Incline barbell bench press directly relates to the chest workout. Among the so called “three different parts of the pecs”, incline bench press targets mainly upper pecs. It is a fairly stubborn part for many out there to grow. But with proper nutrition and training, you can put more effort in the area. In this post, we will talk about the exercise incline barbell bench press, its targeted areas, alternatives and how you can increase the weights.
The majorly targeted and main muscle group is your upper chest or pectoralis major. This muscle is attached to the clavicle and humerus bone or the upper arm. It involves the front delt and triceps as the secondary or the stabilizing muscles.
The incline barbell bench press is perfect to target the upper chest due to the angle of attack and range of motion. The triceps provide the extra strength to push through the motion while every pushing movement in front involves front delt. And the matter of fact is these upper chest and front delts are so closely situated that they assist each other.
Setup for the Workout
The setup part is fairly simple and requires little adjustment with different body type.
- Adjust the bench between 30 to 45 degree angle.
- Maintain the points of contact with the bench namely
- Your feet flat on the ground
- Glutes stuck to the bench
- Traps glued to the bench
- Little arch in the lower back.
- Now pull retract your shoulder blades back
This is it for the setup part. Following these instructions, you have successfully put yourself in a stronger position to press.
How to Perform the Exercise
Now as you have done well with the setup, lets start the movement.
- With your shoulder blades retracted and lower back arched, it is important to maintain this through out the movement.
- It is difficult to unrack the weight with the position, so, ask a friend to unrack the weight for you.
- With barbell vertically above your chest, this is your starting position.
- Slowly lower the bar to the clavicle bone area not above the neck.
- Lift up after the bar touches your chest.
- That’s 1 repetition for you.
- Continue the movement for intended number of reps.
Things to Remember while Performing the Exercise
- Keep your elbow slightly forward, not flared out while lowering the weight.
- Do not bounce off the bar on your chest.
- Always do controlled movement.
- Doing less reps is perfectly fine then bouncing off the weight uncontrollably.
- Always wrap your fingers, all 5 of them around the bar. Don’t use false grip.
- Lift weights you can control.
Also read: Chest Workout Plan with Dumbbells
Alternatives to Incline Barbell Bench Press
As an alternative to the barbell, you can as well use other machine and weights. Some of the alternatives are as follows:
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: Just substitute barbell with dumbbells. You will get longer range of motion and find it more challenging to stabilize.
- Incline Machine Press: There are number of machines that mimic the barbell version of the bench press. It makes it easier to focus on desired muscles.
- Incline Hammer Strength Press Machine: Hammer strength machine works great to target the muscles. Sadly it may or may not be available in your gym, but it is awesome alternative.
- Smith Machine: You can setup a incline bench and basically mimic the barbell version without having to stabilize the barbell.
How to Improve Incline Barbell Bench Press
The strength and weight you put on the press will increase with time. But if you are having hard time improving you lift, you can follow these tips.
- Strengthen your back as back being the antagonist muscle, helps to stabilize body for the lift.
- Eat more to improve your overall strength.
- Progressively overload over the week
- Increase volume of your chest workout routine.
- Train triceps to help in the upper end portion of the press.
- Workout with guys stronger than you. This will help you push through the movement effectively.
Concluding Factors For the Exercise
If you too have your upper chest lacking, you can follow this tips to improve or if you are beginner, you can learn the proper way to perform the exercise. Basically, this topic is helpful to everyone out there searching for info on this exercise. Leave your ego out of the gym and be loyal to what your body can lift. Be injury free and be healthy. Follow bodybuilding.com for other details on the workout.