How to Crush Your Chest and Glutes With 1 Killer Move

When you want to work your chest, setting up on a decline bench lets you attack your pecs from a different angle. But if you don’t have a decline bench—or even if you do—his decline bench variation demonstrated by Don Saladino, NASM (courtesy of Dr. Jordan Shallow), puts you in a strong position while also engaging the glutes and core. The exercise is as simple as setting up on a flat bench and squeezing your glutes to drive your hips upwards to form a straight from knees to shoulders.

Of course, simple isn’t necessarily easy. As Saladino stresses here, one major challenge throughout this variation is maintaining stability and keeping the ribs down. To do so, focus on maximally tensing your glutes and core, and squeezing your shoulder blades tightly. With each rep, actively row the dumbbells back toward you, rather than just letting them fall or fall with control.

Be cautious of your decline angle; don’t make it too pronounced. A slight decline, as Saladino shows, can be friendly to your shoulders, as long as you aggressively squeeze your shoulder blades throughout every set. But overarching your back (remember that your glutes drive you into proper position) can cause lower back issues. And any ribcage flair can compromise your shoulders, placing them into internal rotation.

Focus on lowering with your elbows at a 45-degree angle. You’ll be hitting the sternal (lower chest fibers) more aggressively with this press, but you’ll still get plenty of good chest work overall.

Don’t have a flat bench? That’s okay, too. You can perform this exercise right on the floor. This is limits your range of motion slightly (a shoulder-saver for some), and you may be able to move a bit more weight this way, too.

Maintaining stability and max glute engagement may even be easier that way, since you’ll be on a hard surface, rather than a cushioned one.

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