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Incline Dumbbell Press

What Is An Incline Dumbbell Press?

How To Do An Incline Dumbbell Press

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The incline dumbbell press is the dumbbell variation of the barbell incline bench press and uses an incline or adjustable bench rather than an incline bench rack. The exercise involves pressing dumbbells from the chest by extending the arms up, while sitting at a 30 to 45 incline.

Primarily targeting the chest muscles, the dumbbell incline press will activate the pectorals, triceps, and deltoids. The incline of the bench means that it targets the upper chest and deltoids more, specifically hitting the clavicular head of the pec major. This variation requires more stability and single arm strength compared to the barbell version.

Check out some other chest press variations: close grip bench press, decline dumbbell bench press, single arm chest press,

seated chest press, landmine chest press

Commonly Asked Questions On Incline Dumbbell Press

What Angle Should The Bench Be For An Incline Dumbbell Press?

The incline bench can be set to anywhere between 30 and 45 degrees. The more upright the bench, the more the deltoids are activated, so keeping closer to 30 degrees will keep most of the focus on the pecs.

Does The Incline Dumbbell Press Work Shoulders?

All bench press work the shoulders to some degree, but the incline dumbbell press has a greater focus on the anterior deltoids than other variations. The dumbbell version of the incline bench press is also likely to present less stress for the shoulders than the barbell version. This is due to the more flexible positioning of the dumbbells and shoulders, making it a more comfortable movement for some.

Is Incline Dumbbell Press Compound Or Isolation?

The incline dumbbell bench press utilises multiple joints, which makes it a compound exercise. It’s recommended that compound exercises make up most of a training programme as they’re an effective way to build strength in multiple muscle groups.

Incline Dumbbell Press Tips

You’ll likely find that you’re unable to lift as much weight with the incline as you are with the flat dumbbell press. This is both due to the greater range of motion, and the number of muscle fibres recruited. You’ll also find you’re unable to press as much with dumbbells as you would the incline barbell bench press as there is a greater degree of stability needed.

How To Do An Incline Dumbbell Press

  1. Gripping two dumbbells, sit on an incline bench before slowly lying back and extending your arms so that the dumbbells are above you.

  2. Retract your shoulder blades by pulling your shoulder blades into the bench and pressing through your feet. This should create an arch in your lower back, which helps to protect the shoulder joint.

  3. Take a deep breath in to unrack the barbell and hold it straight above you.

  4. Start the reps by lowering the dumbbells until they lightly touch the mid chest, making sure you keep your elbows tucked rather than allowing them to flare outwards.

  5. Push through your arms, chest and feet and extend the arms to you lift the dumbbells up until your arms are straight and the dumbbells are in line with your chest.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.