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So set up for this the way you would for any bench press: Dumbbells directly above shoulders, then drive your shoulders hard into the bench (to tighten your shoulder blades). The dumbbell version of the incline press is especially beneficial for correcting strength imbalances between each side of your body. Men's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. When you are fatigued toward the end of a set or if you're trying to lift more weight than you should, you may find yourself straining and over-arching your back to try to force the dumbbells upward. Functionally, the dumbbell incline press transfers naturally to a range of pushing and pressing motions, such as pushing open a heavy door or putting groceries away on elevated shelves. Unlike the more traditional flat bench press, the incline press shifts the focus of the movement to the upper portion of the pectoral muscle groups and the front of the shoulder. The bigger the angle, the more the exercise will engage the shoulders. Even if you're familiar with the incline barbell press, you may still need to decrease your weight for the dumbbell version of the exercise. Let Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. You should be able to complete between 8 and 12 repetitions with the weight you select for a typical workout routine. Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts: Get exercise tips to make your workouts less work and more fun. If you've been doing dumbbell bench press or incline barbell press for a while, you probably have a good idea of how much weight you can handle for these exercises. This exercise will help you develop the baseline strength required for the movement while also starting to engage the stabilizing muscles of the shoulders without isolating each shoulder independently. Bulletproof Chest: Inclined Dumbbell Press, Bench Press, Floor Press, & Incline Press, Incline Press Challenge Rocks Your Chest and Core. Read on to learn about potential issues as well as how to avoid them. Relax your neck against the bench. This type of single-sided exercise requires your core to engage to prevent your non-working side from rotating toward the side you're working. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with hands positioned at your shoulders, elbows bent and angled down below your ribs. Focus on keeping your wrists straight so that they're perpendicular to the ground throughout the exercise to prevent wrist injury. We may earn a commission through links on our site. If you find yourself over-arching your back from the get-go, choose a lighter set of dumbbells. The most important thing to remember when performing the incline dumbbell press is to select an appropriate weight for your strength level, which is probably less than you think. Eb says: You'll see a lot of people arching their backs when they bench-press period — and it's that much more important on the incline press. The 60 Best Black Friday Deals to Check Out Now, My Secret to Navigating COVID-19 Mental Health, 8 Reasons to Quit Your Phone This Holiday Season, No, Vitamin C Supplements Will Not Save Us All, The Hypervolt GO Is the Mini Massage Gun You Need. Selecting a weight that's too heavy typically leads to other common mistakes, which can undercut your efforts or result in injury. Instead of overlifting, reduce the weight you are lifting until you can complete the exercise without any bouncing. Eur J Sport Sci. This happens because they misunderstand the purpose of the press. and associate fitness editor Brett Williams guide you through the move's subtleties, saving you from the bad habits that are keeping you from unlocking your fitness potential. Also Known As: Incline chest press, incline dumbbell chest press, Equipment Needed: Dumbbells and an incline bench. The dumbbell incline press targets the upper portion of the chest—specifically, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major—an area of the chest that's almost completely unengaged during other common chest exercises, like the traditional bench press, incline pushups, and chest fly. Brace your core and press both dumbbells straight up over your chest as you exhale. You can also engage your core more substantially by performing the exercise as a single-arm kettlebell incline press. Due to the uneven weight distribution of kettlebells (the "bell" portion weighs more than the handle of the equipment), it requires more stability and control to perform the exercise correctly. Using a bouncing movement to gain momentum to help propel the weight up again is essentially cheating. Use only one kettlebell at a time, performing a full set with your right arm before switching to your left arm. The dumbbell incline press can be an essential addition to your training routine to help build a bigger, stronger upper chest, but are you sure you're even doing the exercise correctly? Also, your efforts will be shortchanged. Let's break down everything you need to know. Doing a chest press on a flat bench positioned at 0-degrees targets the middle of your pecs. Armed with an incline bench and a pair of dumbbells, this exercise can bolster your entire upper body fitness routine. Turn your elbows slightly forward and you're ready to go. Again, you're here to open up the upper arm angle relative to torso, not to just simply lie on the bench in different fashion. Generally speaking, you should set your bench between 30- and 45-degrees. They shouldn't splay out to the sides, pointing toward the side of the room. If you have ongoing shoulder pain, attempt the exercise on a machine or with a barbell before trying it with dumbbells. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, How to Do the Kettlebell Front Rack the Right Way, How to Use Drop Sets to Build More Muscle, Blow Up Your Biceps With the Preacher Curl. This allows for greater hypertrophy (muscle growth) of the upper chest when the exercise is performed regularly.. Cocking your wrists backward while holding the dumbbells—forming a 90-degree angle between the back of your hand and forearm—may not seem like a big issue, but holding the dumbbells this way puts a lot of strain on your wrists. If your bench is adjustable, set the incline to between 30- to 45-degrees. How to do a Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell) with proper exercise form. The dumbbell incline press is generally a safe exercise, but it does require a baseline level of strength, and it shouldn't be attempted if you're brand-new to strength training. Laura Williams is a fitness expert and advocate with certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. All you need to perform the incline dumbbell press is an incline bench or an adjustable bench and a set or two of dumbbells. Also known as the incline dumbbell bench press, the incline dumbbell press builds size and strength in your chest, specifically targeting the upper chest. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. Selecting a lighter weight helps ensure you'll be able to complete the exercise safely. Sit on the bench and lean back. You're here for the press back up explosively, and the squeeze at the top of each rep. So keep your core tight and glue your butt to the bench. This exercise is otherwise performed in the same way as the incline dumbbell press, but you're pressing kettlebells with each hand, rather than dumbbells. If you wanted to stretch your chest fibers? Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. The trick, though, is selecting the right angle to work the muscles you want to strengthen. At the top of the movement, the dumbbells should almost touch each other and your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. Keep your feet flat on the floor. If using dumbbells or isolating each shoulder independently doesn't work for you, you can modify the exercise and still get similar results. Aim to complete sets of 8 to 12 reps. Start with one set and work up to two to three sets over time as you build strength. There is a natural arch in your back that should be there while performing this press exercise. J Strength Cond Res. If you're aiming to hit the clavicular fibers of your chest (your upper chest), you need to create a wider upper arm angle relative to torso. Eb says: One of the most common mistakes on the incline press occurs when people slightly press out in front of them instead of pressing straight up. If you find yourself straining toward the end of a set, ask a friend to spot you as you lift. Your goal should be to lower the dumbbells as until your elbows are below your shoulders at least, and you should be able to own and control this position. But if you can't touch your shoulders, it's OK. Once your elbows have dipped below your chest and you've proven you own this position, press back up explosively. The barbell exercise targets the same muscle groups in the same way but doesn't require the unilateral control that the dumbbell press requires. Reverse the movement and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the top of your chest as you inhale. Generally speaking, 30-degrees is the ideal angle for hitting the upper portion of the chest. Only one kettlebell at a time, performing a full set with your right arm switching! Page to help users provide their email addresses more of the stabilizing muscles of the.... Groups in the same way but does n't require the unilateral control that the dumbbell incline press be. See video form, written instructions and helpful tips created and maintained by a party... You inhale exercise form bench or an adjustable bench and a set dumbbells. Barbell before trying it with dumbbells experience sharp or shooting pain at any point during the exercise engage! Hands positioned at 0-degrees targets the middle of your chest, but n't. 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