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Thread: Are Decline Presses Better Than Incline Presses?

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    Iron Addict Nuke's Avatar
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    Default Are Decline Presses Better Than Incline Presses?

    In the last several days I have read multiple articles on training chest referencing a study by Glass, et. al. which stated that clavicular/sternal, lower/middle portions of the pectoralis major is activated the same when performing decline bench presses as they are when performing incline bench presses. Furthermore, this study is said to state that a larger portion of the overall chest muscle is stimulated during declines.

    These articles also cite a study by Barnett, et al. which found the upper region of the chest was no more stimulated in incline presses than in flat bench presses. The argument that declines are healthier for your shoulders than inclines because inclines place your shoulder in a compromised position.

    These articles use these studies to suggest that flat bench presses and declines should be the primary exercises in a chest program.

    Thoughts, experiences, or anyone actually know what these studies are (contrary to MD these rags don't print their references - they are available upon request)?
    Dustin
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    I have always liked Decline over Inclines, I can really get a feel for the chest in the decline and even more so with DB's

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    maybe my form is not correct but i just dont seem to feel much from decline. I am stronger though which might actually show that more of the pec muscle is used in this press.

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    Beach Body pesty4077's Avatar
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    Best devolement for mey chest came from weighted dips.

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    Freak of Nature stackndeca's Avatar
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    i just did decline for the first time in 9 years last sunday. i'm am not a fan. it just didn't feel right. i think it doesn't need to be done.
    your only as strong as your mind, so consider yourself weak.
    Yep...cats before cunts like my grandma always used to say. - BBOY

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    Iron Addict mfarleypt's Avatar
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    I def. feel the most chest activation with declines. My upper chest is a bigtime weakness however, and I haven't seen any improvement in that department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by born0withno0soul View Post
    maybe my form is not correct but i just dont seem to feel much from decline. I am stronger though which might actually show that more of the pec muscle is used in this press.
    ROM is decreased with decline. That is why you can lift more weight.

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    In most cases inclines are the superior chest movement due to a significant increase in rom. A decline press to the neck is very effective but very dangerous.

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    Iron Addict Nuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kezef76 View Post
    In most cases inclines are the superior chest movement due to a significant increase in rom. A decline press to the neck is very effective but very dangerous.
    Even with a larger ROM, what about the contention that inclines place the shoulders in a compromised position?

    I also notice that a large portion of the movement depends more on the shoulder.
    Dustin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuke View Post
    Even with a larger ROM, what about the contention that inclines place the shoulders in a compromised position?

    I also notice that a large portion of the movement depends more on the shoulder.
    If I tuck my elbows in by my sides I feel it more in my chest and very little in my shoulders, I definately prefer incline but we are all built different. I just think by doing more incline work than anything else, at least for me it has built a more shelf like chest instead of a booby like chest that has a saggy look like alot of the guys I see walking arount the gym. Yeah I said Booby!

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    Going by feel and how Ive grown over the years, I believe that inclines are the ultimate chest exercise. If I could only choose one exercise for chest development Id choose incline presses.

    I havent done declines in over 10 years probably, so I would really need to try them again, though I doubt my mind would change. With inclines my upper chest cramps and twitches painfully after the session, and the rest of my chest is just as sore as with flat bench presses. So I feel incline targets more overall muscle on the chest. For me atleast.

    KILL THAT SHIT

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    Amateur Threat roid_xxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kezef76 View Post
    In most cases inclines are the superior chest movement due to a significant increase in rom. A decline press to the neck is very effective but very dangerous.
    How do you figure you have an increase ROM from incline, flat and decline. The static measurement of your length of your arm does not increase or decrease in any of thos positions, in other words your arm isn't longer in any of the positions.

    Secondly, you shouldn't be pressing that weight to your neck. the bar should be between your sternum to your navel in the bottom position. if your lowering the bar to your neck you are flaring your elbows too drasticly and risking a rotator cuff injury. your shoulder should not extend further than 45 degrees from your torso.

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    I wrote this thread for another site. its a good starting point for a beginner but there may be infromation that could help you. the information isn't incline, flat or decline specfice unless you consider the feet position may not apply to decline.

    Bench press, the common dingle berry of society considers it to be the judge and jury to determine an individual’s strength. While others and myself will disagree with such urban rules the bench press by far is the most popular and practiced exercise in most gyms. It is considered that every Monday across the globe is “bench day.” Thus in honor of the bench press I will try to explain good solid technique ranging from grip, form and ROM.

    There is more than one way to actually lay down on the bench a traditional method or power lifting. The difference is:
    • Leg position
    • Feet position
    • Arching the lower back

    Traditional your legs are approximately making a 90 degree bend and are out in front of the bench while a power lifting leg position the legs are bent at a more acute angle than 90 degree. This more acute angle causes the quad muscle to stretch and “load.” This stretch will allow the lifting to tighten the lower body and actually use this “loaded” stretch to help drive the weight off of their chest. The acute angle also causes the lower back to lift off the bench which is referred to as an “arch.” The arch is beneficial because it forces the upper back and shoulder girdle to lay flat on the bench giving the lifter a solid foundation such that the load of the weights will firmly plant the lifters shoulder blades into the pad of the bench.

    Contracting the traps and lats is part of the traditional and power lifting set up. By contracting these muscles you securing the shoulder joint into its socket. This keeps the shoulder in place and restrains the shoulders from rising up in a horizontal or vertical direction towards the lifters head which could cause shoulder injury/dislocation.

    Trap “tucking” and contraction help. It is helpful to have a firm contraction of the traps, by extending your arms and using the pillars to the bench to push/tuck the scapula-shoulder blades the lifter can achieve a much firmer trap contraction which will provide a firmer shoulder girdle foundation.

    Elbow position is another critical piece of benching. Because your shoulder joint rotates, hence why people get rotator cuff injuries, by keeping your elbows in close this allows the shoulder to rotate. The further away your elbow is away from your torso the more it begins to hinge, this will result in a shoulder injury over time. Also, the synergy of the shoulder and elbow joint are greatest when the elbow is close to the body, as the elbow travels away from the body the weaker the synergy of the this compound movement; its a simple fact that the closer your elbow gets to your head the weaker your entire arm will become.

    Your grip is another area; try this to figure out your best grip. Stand up with your arms held out to your sides make a fist and your palms are facing the floor so your body makes a "T" *pretend your in the village people for a second* pull your shoulders back by flexing your traps and pull your shoulders down by flexing your lats. try to contract your chest, as you can tell its damn near impossible, now slowly bring your fists closer together, keep your elbows locked and keep trying to contract your pecs. As you your fists get closer you will notice your pecs start to contract harder, they will be contracted the hardest right about at shoulder width. A wider grip doesn’t mean you’ll grow a wider chest. However a wider grip can be utilized as long as form is not compromised. Remember to squeeze your lats as you lower the bar, this helps to keep your elbows as close to your torso as possible. There is a potential benefit to a wider grip however most people really won’t notice a difference since its dependent on body structure. Widening your grip will roll the shoulder joint in a way that you could possibly get a harder stretch at the bottom position. It could also potentially help keep the traps contracted and the scapula tucked under the shoulder girdle.

    ROM is the final key point in benching successfully. If proper form is being practice as stated above as you lower the weight the bar will end up somewhere between your sternum and navel. As you press upwards the bar can be pushed straight up or on an arch so that the bar travels from the abdomin to a position above the lifters head. How low the bar travels is key. The two major components of building muscle utilizing a bench press is muscle stretch and muscle contraction. The lower the bar travels in a controlled motion will continuously make the pecs stretch, thus you want to lower the bar into your torso as far as possible such that the bar slightly touches you in the lower position. This will stretch the pecs to their maximum potential for this lift. The other part is the muscle contraction which is accomplished by pressing the bar up to your maximum extension. It is up to you to decide if you wish to lock out your elbows or not. Contrary to mixed information which indicates this could be harsh on the elbow joint but yet it could spur new bone growth due to the shock endured by the skeleton, it’s a debate for another thread.

    RECAP:
    • Body position is up the lifter, both positions will accomplish result but arguing which one is better is a huge waste of time.
    • Keep your traps contracted and your scapula tucked to protect your shoulders and provide a solid shoulder girdle foundation for the lift
    • If you flare your elbow you remove the shoulder joint out of its natural movement and make the shoulder move in a way it was not designed
    • If you flare your elbow the weaker the synergy of the compound movement because your arm will not be able to exert force through the hand as effectively
    • Flaring your elbows causes your shoulder joint to hinge more than rotate which directly puts stress on the rotator cuff which could lead to injury
    • Flaring your elbows puts more strain on your shoulders and triceps and isolates the pecs from the overall movement
    • Grip is up to the lifter and may or may not provide extra stretch stimulation
    • Do not left grip compromise form, do not flare your elbows
    • Use the fullest ROM as possible.
    • Do not compromise ROM because you are trying to move too much weight

    Watch this video, it is a starting point.

    [nomedia]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUcjOIZc80c"][FONT=Times New Roman]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUcjOIZc80c[/FON[/nomedia]


    If anybody is interested in Band or Chain information feel free to PM me.
    If you have any questions I’d be more than happy to help any of you out, just send me a PM.

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    Truthfully, I used to do a lot of heavy declines when I was a teenager (going up to 365 lbs for reps), in all fairness, declines probably build the most muscle. Having said that, nobody does declines anymore because it's not the ''in'' exercise, everybody is doing flat benches and inclines

  15. #15

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    I do declines and low-degree inclines primarily.

    Declines have really brought my chest up I've found.

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    Iron Addict rbcjr's Avatar
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    are declines better than inclines?for lower chest, yes,for upper chest, no.
    Ride the stache!

  17. #17

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    Slight decline DB presses with just a plate under the bench feels great for me

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