Decline Pressing From the Floor

By November 10, 2014 Strength, Strength Training

Some of you might already be aware of this, but I never realized that one could perform decline presses from the floor just by bridging at the hips. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to achieve a full ROM, but this wasn’t the case.

jay-cutler-decline-barbell-press

I’ve always loved me some decline pressing, but I don’t have a decline bench in my garage gym (or at Gold’s Gym in Phoenix or Revolution Training in Tempe for that matter). My friend on Facebook, Simon Headland, suggested that I give these a try, and I loved them.

On Friday I did two sets of bench press, two sets of incline press, and two sets of decline press (shown below) for a nice little upper body pressing workout. Give these a try if you enjoy decline pressing but don’t have access to a decline bench.

12 Comments

  • Herbert. says:

    The latissimus are three times longer, two times thicker and have a better bio-mechanical attachment onto the shoulder than the pectorals do.
    So why are most people stronger in the front than in the back?.

    • jay says:

      @ Herbert
      First don’t get me wrong, I love me some lats but what do you have against pressing?
      1) What do you mean better bio mechanical attachment? for what? If your talking about pure anatomical location both the lats and pec major insert on the humerus very close together on the intertubicular groove. The lats are on the floor of said groove and the the pecs are slightly more lateral.

      2) As far as functionality your lats are major glenohumeral extensors, adductors, scapular depressors, internal rotational and can also anterior rotate your pelvis which goes along with a gross spinal extension pattern. Your pecy’s participate in a lot of shoulder horizontal adduction, shoulder flexion and internal rotation in the anatomical position (this was the cliff notes version). However take note that for most movements we are not in the anatomical position and it is important to keep in mind the origin and insertion when figuring out what is going on. The bottom line is for certain movements the pecs will have a greater mechanical advantage and for certain movements the lats will have a greater mechanical advantage. Overall we should strive to be strong all over.

      3) if you mean to comment on how most people neglect their backs in the gym and or have monday-friday chest days than proceed haha,

    • 57FN says:

      @Herbert
      I think it’s a lifestyle thing and overall unbalanced (anterior dominant) exercise selection.

    • Bret says:

      @Herbert – not everyone is…I’m stronger with chins/pulldowns/rows than military/incline/bench/decline/dips. I think people are naturally suited for pressing or pulling depending on their anatomy. As to why most people are stronger though – it’s their training. They do bench first in their workouts, first in the week (International Bench Press Mondays), and multiple times per week. What gets prioritized gets the best adaptations.

  • Charles Nankin says:

    apparently vince gironda eschewed bench press for dips. i think because he felt the shoulders were too involved in the flat bench?

    • Bret says:

      Yep, but he did like the smith machine guillotine press with a slightly incline. Works the pecs like crazy but it’s murder on some people’s shoulders. I can do it pain-free but others not.

  • CAPSLOCK HUSTLA says:

    VINCE WAS AHEAD OF HIS TIME IN SOME RESPECTS. HE WAS ALSO BATSHIT INSANE IN OTHERS.

    GOOGLE HOW HE WOULDN’T ALLOW CONVENTIONAL SQUATS IN HIS GYM SINCE THEY WOULD BUILD “HIPS (ASS) LIKE A HIPPOPOTAMUS”. HE ONLY ALLOWED THE APTLY-NAMED SISSY SQUATS.

    CAN YOU IMAGINE IF HE HAD SEEN BRET DOING HIP THRUSTS? VINCE WOULD HAVE ASSAULTED HIM WITH A BOTTLE OF HIS FAMOUS DESSICATED LIVER TABLETS.

    • Bret says:

      @CAPSLOCK HUSTLA, you are freakin’ hilarious. From what I read about Vince, he was an irritable man, so I imagine he’d have probably used a 25-lb plate to assault me ūüėČ

  • ballbag says:

    Hi Bret,
    some fair comments guys, but instead of the push & pull debate,back or front,or which has priority,give them both 100% super set a push with a pull..e.g. floor press,bent row or dip chin up etc gives superb synergy ……..very productive….balance is the key….right….!!!

  • Nick Nilsson says:

    These are actually better than using a bench, in a way, because they allow for digging in your heels and driving with the legs out of the bottom, too!

  • Chris says:

    The inclined bench press gets in some gratuitous glute work as well. I’ve done it in a Body Pump class with 5 minute sets at 40-50. Me, I couldn’t hold the pose for that long and dropped back to regular presses. The instructor, the great Toni Dee, mentioned glute activation.

  • PeakPhysique says:

    Ha! I used to do these with a f**k-off sandbag in my parents’ garage when I was a youth! It’s an interesting alternative to regular declines but I would suggest sticking to the bench (if one is available).

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