STACK lists the benefits of the decline bench press as reduced stress on the shoulders and lower back and increased activation of the pectoralis major muscles. The decline bench press works the pectoralis major, deltoid and triceps muscles.
According to STACK, weightlifters that perform the decline bench press avoid the stresses and risks of injury associated with traditional bench presses. Decline bench presses limit rotation at the shoulders and reduce shoulder impingements. This exercise keeps the weightlifter from arching his back, an action that causes pain in the lumbar region of the spine. STACK states that decline bench presses may also be a more effective method of building chest strength and size.
STACK explains that the decline bench press is performed on a bench that allows one end to be lowered. If this type of bench is unavailable, a weightlifter can stack plates underneath the foot-end of a traditional bench to raise it a few inches higher. To perform a decline bench press, the weightlifter starts by gripping the bar at shoulder-width, slowly lowering it onto his chest, resting it for a second and returning to the starting position. STACK recommends performing decline bench presses in sets of three to five, with eight to 15 repetitions in each set and always with the aid of a spotter.