T Nation

Decline Bench & Long Arms?


Hey ya'll. Curious as to whether ya'll would reccommend the decline bench more over the other variations to someone with relatively long arms for their height? Leverage is obviously in one's favor in the decline, but can it offer any other mechanical advantages like having a slightly more restricted ROM than flat or incline (I'm guessing it does, just based on how your upper body is below parallel to the floor, meaning your shoulders won't travel as far back as they would in a flat or inc. bench when you touch the bar to the sternum). Thanks in advance!


leverage- smeverage

not a fan of declines. Use a little less weight and do inclines.

use boards

use dumbbells

do flat benches but 'feel' the weight moving towards your toes instead of arcing above your head. This will save your shoulders and simulate the decline.

do push-ups

do dips--don't go too low.(shoulders)

The gist being, there are many options. Don't let leverage or the fact you can do more weight influence you so much. The weight is reltive to the stimuli. And the stimuli is the only important factor.


Gotcha. Thanks for the reply. I figured just rotating in some declines to change it up (i did inclines, don't like them too much, and was doing flat, and those are fine). I occasionally do weighted dips or weighted pushups when there's commercials or I need a homework break. Thank you though.


Im pretty sure thats bogus advice. The further away the weight from the joint is, the more stress placed on it. Granted, in moderation its ok, but the idea behind that advice is faulty. Furthermore, benching with the arms in with a parallel grip(to your body) will save your shoulders.



'feel'--means just that-and then you quantify your own mumbo jumbo with 'moderation.'

And where would my advice go against arms in and parallel.

This 'advice' was given to me by Pavel and I'm quite sure it is both accurate and useful.


I'm 6'2" with long arms and use the decline to increase my chest and tricep strength while taking most of my shoulders out of the exercise. For me, the decline is superior to the flat or incline for building up my chest and arms. However, I'll cycle back to the incline press to keep my upper chest and shoulders in balance. Right know, I'm doing military and dumbbell shoulder presses. Because the decline and incline pretty much cover all chest, triceps and shoulder work, I don't see the need for doing the flat bench.


It definitely bugs my shoulders a lot more if I let the weight "drift towards my toes." In fact, when I first started using the decline, I was doing this without even intending to. I couldn't figure out why it didn't feel quite right, I wasn't noticing any activation in my chest. I had somebody watch me do a few reps and he pointed out that I was pushing too much towards my toes instead of just straight up and down. That made all the diff in the world for me.


Just so we are clear--

This 'feel' is done on the flat bench--NOT the decline. I don't like the decline. You simply 'feel' the weight moving towards your toes as opposed to arcing it over your head and shoulders.

This activates the areas of the chest same as decline with less shoulder irritation-if you are so inclined. Some people have no issues. Do whatever you want as long as you have no medical issues with it.

How can you do a decline and push the weight to your toes anyways? Didn't it fall on your nuts?

And again, I emphasize, it is a feel, much like the feel of tearing the bar apart or feeling like you are trying to touch your hands together to induce tension on the pecs. You aren't actually pushing the weight over your toes.