The Incline Bench Press: Gym Shorts (How To)

New to the incline bench press or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn how to correctly incline bench press in one short video.

How to Incline Bench Press

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

How to Incline Bench Press: Follow These Steps

  • Start with a standard bench press grip
  • Feet flat & shoulder-width
  • Chest arched & shoulders back (just like a bench press)
  • Wrists over elbows in the bottom
  • Touchpoint: top of the pecs (just under the collarbone)
  • Gaze at point on the ceiling
  • Breathe & pause at the top
  • Seat: flat or slightly elevated
  • Bench: 30 to 60 degree angle
  • Lock out over shoulders
  • Bar path is straight up & down
  • Drive back and up out of the bottom

What is the Incline Bench Press

This lift incorporates the support of the bench press but at an angle in between the press and bench press. It requires an adjustable bench press, which may prevent home gym lifters from including this in their program.

The adjustability of the bench itself offers variability within the exercise. A lifter can set the back support at a more horizontal angle, more closely mimicking the bench press, or at a more vertical angle, more closely mimicking the overhead press. 45 degrees should offers a happy medium and likely the go-to angle for this exercise.

The incline bench press is an accessory lift that allows for considerably more weight than the press but less than the bench press. Because of the more vertical angle of the bar path, the pectoralis major contribute less than in a flat bench press.

The bar path is considerably more vertical than with the bench press with a closer touch point that used in the bench press (top of the pecs, just beneath the collarbone).

Programming the Incline Bench Press

We tend to program these for more advanced lifters looking for variety and an additional hypertrophy stimulus. Another group who may benefit from this exercise are those lifters who might struggle to get up from a completely supine position or suffer from shoulder pain from the standing overhead press.

These can be performed for high intensity, similar to the bench press or press, but typically are performed for higher repetition sets, such as 2-5 x 6-15.

These are generally performed near the end of the workout, after the bigger barbell movements have been performed, and they can be performed in a circuit or in a superset with other exercises.

If these replace the bench press or press as a primary lift, they may be performed at the beginning of the workout with higher intensities and lower repetition sets.

If you’re an advanced athlete looking to build bench press and press or looking for more pressing volume OR a lifter looking to replace the press or bench press with a higher intensity variation, consider using the incline bench press.

Click HERE to watch an in-depth video on the barbell bench press and HERE to read about the muscles trained in the bench press.




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