When it comes to building upper body strength, chances are high that people will go for bench press. And why not! The workout has long been considered one of the best and effective ways to focus not just the chest but also arms and core muscles. 

But amidst the popularity of bench press, people often do not talk about another variation of bench press that is even more effective than its original form. That exercise is none other than an incline dumbbell press. 

Also known as incline bench chest press, this bench press is a worth-while chest builder that works on your deltoid, trapezius, and triceps too. Your chest muscles also get the much-needed pump as you extend your arms up to push the weights up the ceiling. This is why it is also considered one of the best dumbbell exercises you can use for upper body. 

So, if you have been dreaming of getting athlete-like physique and an upper body you can flaunt at the gym or beach, make sure you include incline bench press exercise in your daily workout. That being said, performing an incline bench press perfectly is not an easy task. You need strong muscles and stability to learn the right technique and maintain a suitable form. For this, you will need an expert’s supervision. In case you are doing incline bench press at home, you can take online classes and learn how to perfect an incline dumbbell bench press. 

We have also shared some of the best techniques and tips to ensure you follow the right instructions during incline bench press workout. Keep reading and learn them right away. We have also jotted down some FAQs at the end so make sure you don’t leave the article midway. Let’s start!

How To Do Incline Dumbbell Press

  1. Start by first selecting the right weights. While you can also do incline barbell bench press, we are focusing on dumbbells. So, pick weights that you feel are not too heavy since incline press requires more effort than the basic bench press. 
  2. Next, adjust the bench to an angle of 30-45 degrees. The best angle for incline bench press is 30 degrees but again it can vary depending on your comfort and choice. 
  3. Sit straight on the bench and hold two dumbbells in the creases of your hips.
  4. Slowly lie back on the bench. Your elbows should be close to your and wrists facing away. 
  5. Exhale and engage your core. Your feet should be flat on the floor and the hips on the bench. As you push the dumbbells towards the ceiling, make sure your head is relaxed against the bench and your eyes are focused on the ceiling. 
  6. Pause for a second and slowly lower the dumber back while inhaling. Your upper arms should be slightly past your back and your elbows should make an angle of 45 degrees to your torso.  
  7. Pause again for a second at the bottom of the rep. Repeat. 
  8. As for the sets, try to do at least 3 reps of 5 reps. 
  9. Once you have completed your sets,  gradually sit up and place the dumbbells on your knees. Then, drop them down before you stand up. Rushing to place the dumbbells on the floor can lead to a sudden stretch and also cause injury. 

In case you are doing incline barbell bench press, use a barrack for placing the barbell. and your grip on the barbell should be shoulder-width apart. The other steps are the same as mentioned above. 

Things To Keep In Mind To Ensure A Perfect Incline Dumbbell Press 

Finally, it is time to unveil a few tips or things you should consider to ensure your form and technique of incline bench press exercise is correct. These will also help you if you wish to include incline dumbbell bench press in your home workout: 

  • The Best Angle

The angle you select during your incline dumbbell press plays a vital role in improving its efficiency and enhancing its effects. People often go for an angle between 30-45 degrees. But if you wish to focus on your chest, the best angle for incline bench press would be 30 degrees. It maximizes the clavicular head activation and lets you develop the chest muscles. For focusing on the shoulders as much as the chest, 45-degree incline is suitable. 

  • The Weights

In case you are not sure about your strength and stability, try barbell as weight as it can ensure there is no off balance; thereby reducing chances of an improper form. For dumbbells, it is recommended that you should not lift too heavy weights as this can again lead to instability and excessive stress. This can do more harm than good. 

  • The Wrists

Your wrists need to be at the right position or they can get injured. Make sure they are straight and in line with your forearms. Avoid bending or twisting them backwards when you push the weights up as this leads to unnecessary strain. 

  • The Tempo

When you are performing the incline dumbbell bench press, going swiftly will not be of much help. Instead, going fast will create a stretch reflex. You should try to slow down the process and take at least 3-4 seconds to lower the weight. This will eliminate the stretch reflex and ensure that you exercise harder. 


Can anyone perform incline bench chest press?

Usually, anyone who is in good health condition can perform incline bench press at home or gym. However, they should have an intermediate level of fitness. Also, if they have any back or shoulder injury, they should avoid this exercise. 

What are some safety tips to follow during incline bench press workout: 

Here are a few safety measures to keep in mind: 

  • Always do warm-ups before any strength training to stretch the muscles in advance.¬†
  • If you are a beginner, always perform incline bench press under an expert‚Äôs supervision. It is also suggested that you should use machine weights or a barbell incline press to first build stability and strength before moving to dumbbells.¬†
  • If you notice any discomfort or pain that persists for a long time, consult a doctor.¬†
  • Do not overdo the reps as it can lead to wear and tear in the muscles.¬†
  • Make sure you take at least a day or two days off before working out the same group of muscles.¬†


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December 21, 2021

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