Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
- Begin by sitting on a bench that is inclined to your liking (generally 45 to 60 degrees).
- Carefully place the weights on your knees (If the weight is heavy, you may have to knee the weights into position). If the dumbbells are balanced correctly, your grip should not need to be firm on the handles (though it may be if you'd like). Once in position, the elbows should be pointing outward and the dumbbells should be positioned wider than shoulder width.
- Lower the weight in a controlled manner to the nipple line, inhaling throughout the movement. (It is conventionally thought best to pause briefly at the bottom of the movement and not to rest the weight on your chest).
- Press and extend the arms, while exhaling throughout the movement.
- Repeat motion (Sets should generally fall between 3 to 6 with 6-12 repetitions).
Various Methods of Exercise: Dumbbells, Barbells, Machines, or Cables
When in the down position and the elbows fall below the level of the shoulders the anterior deltoids become much more involved. Allowing the elbows to drop low in this manner can effect the strength of the lift and may cause injuries in some. If strengthening the chest (pectorals) is the goal, then it is recommended that the elbows remain at or above horizontal in this lift.
As with any pressing motion, your elbows are susceptible to injury. The best way to avoid injury, as always, is proper form. Remember to not "lock out" your elbows in the extended position. This means that before you press to the point where you cannot press any further, stop - that is, keep an ever-so-slight bend in your elbow at the top point (extension) of the movement. This won't be a concern for everybody because as was discussed earlier, everybody's body is unique in make up. So, if you aren't experienced enough to determine if this motion is a possible point of injury, just don't do it. Refraining from complete flexion by just a fraction will not detract for you training or overall strength and may very well prevent an unnecessary and possibly long-lasting injury.
This myth pertains to women. A common myth that has propagated over the years is that doing incline presses can tone the breasts, and thereby prevent sagging. This is false. Breasts are fat - more exactly, they are comprised of adipose tissue, which is a sort of connective tissue. However, as is obvious, the more lean and healthy an individual is, the more likely they are to be pleased with the aesthetics of their appearance and overall feeling of well being.