How to do an incline bench press

How to do an incline bench press

The bench press is considered the king of effective chest exercises. However, just doing the basic bench press every day won’t maximize your chest strength. You need to vary the movements to work all the chest muscles. Here, the good news is that you don’t have to bring in many variations, simply setting up the bench at a slightly inclined angle will provide more benefits from the chest press. In this article, we’ll read about how to do an incline bench press.

The incline bench press primarily works your chest muscles just like your flat bench press but the former hits hard. It also works your shoulders and triceps. The higher the incline of the bench, the more worked your shoulders will be.

How to do an incline bench press

Incline Bench Press Form 

To perform the incline bench press, you need an incline bench. Here are three options for you –

  • Many gyms come with a stationed incline bench to help exercisers perform this move. 
  • However, if your gym doesn’t have an incline bench you can raise it at an angle of 45 degrees and place it in a squat/power rack. 
  • Lastly, if you are not sure of how to get the 45-degree angle, you can stack at least four plates on the floor and set one end of your flat bench on it to provide some kind of incline to the bench. 

For the last two options, you need to make sure to test your setup using an empty barbell before putting in weight to ensure that the bench, safety pins, and height of the bar are in the correct position.

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Steps to perform an incline bench press –

  • Lie on an incline bench and place your feet on the ground. Keep your butt around 6 inches off the seat. Now, slowly slide yourself down to place your butt on the seat while keeping your feet on the ground. Keep your core and glutes tightened throughout the movement. 
  • Grab the barbell with both your hands. Your grip should be wider than your shoulder width slightly and hold onto the barbell tightly. Now, unrack the bat to bring it over your shoulders directly while keeping your arms straight. This should be your initial position.
  • Lower the bar to the upper part of the chest with adequate control and breathe in deeply. Here, your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle with the rest of your body. 
  • Drive your feet into the floor and press the bar up to get back to your starting position. 

Muscles Worked in an Incline Bench Press

This exercise mainly works the clavicular head of your pectoralis major. It also works the front area of your shoulder or anterior deltoid and the backside of your arm or the triceps. When performed properly, incline bench press works as a full-body movement. It uses the large muscles in the back, small muscles in the shoulders, glutes, and the core. You can get a personalized online work plan to develop your muscles. 

Incline Bench Press Common Mistakes

To maintain the correct form you need to avoid the following mistakes –

Flaring your arms

Often people complain of shoulder pain after doing an incline bench press. You need to check your elbow position while performing an incline bench press. Your arms should not flare out to your sides as this will put a lot of stress. This will also prevent you from being in an optional position to generate strength for performing the exercise. If you want to avoid shoulder pain, try to keep your elbows at an angle of 45 degrees with your body. 

Lowering the bar towards the stomach

The bar should be lowered from your shoulders to your chest and vice-versa. However, if you lift the bar at the wrong angle you are most likely to lower the bar to your stomach instead of your chest. If you bring the bar down to your chest, the bar may fall off your hands and cause injury. 

Bouncing the barbell off your chest

Don’t bounce the barbell off your chest especially if you are lifting a heavyweight as it is extremely dangerous. Keep a slight distance between your chest and the barbell when you lower it down to protect yourself from injuries. 

Exercising through shoulder pain

Performing this movement while having shoulder pain will worsen your condition. If your shoulder hurts, try to avoid the mistakes mentioned above and rest for a few days before starting again. You must incline your bench at an angle that is comfortable (45-degrees is usually preferred). 

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How to do an incline bench press: Summing Up

Make sure to avoid the incline bench form mistakes as mentioned above to get the maximum benefits as well as prevent injuries. Once you have mastered the basic incline bench press you can try different variations such as incline dumbbell bench press, single-arm landmine press, close-grip bench press, and incline hex press. 

We hope your found this article helpful. Let us know in the comment section about your chest workout routine.

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