Do You Know The Proper Incline bench press Form? Beginners Guide
If you have an undeveloped upper chest then incline bench press exercise is the best chest workout to develop the upper chest. But along with that knowing the incline bench press form is very important as well.
The incline bench press is basically a variation of traditional bench press. Bench press mainly stimulates the middle muscle fibers of the pectoralis major.
But incline bench press targets the upper chest which is the clavicular head of pectoralis major.
Learning the correct incline bench press form is very important. Because you will not be in a mechanically advantageous position to lift the barbell.
So, you need to more focused and accurate in your form to perform this exercise.
Set up and posture
Before jump into the workout, you need to know the set-up and proper posture of incline bench press.
The power to push the bar up comes from the ground through your legs. so, you need to be more careful with your leg placement.
Keep your feet flat to the ground so that your legs can drive the maximum power from the ground to the upper body.
The knees and the toes should be pointed outwards. Because it is a comfortable posture for everyone.
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Incline Bench Press Angle
The traditional bench press is performed on a flat bench. So, it targets the muscle fibers in the middle of the chest.
But, the more you increase the angle of the bench, the more you are going to stimulate the upper chest. If you increase the angle too much the load will be shifted to your anterior deltoid.
The sweet spot is 30-45-degree angle where the clavicular head of pectoralis major gets stimulated the most.
But there is no thumb rule to set the angle. As a beginner 30-45 degree is perfect but when you become intermediate or advance you may choose any angle between 30-60 degree.
When you become an intermediate or advance you can understand “what should be the angle to stimulate the clavicular head of the chest” on your body. You can manipulate the angle to target every muscle fiber from every angle at that stage.
To perform incline bench press at that high angle, you need to be more advance and build more mind and muscle connection. Unless you may injure yourself.
Upper Body Incline Bench Fress Form
Position yourself under the bar. your bar should be just over your face. Create a slight arch on your back.
Squeeze your shoulder blades; imagine that you are trying to squeeze something between your shoulder blades. Make your chest up and tighten your core muscles.
Set Your Grip
The grip is a complicated thing for a beginner. They are confused about griping during any pressing movement. Though gripping plays a big role in how you stimulate the muscles.
As an advance, there are many variations of griping but for beginners, it is very simple.
Hold the bar in a length in which your arms create a 90-degree angle in your elbows when you lower the bar. Your wrist and the elbows should be in a straight line.
I don’t recommend you to use a thumbless grip. Always have a full grip. Wrap the fingers with the bar and make your wrist tight enough to lift heavy.
How To Do Incline Bench Press
Now when the set-up and posture is perfect, it’s time to perform the exercise with maintaining the proper incline bench press form.
Unrack The Bar:
When you are ready to perform the incline bench press; first take a deep breath, hold. Then unrack the bar and hold it just over your chest.
You should call a supporter if the weight is too heavy. Then breath out this is going to be the first position.
Lower The Bar
Then again take a deep breath and slowly lower the bar until it touches the upper chest.
Your elbows should be 45-degree tucked in when you lower the bar.
Push The Bar
When the bar touches the upper chest push it up at the starting position. Squeeze your glutes and tighten the core to generate the maximum strength.
When you push the bar, think about throwing the bar up as high as possible and try to crush it during the pressing movement.
This will be count as one rep. Repeat the whole process again.
The negative portion of any exercise should be slow and controlled and the concentric movement should be fast.
When you lower the bar take three seconds and then press the bar with full strength and pause for one second.
That means the tempo should be 3-1-1. Three seconds to lower the bar one second to push the bar and one-second pause.
When you pause the bar at the top for one second think to crush the bar inside by contracting the chest as hard as possible.
Incline Bench Press Muscles Worked
Many muscle groups get involved to perform an incline bench press. It is a compound movement.
The primary muscle group which gets stimulated by this movement is clavicular head the chest.
The other supportive muscles are triceps, trap, core muscles, anterior deltoid.
Incline Bench Press Variations
Some variations of incline bench press are;
- Dumbbell incline bench press
- barbell incline bench press
- incline bench press with smith machine
- Incline bench press with cattle ball
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Safety Guides Of Incline Bench Press
Lots of people get injured because of their mistakes during the incline bench press. You need to follow some safety guidelines first.
A common mistake of the beginners is that they don’t warm up their joint before this kind of heavy movement.
Because of the angle of the bench, your shoulder may be compromised during this movement. So, you must do a warm-up session and increase the blood flow in that joint before jump into the workout.
During incline bench press many people tend to flare their elbows. during heavy movement or in the last set they do this to push the bar anyhow.
But this is the worst thing. Because in this way the load is transferred to the anterior deltoid and that small muscle can’t push that much weight.
And the shoulder joint also is compromised because of that heavy load. Later the shoulder cuff may get injured.
During the heavy load, you need a spotter to spot you. It is very important because a little mistake may injure yourself badly.
So, when you perform heavy or during your last heavy set when you are going to do 6-8 reps then you need a spotter to help you. I highly recommend having a spotter during heavy movement.
The incline bench press is a great chest builder. By doing the incline bench press in a different angle you can achieve that great separation between your anterior deltoid and your chest.
There is a lot of incline bench press benefits. It is a multiple joint movement. So, it burns a lot of calories, and eventually, it helps to lose weight.
For a skinny guy who wants to gain weight, it builds a great muscle mass on your upper chest. Which gives you that bigger look. For a skinny guy, I highly recommend to add this work out in your workout routine.
But always you need to maintain the incline bench press form properly. Otherwise, it can damage your shoulder vary badly. In my experience, I have seen people who damage their rotator cuff very badly because of poor form.