Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

  1. Raise the bench to a 30 - 45 degree angle
  2. Lay on the bench and set your feet on the ground.
  3. Raise the dumbbells with straight arms then slowly lower them to about shoulder width.
  4. Raise them again until your arms are locked and at the starting position again.
Grips Overhand
Mechanic Compound
Force Push
Difficulty Beginner

How To Perform The Dumbbell Incline Bench Press


Setup

Set an incline bench at around 30° high. Any higher than 30°, and the tension will go to your anterior deltoid as opposed to your upper pecs. A low incline is all you need. 


Getting the dumbbells into position for an incline bench press can be challenging. You've got a couple of options here.

  1. Start with the dumbbells sitting vertically on your quads. Push one leg up toward the ceiling and get your elbow underneath the dumbbell. Then repeat on the other leg with the other dumbbell as you fall back onto the bench. 
  2. Have a gym partner help out. If you're going to have someone help. Make sure they either grab your wrists or the dumbbells themselves to help you get into position. Some people have a tendency to push the elbows up in order to get the dumbbells in position for this move. This can be dangerous as the dumbbell might fall laterally one direction, or another.


Make sure both feet are planted firmly on the ground. Push your toes through the front of your shoes. This will generate some tension through your quads and keep you more stable. 


Like any other bench press, pull your shoulder blades back and dig them into the bench. Also point your ribs up toward the ceiling, giving yourself a minor arch in your spine. 


Performing 

Press the weights up toward the ceiling to initiate your first rep. Extend your elbows, but do not fully lock them out. As you perform the eccentric, maintain a 45° angle between your upper arm and torso. Your elbows should not be flared all the way out, or tucked all the way in, but in the middle between the two. 


Stop the eccentric when your elbows are even with your torso or slightly behind your torso. The pecs are not designed well to function when your upper arm travels behind your body. Because the pecs are two lengthened in this position, they will not be able to generate force properly. All the tension from the dumbbells will go onto your shoulder joint instead of your muscles. 


Getting from underneath the dumbbells at the end of the set can be challenging as well. You also have two options here. 

  1. If you end the set by completing your last rep, meaning your elbows are extended and the dumbbells are away from your body, turn your fists into a neutral position, lift your legs up touching the dumbbell to your quads, and then roll your entire body forward. This can take some practice, so try it with light dumbbells first.
  2. If you end the set not having completed your final rep, meaning the dumbbells are against your chest, then you have no choice but to dump the dumbbells off of you onto the ground. Be very careful with this. Do your best to control the weights as you get them off of you, so they do not bounce. If the dumbbells bounce off the floor and land on someone's foot, you have an issue on your hands. Some gyms don't want any dropping of weights at all. Try to set them down as gently as possible, but don't injure yourself in the process.