoid locking them out.
FAQs in Relation to Decline Bench Press Alternatives
What can I do instead of decline bench press?
If you're looking for an alternative to the decline bench press, there are plenty of exercises that can provide a similar challenge.
Push-ups and dips on parallel bars or rings can target your chest muscles in a similar way. You could also try bent over rows with dumbbells or barbells to work your back muscles while still engaging your core.
For more of an upper body workout, try pull-ups and chin-ups using either assisted machines or bands for assistance if needed.
Finally, overhead presses with dumbbells or barbells will help strengthen both shoulders and arms at once. With these alternatives, you'll be able to get a full body workout without relying solely on the decline bench press.
How do you decline bench without a decline bench?
Declining a bench press without an actual decline bench can be done by using two sturdy boxes or benches of equal height. Place one box/bench at the head of the flat bench and another at its foot, then lie down on the flat bench as you would for a regular decline press.
Position your hands on the barbell with a wider than shoulder-width grip and slowly lower it towards your chest while keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body.
When you reach the bottom position, pause briefly before pushing back up to starting position. Make sure to keep tension throughout each rep and maintain good form throughout each set.
Do You Really Need decline bench press?
No, you do not need a decline bench press to achieve your fitness goals. It is an exercise that can be beneficial for targeting certain muscle groups and building strength, but it is not necessary for everyone.
There are many other exercises that can provide similar benefits without the use of a decline bench press.
For example, bodyweight exercises such as push-ups or planks can help build strength in the chest and core muscles while also engaging the arms and shoulders.
Additionally, free weights like dumbbells or barbells offer a variety of options to target different muscle groups with different levels of intensity.
Decline bench press alternatives are a great way to switch up your workout routine and challenge yourself.
Push-ups, chest dips, incline presses, bent over rows and plyometric push-ups are all excellent exercises that can be used as decline bench press alternatives apart from those mentioned above.
These exercises will help you build strength in the upper body while also engaging other muscles for an effective full body workout. So don't be afraid to try something new - these decline bench press alternatives will help you reach your fitness goals.