In my last article I explained how to flat bench press correctly.
Now let’s take a look at how to incline bench press in a way that really stimulates the upper portion of the pecs.
Firstly, understand that inclines are very important to emphasize the line of separation between the pecs. Without developing your upper chest, the line disappears making things appear a little flat.
Check out this short video clip…
(1) Now, the first point is that it is NOT necessary to incline the bench at a high angle. In fact, the first hole up from the ‘flat’ position will do nicely. Stimulating the upper chest is more about where you lower the bar to, rather than the angle of the bench.
(2) Set yourself up to be strongest. Grab the bar where it feels most comfortable to you. Not too wide, not to narrow is best.
(3) Lower the bar quite slowly and under control to recruit the upper chest muscle fibers.
(4) Don’t bounce the weight off your chest at the bottom of the movement. Have the bar lightly touch the chest to ensure proper form.
(5) Lower the bar to the point just below where the pecs meet your chest bone (sternum) at the top. If you already have a nicely developed chest, this will be just below the ‘V’ point at the top. Don’t lower to the neck or mid-chest.
(6) Needless to say, you shouldn’t be arching your back. Make sure your upper back and butt are in constant contact with the bench. Also, ensure that your feet are flat on the floor.
(7) It should take about 2 seconds to lower the bar and 1-2 seconds for the drive up.
(8) This is not a complicated movement. Don’t focus on the weight, just focus on steadily increasing that load over time. As I say in T.A.2.0, the muscles don’t know absolute poundages.
(9) When you can hit 12 reps on any set, increase the load by the smallest increment available to you.
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Loving this series Mark, though I am tempted to send you a white backdrop and some lighting (if only I had them lying around) 😉
Very useful tips.
Thanks again, Chris.
The only bright one was the EZ bar curls, which was shot indoors. Most of the vids will be shot in my garage/gym. By the time I get back from work, it’s already dark, what can I tell ya? LOL
Thanks for the demo, Mark. You’ve a great chest, thick arms too!
Will start to bring the bar to the right point from now on!
Hey Mark, great video and good job documenting the correctly performed exercises. Also thanks for clearing up my misconception on the angle required and to focus on the movement!
@ Bry & Flest. Thanks!
Yeah, I didn’t know that about the angle of the bench so thats nice to know. The videos and the descriptions are really useful.
Hi Mark – I love the fact that you include videos with your advice. It makes a huge difference, especially for newbies. We had a related post on this at https://worldfitnessnetwork.com/2008/04/incline-bench-press-form-arching/ .
thanks mark for providing such valuable info to us!!!
im following ur workout plan,but i feel lil bit my right chest is bigger than left.so plz clarify my doubt dude!!!
Actually bench pressing with elbows tucked is more “optimal” in a powerlifting fashion, benching with arms in L shape puts too much stress on the shoulders. Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUcjOIZc80c