Incline Bench Press Guide

The incline bench press is a strength training exercise that targets the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. It is performed on a flat or incline bench press machine. The incline angle of the bench can be adjusted to vary the difficulty of the exercise and target different muscle groups.

Target Muscle Group
Exercise Type
Equipment Required
Force Type
Experience Level
Secondary Muscles
Triceps, Shoulders

Step by Step Guide

Set Up & Position Yourself Correctly

To begin the Incline Bench Press, set up an incline bench at a 45-degree angle and adjust the barbell to a weight that is appropriate for your fitness level. Lie down on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your shoulder blades squeezed together. Grab the barbell with a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Unrack the barbell and lower it towards your chest, making sure that you keep your elbows close to your body and your core engaged. Keep your back and glutes in contact with the bench throughout the movement.

Pause at the Bottom of the Movement

When the barbell reaches your chest, pause for a second to make sure that you have achieved a full stretch in your chest muscles. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, and the barbell should be close to your chest.

Press the Barbell Back Up Towards the Starting Position

As you exhale, press the barbell back up towards the starting position by extending your arms and engaging your chest muscles. Keep your elbows close to your body and maintain control of the weight throughout the movement. Repeat the Incline Bench Press for the desired number of reps and sets, making sure that you maintain proper form throughout. As you become more comfortable with the movement, you can gradually increase the weight of the barbell.

Here are a Few Tips to Keep in Mind When Performing this Exercise.

  • Use Proper Form: Keep your feet flat on the ground, maintain a stable base, and keep your elbows tucked in as you lower the weight towards your chest. This will help to engage your chest muscles effectively and prevent injury.
  • Start with a Lighter Weight: The incline bench press can be challenging, especially if you're new to the exercise. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it as you gain strength and improve your form.
  • Breathe Properly: Exhale as you push the weight away from your chest and inhale as you lower it back down. This helps to create stability and power and ensures that you are breathing correctly during the exercise.

Exercise Benefits

  • Targets the Upper Chest Muscles: The incline bench press targets the upper chest muscles more effectively than the flat bench press. This can help to improve the overall appearance and strength of your chest.
  • Increases Overall Upper Body Strength: The incline bench press is a compound exercise that targets multiple upper body muscles including the chest, shoulders, and triceps. As you get stronger in these muscles, you will see improvements in your overall upper body strength.
  • Helps to Prevent Muscle Imbalances: Performing the incline bench press can help to prevent muscle imbalances in your chest muscles, which can occur when you focus too much on the flat bench press.
  • Improves Shoulder Stability: The incline bench press also works the front of the shoulders, helping to improve overall shoulder stability and mobility.
  • Increases Muscle Hypertrophy: The incline bench press can also help to increase muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth, especially in the upper chest muscles. This can lead to a more defined and sculpted upper body appearance.