Brief Overview

the incline bench press is a variation of the traditional bench press in which the weight is pressed off the chest while the weight lifter is positioned on an incline bench. The incline bench press is an extremely common exercise to anyone with a well designed workout routine that should be incorporated into a chest workout to help develop chest, shoulders, and triceps strength. The incline bench press will also help put extra stress on the upper part of the chest to give your chest a fuller bodybuilder chest look. 

The Incline Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

As you can see from the picture above, the individual is positioned on a bench that is on an incline, typically between 15-25 degrees. 

Getting Set Up


Position yourself on the incline bench with your feet planted solidly on the ground and your back flat against the back support. The seat of the incline bench is most often adjustable, so make sure that it is adjusted to your height so that when seated, the racked barbell is directly overtop of your neck. Proceed to grasp the bar to prepare for the exercise.

Hand Position

The hand position for this exercise is almost the same as to that of the bench press. While seated on the incline bench, extend your arms upwards and grasp the bar at a width slightly wider than shoulder width. It is important that your hands are positioned equal distances from the center of the bar to make sure you can balance the weight once you lift it off the rack. See the following picture of an example of how you should be holding the bar.


The Lift

Once proper positioning is achieved, it is time to begin the exercise. Slowly lift the bar off the rack, this should involve a spotter, and align the weight in a spot directly on top of your chest. Slowly lower the weight down to a point where your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Next, forcefully contract the chest and extend the elbows until the weight has reached the starting position. This is considered one repetition. 

Perform the exercise for the desired number of repetitions and carefully return the weight to the rack with the help of your spotter. 

For a great reference book on the proper form the bench press check out this book written by Sven Lindqvist made specifically to help with learning the bench press and its variations, including the incline bench press.