Primary Muscle Group: Chest
Secondary Muscle Group: Triceps, Deltoids
Equipment Needed: Incline Weight Bench, Barbell, Weight Plates
The Benefits of Incline Barbell Press
The Incline Barbell Press develops the mass and strength of the pectoral muscles (upper and middle regions) and front deltoids. The incline angle of this press hits the upper pecs really hard. The main benefit in doing incline presses is to develop the upper portion of the pectoral muscles.
The incline barbell press is a variation of the bench press and an exercise used to build specifically, your upper chest (upper pectorals). The shoulders and triceps will be indirectly involved as well and therefore become a secondary muscle worked during the Incline Barbell Chest Press.
Utilizing an incline will allow you to better target the upper portion of the chest, a lagging part for a lot of lifters who usually focus just on a flat bench press.
You can include incline bench press in your chest workouts, upper body workouts, push workouts, and full body workouts.
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The Risks of doing Incline Barbell Press
Be mindful not to put too much stress on your elbow joint by extending your elbows fully during the pressing part of the exercise. Avoid overloading your chest straight away. If you attempt this exercise with heavy weight without warming up, you put yourself at serious risk of pulling or tearing your pectorals! It’s relatively small muscle so tread carefully and make sure you are fully warm before going into a working set.
How To Do Incline Barbell Press
1. Lie flat on an incline bench and set your hands just outside of shoulder width.
2. Set your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench.
3. Take a deep breath and allow your spotter to help you with the lift off in order to maintain tightness through your upper back.
4. Let the weight settle and ensure your upper back remains tight after lift off.
5. Inhale and allow the bar to descend slowly by unlocking the elbows.
6. Lower the bar in a straight line to the base of the sternum (breastbone) and touch the chest.
7. Push the bar back up in a straight line by pressing yourself into the bench, driving your feet into the floor for leg drive, and extending the elbows.
8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
For Perfect Technique
1. Technique first, weight second - no one cares how much you bench if you get injured.
2. Keep the bar in line with your wrist and elbows and ensure it travels in a straight line. In order to keep the wrist straight, try to position the bar as low in the palm as possible while still being able to wrap the thumb.
3. To keep more tension on your chest, stop each repetition just short of lockout at the top.
4. If you are trying to build muscle, avoid arching your back when doing theIncline Barbell Chest Press. This is usually done by power lifters as it helps move heavier weight but has less focus on the contraction itself.
5. The bar should touch your chest with every single repetition. If you want to overload specific ranges of motion, look into board presses or accommodating resistance with chains or bands.
Once you have mastered the Incline Barbell Press exercise you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Machine Chest Press
1. Sit comfortably on the machine with your feet placed firmly on the floor about shoulder-width apart. If your machine has an adjustable seat height, ensure that the setting allows your arms to push at a horizontal position to the ground when your arms are fully extended.
2. Grasp the handles with a full grip and maintain a neutral wrist position with your wrists in line with your forearms.
3. Push the bars outward to full extension but without locking out the elbow, exhaling as you press out. Keep your head steady against the upright pad and your neck still. You should feel significant resistance during the pressing motion.
4. Pause briefly at full extension, then allow the bars to return toward your chest and inhale during the negative part of the rep.
How To Do Barbell Bench Press
1. Lie flat on your back on a bench.
2. Grip the bar with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, so when you’re at the bottom of your move your hands are directly above your elbows. This allows for maximum force generation.
3. Bring the bar slowly down to your chest as you inhale.
4. Push up as you exhale, gripping the bar hard and watching a spot on the ceiling rather than the bar, so you can ensure it travels the same path every time.