Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

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Introduction

Type: Strength

Main Muscle Worked: Chest

Equipment: Dumbbell

Level: Beginner

What is the Dumbbell Incline Bench Press?

The dumbbell incline bench press boosts overall strength, enhance muscle hypertrophy, and isolate areas of weakness in the bench pressing movement for most strength, power, and fitness athletes.

The dumbbell press falls within the horizontal pressing domain, which also includes: barbell bench presspush ups, and angular variations (decline, incline, etc which can be found below.)

Regardless of the variation used, bench pressing can be used by coaches and athletes to enhance overall muscular strength and hypertrophy, but also to improve bench press and overall pressing performance.

The incline dumbbell bench press works the top of the chest and the front of your shoulders harder than the standard exercise, boosting the strength of your muscles and increasing the amount you’ll be able to lift when performing the standard flat bench press.

For extra safety, lift heavier weights and support I recommend buying a pair of wrist straps as they help a lot, the ones I use are here: Wrist straps

Muscles Worked in the Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Muscles worked in the incline dumbbell bench press

primary: Pectorals (Chest)

secondary: Triceps

Benefits of the Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

You can increase your range of motion.

To improve your Dumbbell Incline Bench Press and performance, the range of motion is critical. One limiting factor of the traditional Barbell Bench Press is a restricted range of motion, depending on the shoulder width of the athlete.

Researchers found that when participants used dumbbells instead of a barbell, they achieved a much better range of motion during the bench pressing movement.

Increased Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength

Bench pressing as a whole can create some serious strength and hypertrophy gains. No matter the sport, pretty much every lifter could benefit from increases strength and muscle mass. The bench press, as well as the overhead movements are critical for upper body pushing strength development.

By only training overhead pressing movements, you negate a vital movement patterning of the human body, not striking balance with increase pulling and other movement volume. Additionally, many lifters enjoy bench pressing, therefore by allowing a lifter to bench press can increase motivation to train which can lead to long term commitment to increases in upper body strength, front rack positioning, and overall muscle mass.

You don’t necessarily need a spotter.

Going heavy on the Barbell Bench almost always requires a spotter, Unless you leave the weights unlocked on the bar and slide them off, you require a partner when you go toward your one rep max.

A dumbbell, however, can be easily dropped the moment your arms and chest begin to fail you. For athletes who train largely on their own, or who don’t want to bother people in the gym for the occasional spot, reaching for the dumbbells means you can go heavy without dropping the bar on your chest and crushing your sternum.

You can isolate and identify weak spots in your lift.

Your dominant side makes up for your weaker side. Isolating the weight on each arm forces you to confront muscle imbalances in your chest and shoulders.

The Dumbbell Incline Bench Press can help you identify and isolate unilateral deficiencies and imbalances in your upper body.

How to do the Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

If you need a bench which can be flat and in an incline or decline postion one can be purchased here: Benches

How to do the Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  1. 1. Set up a bench at an incline of 30-45°
  2. 2. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back on the bench.
  3. 3. Lift the dumbbells to chest height with your palms facing forwards.
  4. 4. Breathe out and push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended, using your pecs to power the movement. Don’t let the dumbbells touch.
  5. 5. Pause for a second at the top, then slowly bring them back down as you inhale.

Repeat for desired reps.

Mistakes commonly made in the dumbbell Incline bench press

Locking Elbows Suddenly

You can actually  “lock-out” your elbows on the dumbbell incline bench press, although it is the opposite of some safety advice that is usually misguided. You should just make sure that you don’t lock them out very quick.

Bent Back

It is important that when performing the dumbbell incline bench press that you should keep your back straight and brace your abs throughout the exercise instead of performing with a rounded back and careless abs.

Bent Wrists

If you perform the dumbbell incline bench press with bent wrists then your wrists will hurt, this is because gravity pulls the dumbbells down, then pushes your hands back and it will then stretch your wrists past their normal range of motion.

The heavier the weight, the harder the stretch and then the more your wrists will hurt.

Although for extra wrist safety, lift heavier weights and support I recommend buying a pair of wrist straps as they help a lot, the ones I use are here: Wrist straps

Safety when performing the dumbbell incline bench press

You should talk to your doctor or physical therapist if you have had a previous injury or condition involving your shoulders, chest or arms to see if this exercise is suitable for you.

If you have a current injury to your shoulders, you should avoid the bench press. If you feel any shoulder pain during the bench press, put the weights back on the bench press rack and end the exercise.

If you are bench pressing a heavy weight, always get assistance in the form of a spotter. It is also good to use a power rack, which has bars on either side set at the level of your chest. If your lift fails, the bars will prevent the barbell from crushing your chest.

Variations of the Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell flat Bench Press

How to do the Dumbbell flat Bench Press

  1. 1. Lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. 2. Push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up.
  3. 3. Pull your abdominals in, and tilt your chin toward your chest.
  4. 4. Lower the dumbbells down and a little to the side until your elbows are slightly below your shoulders.
  5. 5. Roll your shoulder blades back and down, like you’re pinching them together and accentuating your chest.
  6. 6. Push the weights back up, taking care not to lock your elbows or allow your shoulder blades to rise off the bench.

Repeat for desired reps.

Dumbbell decline bench press

If you need a bench which can be flat and in an incline or decline postion one can be purchased here: Benches

If the incline bench press targets the top of the chest then it should be obvious that the decline dumbbell bench press will target the lower chest muscles, and you might also find with this variation that you can lift more weight when on a decline than with the flat or incline press.

The natural tendency is to let the weights drift back over your head during the lift, so focus on avoiding that. It can be worth having someone check your form when first attempting this move.

How to do the Dumbbell decline Bench Press

  1. 1. Set up a bench so it’s at a 45° angle and sit on the top of the slope.
  2. 2. Lean back (carefully) and bring the dumbbells up to your chest.
  3. 3. Breathe out and push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended, using your pecs to power the movement. Don’t let the dumbbells touch.
  4. 4.Pause for a second at the top, then slowly bring them back down as you inhale.

Repeat for desired reps.

Write below in the comments your opinion on the dumbbell incline bench press, if it works for you and any questions you might have.

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