The single most effect chest exercise is…
The Decline Dumbbell Bench Press.
That’s according to a study I talked about in 2014 (along with the best exercises for every body part). You can read all about it here – The Top 12 Exercises.
It simply recruits more muscle fibers than any other chest movement.
So after showing you the best way to do Chest Flys a few days ago, let me demonstrate how to get the most out of Decline Dumbbell Bench Presses, so that you can start developing a thicker chest today.
Watch my video, then check out the important notes…
I don’t lock out at the top as I don’t like to place too much stress on my elbow joints. Furthermore, at the point of locking the elbows, you take tension OFF the chest because the pecs are not being forced to contract against any resistance.
So not locking-out allows you to keep “constant tension” on the intended muscle, resulting in more muscle fiber recruitment.
See my article ‘Feel the Muscle, Not the Weight‘ for more on this.
Just like chest flys…GO DEEP! Burn this phrase into your mind. YOU MUST GO DEEP. How deep? As deep as you can go.
You must feel the negative in every rep. Lower the weight under full muscular control if you really want to grow. So when lowering the dumbbells, make sure it’s the pecs that are doing all the work, not gravity.
Cadence here is probably about 1 second up and 2 seconds down, but don’t count. Count your reps, not the cadence. Just ensure that your negatives are performed a little more slowly than your positives and you’ll be training effectively.
Those guys who have experienced the power of my new Chest Blast Workout for quick gains in chest size (up to 3 inches in over a week), know this movement very well. Though they only form a small part of this “hyper-intense” routine. There are strategies in there that you’ve never tried or even heard of before.
CONSTANT TENSION + MAXIMUM MUSCLE FIBER RECRUITMENT = MORE GROWTH STIMULATION
If you have any questions, just ask below. I’m always happy to help 😀
Decline Dumbbell Bench Presses form an integral part of THT Training 5.4.
Download the full and free THT workout below. After inputting your email, you will be taken directly to the download page for instant access to the workout. You don’t need to go to your email to confirm anything.
Train With Intensity!
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I’ve been waiting on you shooting a demo vid for this. Looks like I’ve been doing them right!
When THT 5.4 came out I added these in. Never had sore pecs like it, and they are definitely thicker just in the last few weeks. thanks for all the advice Mark.
My upper pec is lacking a bit and in THT 5.4 there are dec db bench press and dips. Do i hit the upper pec better (or enough) with this excersice than the barbell bench press?
Ok, I watched a video on this one and the partial chest fly’s. In this video you are going full range, but the other video only partial, which one is the best? Is partial or full range better? Is there where you feel your muscles?
Hello Mark, I’ve seen many recommend that I don’t let my upper arms go past parallel due to shoulder issues or developing shoulder issues. I’m thinking of bringing the dumbbells down as far as my chest and shoulders allow but before bringing up the dumbbells again I could pinnch my elbows tight against my chest but begin to flare them out a bit more once I go past parallel. I’m wondering if that could be a good solution or invite a host of other problems?
@Roberto. Both Incline bench presses and Deep Chest Flys will help carve out that upper portion of your chest, buddy. See my post on Chest Flys here
@Bob. The whole benefit of using dumbbells and why they recruit more fibers is because you can go deeper. If it were true that it caused shoulder issues, no one could do chest dips either.
It doesn’t strain the rotator cuff. Perhaps if someone had too wide an angle at the elbows it could cause damage. There are no joint issues when performed like this. Go deep.
@Josh. This is a totally different exercise. This is a Bench Press with Dumbbells (in a declined position).
The other is a flat bench Chest Fly, not a Bench Press. For Flys only, partial works best.
Hey mark from what I’m seeing here it looks more of a flat db press…if there’s a bench at my gym that’s angled on a decline is that ok or too much angle?
@Niko This is declined, not flat. So yes, use a declined bench.
Hey Mark thanks for the info but your legs are in the decline position on this one. Either you turn around or you turn the bench around
@Felix. I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. My legs are flat. My torso is in a declined position. The vid was shot from 3 angles, look at the 2nd one – probably shows my body most clearly.
Hey Mark, great video, I’m just wondering what sort of angle we should be going for on the bench. From the video it looks quite slight, 1 or 2 settings above flat. Is there an optimum angle? As the bench in my gym can go quite steep and I’m not sure if there would be any additional benefit from the increased angle.
@Ruben. The camera angle isn’t quite doing the bench justice. It isn’t as deep as 45 degrees, but I’d guess around 30-35 degrees. That’s as deep as you need.
Same on the incline side. Many people raise the bench way up, when actually only a smaller incline angle is needed to target the upper portion of the chest.