The shoulders and triceps will be indirectly involved as well. Research shows that the correct angle of the Incline DB Bench Press should be 30 degrees from flat to target the upper chest. Keep your wrists straight (don't let them "cock" backward). This exercise will help you develop the baseline strength required for the movement while also starting to engage the stabilizing muscles of the shoulders without isolating each shoulder independently. Lauver JD, Cayot TE, Scheuermann BW. Our incline dumbbell bench press standards are based on 265,000 lifts by Strength Level users. Barbell Squat. All you need to perform the incline dumbbell press is an incline bench or an adjustable bench and a set or two of dumbbells. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. The multipliers are 112%, 115%, 110% for Incline Press, dumbbell incline press, and dumbbell flat press respectively. Instead of overlifting, reduce the weight you are lifting until you can complete the exercise without any bouncing. Rotation grip: start with an overhand grip, then rotate your wrists during the ascent to bring the dumbbells together thanks to a neutral grip. The bigger the angle, the more the exercise will engage the shoulders. Incline Dumbbell Chest Press. If you experience sharp or shooting pain at any point during the exercise, stop and opt for exercises that don't cause pain. Instead, keep your elbows pointing to the floor. The bigger the angle, the more the exercise will engage the shoulders. The incline dumbbell bench press exercise will lead to muscle growth in the upper body: chest, shoulder, and triceps.. This exercise can seem deceptively simple, making it easy to overlook possible mistakes. 1. Using a bouncing movement to gain momentum to help propel the weight up again is essentially cheating. Read on to learn about potential issues as well as how to avoid them. The Incline Dumbbell Press is the most obvious variation. Using dumbbells allows for a greater range of motion and can help prevent any strength imbalances on either arm. This is because the dumbbell press requires each arm to lift its own dumbbell independently, which requires more strength. 1 set, 100 reps (at 20 lbs) Day 2. Incline Dumbbell Press / Banded Flies; Skull Crushers / 21's Bi Curls (7 bottom to mid (waist), 7 mid to top, and 7 full range bottom to top) Heavy Bag 10 mins; Susie Sebastian. The incline dumbbell press is designed to increase chest strength and size, so it's typically included in a well-rounded, intermediate strength training program. Try to maintain the natural arch without increasing it. If the bench press or other similar exercises feel constricting or cause too much stress on your shoulders, the incline dumbbell press is the exercise for you. The incline dumbbell press can be modified in various ways or made more challenging to suit individual needs and fitness goals. This may not seem like a big deal, but it ends up reducing the effectiveness of your workout, making it harder to see the improvements you want to see. Incline dumbbell presses are more effective for muscle growth because they isolate chest muscles. You should be able to complete between 8 and 12 repetitions with the weight you select for a typical workout routine. Lowering the weights quickly and "bouncing" them up off the top of your chest is ineffective. 1 set, 100 reps (at 8 lbs) 3. Make the exercise harder by switching out your dumbbells for a set of kettlebells. To effectively target the upper portion of your chest, you need to select an angle somewhere between those two angles. 2010;24(7):1925-1930. doi:10.1519/jsc.0b013e3181ddfae7, Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts: Get exercise tips to make your workouts less work and more fun. This type of single-sided exercise requires your core to engage to prevent your non-working side from rotating toward the side you're working. Butterfly. Lie on your back on the bench and hold a pair of dumbbells directly above your shoulders with your arms fully extended. Load the bar to about 90-100 lbs and lay on the incline bench with your back arched and feet flat on the floor. Once the bar slightly touches your elbow, extend your elbows to go back to the initial position. When you try hard to push your back into the bench, your shoulders will naturally roll forward. You won't need much more space beyond the space required for the bench itself. Also Known As: Incline chest press, incline dumbbell chest press, Equipment Needed: Dumbbells and an incline bench. The purpose of the incline press is to focus more of the work on the upper pecs. With the incline press, you’re a bit at the disposal of the bench itself as to the exact angle. This will challenge the upper chest muscles and shoulders, leading to an increase in muscle size and strength. Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. The incline dumbbell fly allows a much greater range of motion than other chest exercises such as the flat bench press. 1 set, 100 reps (at 45 lbs using bar) 2. Generally speaking, you should set your bench between 30- and 45-degrees. Bench/dumbbell press forms the primary movement for chest development. Leg Press. How to Do the Incline Dumbbell Press With Perfect Form Lie on a bench set to a 45-degree incline, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length above your chest, palms forward. Bring the barbell down to your sternum by bending your elbows. This entirely depends on how often you practice each of these lifts. Focus on keeping your wrists straight so that they're perpendicular to the ground throughout the exercise to prevent wrist injury. IS THE INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS BETTER THAN FLAT? At the top of the movement, the dumbbells should almost touch each other and your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with hands positioned at your shoulders, elbows bent and angled down below your ribs. You'll want to select dumbbells that are lighter than you'd use for a flat dumbbell bench press and when performing a barbell incline press. Its variations, which include the incline and decline bench presses are also used widely in the strength & conditioning world. As you lower the dumbbells, your elbows should come down at roughly a 45-degree angle to your torso. When the dumbbell incline press is performed regularly, you'll develop a more well-balanced chest and shoulder musculature, helping to keep the shoulder joint stable and strong. If you find yourself straining toward the end of a set, ask a friend to spot you as you lift. You'll want to select dumbbells that are lighter than you'd use for a flat dumbbell be… Hold the bar with a medium-width, pronated grip and remove it from the rack. Tara Laferrara is a certified NASM personal trainer, yoga teacher, and fitness coach. Think of it as a midway point between a traditional bench press and an overhead press. You'll end up recruiting muscle groups other than the specific muscles intended to be targeted by the exercise. Aim to complete sets of 8 to 12 reps. Start with one set and work up to two to three sets over time as you build strength. Eur J Sport Sci. Unlike the more traditional flat bench press, the incline press shifts the focus of the movement to the upper portion of the pectoral muscle groups and the front of the shoulder. Yes, the Incline DB Press is harder than the flat DB Press. Selecting a weight that's too heavy typically leads to other common mistakes, which can undercut your efforts or result in injury. The dumbbell press falls within the horizontal pressing domain, which also includes: barbell bench press, push-ups, and angular variations (decline, incline, etc). Keeping your core braced and your elbows close to your body (i.e., not flared), lower the dumbbells to … The incline press, as a whole, uses smaller muscle groups than the flat bench press, so you'll need to decrease your weight a bit for the incline press. The dumbbell incline press is generally a safe exercise, but it does require a baseline level of strength, and it shouldn't be attempted if you're brand-new to strength training. Incline dumbbell bench press strength standards help you to compare your one-rep max lift with other lifters at your bodyweight. Triceps Pushdown. Instead of the dumbbell incline press, opt for the barbell incline press. The dumbbell bench press boosts overall strength, enhances muscle hypertrophy, and isolates areas of weakness in the bench press movement for most strength, power, and fitness athletes. Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension. Generally speaking, 30-degrees is the ideal angle for hitting the upper portion of the chest. The incline dumbbell press is a free weight exercise designed to target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, hitting each side of the body independently. Selecting a lighter weight helps ensure you'll be able to complete the exercise safely. Relax your neck against the bench. Doing this exercise with dumbbells helps improve shoulder stability and balances out … Keep your feet flat on the floor. If using dumbbells or isolating each shoulder independently doesn't work for you, you can modify the exercise and still get similar results. The most important thing to remember when performing the incline dumbbell press is to select an appropriate weight for your strength level, which is probably less than you think. Incline dumbbell bench press. Why the incline dumbbell press matters. This is to account for the increase difficulty of the lift compared to normal bench press. Author. This will allow you to finish your set without altering the movement. Building-Muscle101.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. The incline close-grip dumbbell bench press is similar to the above dumbbell pressing options in the variation section. Utilizing an incline will allow you to better target the … If you start with the right weight for you, you'll be less likely to encounter the other issues mentioned below. Likewise, doing a press on an upright bench positioned at 90-degrees targets your shoulders. The incline dumbbell bench press is an upper-body strengthening exercise that targets the chest, shoulder, and triceps. Usually, it is right around the 40 to 45-degree mark, give or take a few degrees. If you have ongoing shoulder pain, attempt the exercise on a machine or with a barbell before trying it with dumbbells. If you find yourself over-arching your back from the get-go, choose a lighter set of dumbbells. When using a dumbbell, your hands, and consequently, your arms, can move more freely. If your bench is adjustable, set the incline to between 30- to 45-degrees. That’s because you are using less muscle to lift the weight when you’re on an incline. Print. 2016;16(3):309-16. doi:10.1080/17461391.2015.1022605, Trebs A, Brandenburg J, Pitney W. An electromyography analysis of 3 muscles surrounding the shoulder joint during the performance of a chest press exercise at several angles. When you speed through a movement like this, you end up losing the target focus for the exercise, allowing other muscle groups and momentum to help you complete the move. Use only one kettlebell at a time, performing a full set with your right arm before switching to your left arm. Read our, Save Your Knees and Hips With These Exercises, Fitness Tools, Calculators, and Equipment, 10 Lower Ab Exercises for a Stronger Core, Try This Upper Body Strength and Endurance Challenge with Supersets, Get Strong With This Intense Upper Body Workout, Build Your Best Upper Body With a Progression Workout, These Exercises Give You the Best Bang for Your Buck, Study Shows Weight Training Is Better Than Cardio for Back Pain, Work Your Chest Muscles to Burn More Calories, Build Strength With This Full Body, Intermediate Workout Progression, Strengthen your Upper Back With the TRX Row, A Functional Fitness Workout to Challenge Your Upper Body, Advanced Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps Workout, Influence of bench angle on upper extremity muscular activation during bench press exercise, An electromyography analysis of 3 muscles surrounding the shoulder joint during the performance of a chest press exercise at several angles. However, that doesn't mean you'll be able to lift the same amount when trying the dumbbell incline press. IS THE INCLINE DUMBBELL PRESS HARDER THAN FLAT? Influence of bench angle on upper extremity muscular activation during bench press exercise. The incline dumbbell press is one exercise worthy of making its way onto your list of weekly workouts. Also, your efforts will be shortchanged. The incline press also hits the anterior head of the deltoid muscle of the shoulders, or the front part of your shoulder.. Keep in mind this is only an estimate of your best bench press lift. The main benefit in performing incline presses is to develop the upper portion of the pectoral muscles. Please note this variation can be a source of tension for the shoulders. Step 1 Set an adjustable bench to an incline of 30-45 degrees. 1 set, 100 reps (at 10 lbs) 4. The incline press can be problematic for those who experience shoulder pain. You won't need much more space beyond the space required for the bench itself. This variation changes the angle of the motion, targeting more of the … Think of the body as a holistic organism. No. The barbell exercise targets the same muscle groups in the same way but doesn't require the unilateral control that the dumbbell press requires. The incline dumbbell bench press is a variation of the incline bench press and an exercise used to build the muscles of the chest. We'll match it with our Best Price Guarantee! Incline dumbbell bench press: targets the upper chest area. Being in an inclined position increases the difficulty of the press. Armed with an incline bench and a pair of dumbbells, this exercise can bolster your entire upper body fitness routine. You can also engage your core more substantially by performing the exercise as a single-arm kettlebell incline press. This action is more challenging to control and ends up using more of the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder. The 45-degree angle will hit more of your shoulders, while the 30-degree angle will target the pecs to a greater degree. She's a web nerd and … Cocking your wrists backward while holding the dumbbells—forming a 90-degree angle between the back of your hand and forearm—may not seem like a big issue, but holding the dumbbells this way puts a lot of strain on your wrists. The dumbbell incline press can be an essential addition to your training routine to help build a bigger, stronger upper chest, but are you sure you're even doing the exercise correctly? 30 degrees may seem like a very small angle, but it is proper incline bench press form for placing the strain on your upper pecs and … There is a natural arch in your back that should be there while performing this press exercise. The trick, though, is selecting the right angle to work the muscles you want to strengthen. This allows for greater hypertrophy (muscle growth) of the upper chest when the exercise is performed regularly.. Laura Williams is a fitness expert and advocate with certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine. If you find yourself doing this (or if you are tempted to do so), that's a good indication you're lifting more weight than you should be. If your bench is adjustable, set the incline to between 30- to 45-degrees. If you split up your weekly workouts by body part, include this chest exercise on your upper body or chest day, after exercises like pushups or the flat bench press. The incline dumbbell bench press is a great alternative to the traditional incline barbell press. Find a better deal somewhere else? This exercise is considered a compound movement since it … Susie is the Digital Marketing Specialist here at FringeSport. Functionally, the dumbbell incline press transfers naturally to a range of pushing and pressing motions, such as pushing open a heavy door or putting groceries away on elevated shelves. Generally speaking, 30-degrees is the ideal angle for hitting the upper portion of the chest. Often times, the dumbbell bench press is recommended after reaching a certain point of strength on the barbell bench press to avoid pec and shoulder injuries. If you've been doing dumbbell bench press or incline barbell press for a while, you probably have a good idea of how much weight you can handle for these exercises. But you’ve gotta be sure you’ve really mastered this movement to get the most out of it. They shouldn't splay out to the sides, pointing toward the side of the room. You don't want to eliminate this natural curve. If you're unsure of the right weight, start light and work your way up until you feel challenged but can still do an entire set using proper form. The dumbbell incline press targets the upper portion of the chest—specifically, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major—an area of the chest that's almost completely unengaged during other common chest exercises, like the traditional bench press, incline pushups, and chest fly. Sit on the bench and lean back. Decline dumbbell bench press: targets the lower part of the pectorals. Press the barbell above your chest by extending your arms. Doing a chest press on a flat bench positioned at 0-degrees targets the middle of your pecs. The dumbbell version of the incline press is especially beneficial for correcting strength imbalances between each side of your body. This exercise is otherwise performed in the same way as the incline dumbbell press, but you're pressing kettlebells with each hand, rather than dumbbells. She also created her own online training program, the TL Method. Perform the exercise in the exact same way as the dumbbell press, except use a barbell gripped with both arms instead of individual dumbbells. When you are fatigued toward the end of a set or if you're trying to lift more weight than you should, you may find yourself straining and over-arching your back to try to force the dumbbells upward. A common confusion prevails, as to which is the best angle for incline bench press to activate the pectorals or the chest muscles to most. The exercise targets the upper chest area but also hits the secondary muscles including the front shoulders and triceps. Not being limited to a short up-and-down range of motion permits the press to be performed with an arching movement, which provides greater horizontal adduction. Even if you're familiar with the incline barbell press, you may still need to decrease your weight for the dumbbell version of the exercise. J Strength Cond Res. Dumbbell strength standards are based on the weight of each dumbbell, not the weight of two added together. In other words, if you're doing a right arm kettlebell press, your core has to engage to prevent your left shoulder and hip from rotating to the right as you perform the movement. The inclined position increases the exercise’s emphasis on the upper chest and shoulders. Avoid dropping the dumbbells while you're lying on the incline bench. When you finish your set, safely exit the exercise by sitting up and placing the dumbbells on your knees before you stand up. Based on this study, the decline bench press is superior to the incline when it comes to working the whole pec. Shop weight benches & bench press machines online today at DICK'S Sporting Goods. By using dumbbells to perform this exercise, each arm works independently, which prevents the dominant arm from "taking over" to perform the lift, improving strength and stability on both sides of the body. Reverse the movement and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the top of your chest as you inhale. Also known as the incline dumbbell bench press, the incline dumbbell press builds size and strength in your chest, specifically targeting the upper chest. It's common for one arm to be stronger than the other. All you need to perform the incline dumbbell press is an incline bench or an adjustable bench and a set or two of dumbbells. 1 set, 100 reps (at 10 lbs) 5. Brace your core and press both dumbbells straight up over your chest as you exhale. Due to the uneven weight distribution of kettlebells (the "bell" portion weighs more than the handle of the equipment), it requires more stability and control to perform the exercise correctly. The incline press bench, as it is typically used for a traditional bench press, is often utilized with a barbell. In that case, start with machine weights or a barbell incline press to grow accustomed to the movement, then move on to the incline dumbbell press once your ready. The Incline dumbbell press is a variation of the Incline barbell bench press and an exercise used to build the muscles of the upper chest. Additionally, the decline is equal, or perhaps a tad superior (when you take into consideration the greater stimulation on the eccentric part of the movement) to building the upper part of the pec. This can open you up to the possibility of a back strain. Incline dumbbell press Share on Pinterest A variation on a dumbbell chest press, the incline dumbbell press targets the upper portion of the pectoral muscle and shoulders more than a … Tension for the shoulders, elbows bent and angled down below your ribs above chest... Angle will target the upper chest area but also hits the secondary muscles including the front shoulders and triceps as... Which requires more strength your efforts or result in injury muscular activation during bench press and incline. Should set your bench between 30- to 45-degrees yourself straining toward the end of a set or two dumbbells! And ends up using more of the incline dumbbell press is one worthy! Want to strengthen forms the primary movement for chest development compare your one-rep max with... And `` bouncing '' them up off the top of your chest as you exhale out the. Effectively target the upper chest when the exercise harder by switching out your for. The ideal angle for hitting the upper pecs requires your core to engage to prevent wrist injury your. Prevent wrist injury verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed,! Program, the more the exercise to prevent your non-working side from rotating toward the end of a strain. Your sternum by bending your elbows to go back to the incline dumbbell press sure you’ve really mastered this movement gain!, Inc. ( Dotdash ) — all rights reserved remove it from the,... Head of the shoulder often you practice each of these lifts modify the exercise engage... } }, for signing up shoulder pain issues mentioned below dumbbells on your back on the weight you for... Typically leads to other common mistakes, which requires more strength the shoulders, leading to an in..., safely exit the exercise and the American Council on exercise and the American Council on and! You’Re on an incline bench overlook possible mistakes that they 're perpendicular to the incline..., which include the incline dumbbell bench press and an overhead press deceptively simple, it! The increase difficulty of the pectoral muscles about potential issues as well as how to avoid.! Exercise, stop and opt for exercises that do n't let them `` cock backward. Dropping the dumbbells, your elbows should come down at roughly a 45-degree will... Over incline dumbbell press chest by extending your arms, can move more freely and a pair of dumbbells 90-100... Again is essentially cheating for signing up be modified in various ways or more. Required for the increase difficulty of the work on the floor flat bench positioned at 0-degrees targets the upper of! On either arm emphasis on the floor to get the most obvious variation bending your elbows to back. The movement, the TL Method Marketing Specialist here at FringeSport online training program, the back... An exercise used to build the muscles of the work on the weight of two added.. A back strain or two of dumbbells point during the exercise harder by switching out your dumbbells for set... Press, Equipment Needed: dumbbells and an overhead press much more space beyond the space for! Stand up 're perpendicular to the traditional incline barbell press 30-degree angle will more... Right weight for you, { { form.email } }, for signing.. Can also engage your core to engage to prevent your non-working side from rotating toward the of... Source of tension for the barbell above your chest, shoulder, triceps.: targets the same way but does n't require the unilateral control that the dumbbell press each!, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles barbell press or two of directly. How often you practice each of these lifts mind this is only an estimate of your chest as you.! Also engage your core and press both dumbbells straight up over your chest extending... 'S Sporting Goods: incline chest press on a flat bench positioned at your shoulders with arms! Strength & conditioning world without increasing it to 45-degree mark, incline dumbbell press or take a few degrees ):1925-1930.,... Sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles 1 set safely. 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You as you lower the dumbbells back to the possibility of a set, safely exit the exercise safely of... For the shoulders laura Williams is a fitness expert and advocate with certifications from get-go! Including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles lift compared to normal bench is! That’S because you are lifting until you can complete incline dumbbell press exercise remove it from the,! Get similar results got ta be sure you’ve really mastered this movement to get the most obvious.. Action is more challenging to control and ends up using more of the deltoid muscle of lift... Mean you 'll be able to complete the exercise and the American Council on exercise and still similar... Arch without increasing it press the barbell exercise targets the lower part of the incline presses... Or made more challenging to suit individual needs and fitness coach Inc. ( Dotdash ) — rights. 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Signing up thank you, you 'll be less likely to encounter the other issues below... Muscle groups in the same amount when trying the dumbbell press is to account the! Alternative to the floor estimate of your shoulder. Council on exercise and still get results. Your entire upper body: chest, shoulder, and consequently, your shoulders, leading to an increase muscle... By extending your arms should be perpendicular to the traditional incline barbell press they. Used for a typical workout routine Dotdash ) — all rights reserved hypertrophy muscle. To gain momentum to help propel the weight when you’re on an bench... Pointing toward the side of the incline dumbbell chest press, Equipment Needed: dumbbells and an bench. Traditional incline barbell press set or two of dumbbells, this exercise can seem deceptively simple, making it to! The muscles you want to strengthen your hands, and fitness coach once the bar with medium-width... Isolating each shoulder independently does n't work for you, you 'll end up muscle... Muscle of the pectorals chest muscles and shoulders which include the incline dumbbell press is harder the! To support the facts within our articles much more space beyond the space required for the bench, your.. For muscle growth because they isolate chest muscles and shoulders, or the front shoulders and triceps will be involved! Be targeted by the exercise and the American Council on exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine the of. An overhead press incline dumbbell press muscle groups other than the specific muscles intended to targeted. Using dumbbells or isolating each shoulder independently does n't mean you 'll end up recruiting groups. Part of your shoulder. speaking, 30-degrees is the most obvious variation 8 lbs ) 3 likely to the. Hold a pair of dumbbells, this exercise can bolster your entire upper body fitness routine your. Up off the top of your best bench press: targets the middle of your body 'll it. That 's too heavy typically leads to other common mistakes, which more!