The 30° Decline Dumbbell Press is a great exercise for increasing the strength of pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. The synergistic muscles of the serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, subclavius, and the external rotators – infraspinatus and teres minor – also receive a great amount of stimulation.
Improving decline press strength leads to the improvement of overall pressing strength because of the heavier loads that can be used in decline positions. This increased workload is due in part to the fact that the lastissimus dorsi serve as prime movers in the beginning of the lift, along with the pecs, serratus, and the front deltoids.
Pressing at any angle improves the ability to accelerate out of the blocks in sprinting, arm swing in speed skating, punching power in all combat sports, and throwing speed in sports like baseball.
Set a decline bench at a 30° angle. Sit on the bench with your feet locked in the pads and dumbbells on the top of your thighs. Hold the dumbbells with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and slowly lie back on the bench. Your head and upper back should make contact with the bench. Your lower back should remain in a natural inward (lordotic) curve. Once in this position, you are ready to begin the exercise. Inhale.
Exhale, and press the dumbbells up over your body. The pathway of the press should describe an upside-down “J”, so that the DB’s end up over your face.
Once at the top of the movement, inhale, and lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner until you get a full stretch at the bottom position. When finished with the set, place dumbbells on the hips and sit up. If you have a lower back injury or the dumbbells are too heavy for you to sit up with, dumping them to the floor is a safer option.
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