Flat bench pressing is widely known to be one of the best exercises for overall chest development, if performed correctly. But, by using either an incline or decline bench press, you can target more specific areas of the chest, namely the upper chest with an incline, and the lower chest with a decline.
In this article I’ll focus on explaining the incline.
We’ll start with how it’s done:
Set your bench up in an incline position. Un-rack the barbell with a regular overhand grip wider than shoulder width as you would in a normal bench press. Keeping your forearms straight underneath the barbell, bring the bar down to your upper chest – across clavicle. Press the barbell straight up and lower slowly. Repeat.
If you’ve never tried the incline bench press before it will take some getting used to. It can feel very strange benching so high up on the chest in an incline position when you are not used to it. Also, don’t be too surprised or disheartened if you find you can’t bench nearly as much as you can in a flat position. In fact, I encourage you to start out very light until you get the hang of it, but even then, you will be much more limited poundage wise in the incline than flat bench press.
That’s because the lower chest and the lats are less involved in the lift, putting the stress more on the anterior deltoids, triceps and the upper chest.
As with any type of bench press, for another variation you can try using dumbbells instead of a barbell.
This type of bench pressing should also help you to raise your poundage in the flat bench press, too.