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Incline Dumbbell Press - Muscles Worked & Benefits

Exercise Type: Multi-joint
Primary Muscles Worked: Chest
Secondary Muscles Worked: Shoulders and Triceps

The Incline Dumbbell Press aims to develop the middle and upper pectoral muscles. With a standard angle of 45 degrees, the incline press shifts the weight to the upper pecs and can also involve the front shoulder muscle. By varying the angle of the incline you can also work the delts. When doing flat or decline bench presses the clavicular head of the pectoralis is essentially ignored. The incline press however, works this section of muscle and also improves overall strength and size of the chest.

Incline Dumbbell Press - Exercise Workout & Technique

  • Adjust the bench to your desired level of incline.
  • Take position on the bench, with your sacrum, head and shoulder blades contacting the bench firmly, and your feet flat on the floor.
  • The natural arch in your lower spine should be maintained throughout the entire exercise.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, as you position yourself on the bench.
  • Pull the shoulder blades together keeping them there throughout the complete movement.
  • Lift both dumbbells up at the same time, with your palms facing forward.
  • Lower the weights using a controlled motion, with your arms moving to about 90 degrees from the body or parallel to the floor.
  • Hold and contract the chest at the peak of the movement.
  • Repeat for the allocated amount of repetitions.
  • The eccentric (down-phase) should be about twice as long as the concentric (up-phase).

Incline Dumbbell Press - Tips & Safety

  • Use conservative, rather than excessively heavy weights initially to get a feel for doing the exercise correctly.
  • Maintain control of the weight throughout the complete movement.
  • Don’t rotate the shoulders throughout this exercise.
  • On completion, do not drop the weights to your side in a lying position as this can put you at risk of rotator cuff injuries.

Incline Dumbbell Press - Alternatives

  • Consider beginning with palms facing each other at the low point, and twisting your wrists as you lift so that the palms face forward at the top, repeating this throughout the exercise.
  • You may also consider doing the oppositeby having palms facing forward at the start position and palms facing together at the low point.
  • Try different angles of incline.
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