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Chest Exercises - Incline Bench Press


Exercise Name: Incline Bench Press

Purpose: Develop the upper and middle chest region.

Target Muscle Group(s): The primary muscle group being targeted are the upper chest ("pectoralis major, clavicular head") and middle chest ("pectoralis major, sternocostal head").

Secondary muscle groups being targeted are:
  • the lower chest ("pectoralis major, abdominal head")
  • the front shoulder region ("front deltoid" or "anterior deltoid");
  • the tricep muscle ("triceps brachii, medial head" and "triceps brachii, long head");
  • the serratus anterior (the thin muscular sheet that look like "fingers" which are visible on both sides of the upper torso section between the upper ribs and the scapula [shoulder blade]); 
  • the anconeus (small area of muscle located at the back of the forearm).
incline bench press

Instructions on How To Perform Incline Bench Presses:

1. Lie on a bench inclined between 45 to 60 degrees.
2. Place feet be flat on the floor.
3. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width apart (your forearms should be perfectly perpendicular to the floor at the bottom of the movement).
4. Lower the barbell to your upper chest.
5. Push the barbell back to the starting position using your chest muscles.

Instruction Comments:

1. Breathe in as you lower the barbell; breathe out as you raise the barbell to the starting position.
2. You will notice that you won't be able to use as much weight as you can for the barbell bench presses on a flat bench, this is normal.
3. For increased intensity, use a spotter to assist you to performing forced repetitions.
4. Using a wider grip will involve the outer pectoral muscle. A more narrow grip will involve the inner pectoral muscles more.
 

Also Known As: Incline Barbell Bench Press, Incline Bench Presses
Exercise Type: Building Muscle, Strength Training, Toning, Sports Training
Force: Push
Exercise Level: Beginner
Mechanics Type: Compound Exercise

Incline Bench Press Variations: Incline Hammer Press (uses Hammer Strength Machine); Seated Incline Press; Incline Dumbbell Press; Smith Machine Incline Press; use a squat rack and safety pins; using a wider or more narrower grip.

Safety Precautions:

1. Here are some safety precautions for doing this exercise with heavy weights:
  • use a spotter; or
  • if you don't have a spotter, use the Smith Machine or the Squat Rack (lock in the safety pins).
2. Be sure to warm-up sufficiently and stretch the chest before doing the work sets because this exercise really stretches the front deltoid and upper chest region. Proper warm-up and stretch will decrease the likelihood of muscle tears.


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