The incline bench press is one of the toughest bench press variations. It targets your upper pecs and back muscles. On an incline bench, you have to be in an upright position and then do the press. So technically it very challenging workout because your pecs are under stress. They can be done with either barbell or dumbbell. Shoulder stability is the key to master an incline bench. For decades bodybuilders and athletes are doing it for building stronger chest muscles and upper back muscles.
The incline bench press is a definitive workout for upper body strength. Along with the chest, it targets your biceps and shoulders too. Other bench press exercise like decline and flat bench, they focus more on the sternocostal head of pecs, while incline targets on the smaller clavicular head. According to research, it is very essential to emphasize the smaller clavicular head for strong upper pcs and muscle imbalance. Let us look at how to do incline bench exercise and gain its maximum benefits.
How to Do Incline Bench Press
- The incline bench should be set up at an angle of 30-45 degrees.
- Do not set up the machine at a higher angle because a higher angle will make exercise difficult to perform.
- Rest on the bench keep your chest up towards the bar.
- Your hand’s position on the bar should be at a shoulder-width distance apart.
- Grab the bar with fingers curled towards you.
- Press the bard down towards your upper chest, make sure you get a tight correct grip across the bar.
- Your feet down should also be shoulder-width apart.
- While raising the bar, slightly arch your back and your butt should be tucked on the bench.
- Repeat the movement for 1-2 reps.
Incline Bench Variations
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press
The bench has to be at a 45-degree angle. The setup machine and position of this variation are the same as that of the standard barbell bench press. Except where you have to use dumbbells. Hold the dumbbells eas in one hand and try to press the weights up and down.
Smith Machine Incline Bench Press
Lay down on the incline bench. In the smith machine, the moving barbell is attached to the handle. You have to pick the bar off the pegs and move them downwards towards your chest. You are moving the bar down at a 90-degree angle. Do not put tension on your rotator cuff.
Common Mistakes and Precaution
- Avoid doing incline press with a flat back. When you are lifting the weight, you have to retract your scapula.
- It is mandatory to flare your elbows at a 45-degree angle. Otherwise, it could hurt your pectoral muscles.
- Not doing full range of motion throughout incline press will give you fewer benefits. So it is necessary to do it with the full range of motion.
- Never pull down the barbell close to your lower chest. It is an upper chest exercise. So bring down the barbell till your clavicles.
Benefits of Incline Bench Press
- It is a great workout for building shoulder strength and stability.
- The major benefit is an increase in upper body muscle and muscular hypertrophy.
- Because training with high volume and heavy loads incline press will help you build your upper body stamina and is effective in multijoint strength.
- It benefits athletes to improve their strong performance. By performing different variations they can improve their muscle weakness problem.
- It is a perfect choice of exercise for Olympic weight lifters because the workout will help to lift weights in a correct form and it will help them to stabilize lifting overhead weights.