How to Do Incline Bench Press?


Before performing any intense exercise, it is important to ensure the muscles are fully warmed-up as well as moving freely, allowing your movements to improve over time. One can do warm-up movements of the same exercise with no weights on the bar, chest expansions, arm stretches, shoulder rotation or a short treadmill run.


  • A pair of dumbbells/a barbell/Smith machine/weighted plates
  • An incline bench or an adjustable bench

Sets and reps:

3 sets of 10-15 reps each


Intermediate (trainee)

Technique (with dumbbells) :

  • Lie down over your back on an incline bench and hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand with an overhand grip.
  • Lift the dumbbells up directly above your shoulders and join them together at the top and pause for a second.
  • Slowly lower down the dumbbells to your chest. This is one rep.

Tip: If you can’t lift both the dumbbells at the same time then opt for the alternate dumbbell press.

A) Incline bench press with barbell (neutral, wide and close grip):

A barbell helps train both sides of the chest at the same time. Hold the barbell with palms facing away from you and perform a similar movement. Allow the bar to touch just below your chest while lowering down the weight.

You can also target your chest from multiple angles to target different sections of the chest. For a broader chest, hold the barbell wider than shoulder’s width. However, if your goal is to train your inner portion of the chest then hold the barbell with a grip narrower than shoulder-width.

Training your chest with different angles helps in faster results and maximizing the outcomes.

B) Smith machine incline bench press:

This helps the beginners to easily add more weight to the exercise. It is an assistive variation of the basic barbell incline bench press. Put the adjustable bench under the smith machine and set the angle to 45 degrees. Also, set the bar according to your comfort level of lifting-up. Now follow the similar movement of barbell incline bench press.

C) Incline bench press with a weighted plate:

  • Hold the weighted plate in both hands (palms facing each other) while lying on the incline bench.
  • Keep the plate directly on your inner chest and lift it up above your shoulder level.
  • Hold the weight at the top for a few seconds and slowly bring down the plate to the starting position. This is one rep.

Tip: In all the variations, people lower down the barbell to their stomach or near the neck, but not where it should naturally come down to. Keep the weight slightly under the collar bone while lowering it and directly above the shoulders while lifting.



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