The 45° Decline Press – Superior Chest & Upper Body Development

June 24, 2023 by VAHVA Fitness

Develop a strong upper chest, triceps and shoulders using this press. A necessary exercise to master for maximal pressing strength!

Here is what we would call a proper "decline push up". Of course feet elevated decline push ups have been popular forever but very few people actually do them correctly.


You see, the purpose of the decline push up is to create an angle where you are pushing diagonally, preferably at a 45 degree angle.


This way, you are actually targeting the upper chest and developing pressing strength in a different way. When people do incline press with a barbell or dumbbells, the form is actually correct because the bench provides the necessary support and angle.


However, for 90%+ people the decline push up is a too complex movement to master. Why is it so? Because it's not actually a proper decline push up with diagonal pressing. 


When people elevate their feet in a regular decline push up, 9/10 times they are still performing a push up that is very close to a regular horizontal push up.


The reason the regular decline push up feels harder is because the center of mass has shifted more towards the upper body but it's still not the real deal.


In order to do the decline push up properly and reap the numerous benefits, you want to press diagonally and have the best 45 degree angle possible.


This is why we bring you the 45 degree decline press.

The 45° Decline Press

4x 5-20 repetitions

The 45° Decline Press – Superior Chest & Upper Body Development

The proper 45° Decline Press requires a high level of body control and understanding. 


You must be able to stabilize your hips and core properly. One of the reasons why the regular decline push up fails is due to the fact that people don't even stabilize their spine or hips properly - instead the hips or the spine sag.


You want the rest of your body to be as rigid as possible through the method of body stabilization. This way you will be able to properly engage the upper body as well.


Not only this, you must pay attention to the scapula (shoulder girdle) position and the angle of your arms. Make it a smooth movement where the scapula never shrugs towards your ears.


Some slight scapula protraction is involved but otherwise you should keep the shoulder blades pulled down and back as much as possible the entire duration of the movement. Also, the elbows shouldn’t flare out of correct trajectory.


Once you do master these 2 things, the 45° Decline Press shows its true colors and you will realize it's the most effective decline press that you've ever done.


This whole concept of stabilization is a foreign concept to most fitness enthusiasts and even fitness trainers despite the fact that it's hard to do bodyweight training effectively without it.


It's something everyone should learn in order to supercharge their results of bodyweight training and even weight training. Although this lesson was an excerpt from Skill Master program, the body stabilization and scapula positions we actually cover in Athlete 20XX Method.


Athlete 20XX Method is the highest level of education that we provide and although we utilize weights, the program is 70%+ bodyweight training simply because the bodyweight exercise tend to work the best.


If you want to learn more, I urge you to join the "The paradigm shift that much happen" lesson. It's 100% free and you can join it here.


Stay strong.


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samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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