The pectoral is one of the muscles most trained by people who go to the gym with the aim of gaining muscle mass. There are numerous exercises to strengthen the pectoral muscles. One of them is the incline press. It is a variant of the classic bench press with a slight degree of incline to place a little more emphasis on the clavicular bundle of the pectoralis.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the incline press.
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When asked why use the incline press as a complement to the traditional bench press, we answer that we must develop the pectorals as completely as possible. To do this, you need to attack the muscle from all angles. Both the incline press and the decline press help create powerful pecs as the muscle is attacked from different angles. The pectoral muscles are divided into the pectoralis major and the clavicle bundle. There is no pectoralis minor as many people think. It is true that there are some exercises that help stimulate the fibers of the lower part of the pectoral more but it only makes sense when said exercise is performed in the same direction as the fibers.
The incline press can be efficiently trained with a standard flat bench. Just add a few discs at the bottom to create a sufficient incline. Keep in mind that the more you incline the bench, the more tension it will take on your shoulders. You have to be careful with the degree of incline of this exercise.
Incline press and muscles
We are going to see which are the muscles involved in this type of exercise. In many gyms it is commonly known as the top press. It is a compound exercise in which several muscles intervene during the performance:
- Pectoralis major
- Anterior deltoids
- Long portion of the triceps
The serratus, the back and the biceps also play a secondary role. These muscles appear very secondarily as stabilizers of the bar in the eccentric phase. An incline press is a necessary thing to include in your routine. And it is that it helps to work from this angle to improve the upper area of the pectorals so that in other exercises it is not stimulated in the same way. We remember that our body understands stimuli and not exercises. Our body interprets the mechanical stress that the load exerts on our body and responds to it by generating new adaptations.
Depending on the variables of the training and the diet that we have in our day to day we can use this type of exercises to enhance the growth of our pectorals. The movement of raising the arms above the head cuts the clavicular part of the pectoralis and means a greater inclination by putting more pressure on the head of the pectoralis and the deltoids.
Typically, the incline press is performed with less weight than a conventional bench press since the deltoid is more directly involved. The incline press it is a must if you are serious about bodybuilding exercises. It can be performed both on a barbell bench and with dumbbells.
Incline press operation
If we do the incline dumbbell press we can lengthen the range of travel and compensate both arms. As we know, there is always one side further behind than the other. Due to the symmetry of our body we tend to correct with our stronger side when we use a bar. On the other hand, when we use the dumbbells we make the stabilizer muscles on both sides act symmetrically to perform a similar movement.
In both exercises, either with a barbell or with dumbbells, it is essential to have a degree of incline. We can use a bench with a fixed inclination and another with different degrees of inclination. This second is more recommended, since on many occasions the inclination is very pronounced and the deltoid is more involved, causing more injuries and reducing the effective work in the clavicular portion of the pectoralis.
Proper degree of inclination
Talking about the best degree of incline in an incline press can backfire for people unfamiliar with this world. In the world of fitness there is neither black nor white. All aspects must be qualified, since there are many variables that influence exercise. However, the appropriate degree of incline for most people with an aesthetic goal is one that maximizes the rate of muscle mass gain and decreases the risk of injury.
Ideally, the bench should be positioned at an angle of about 15-30 degrees. If you do the exercise at a higher incline, the work may be shifting to the wrong muscles. And it is that at higher degrees of inclination the shoulder takes almost all the work. If you are looking to isolate the pectoral this is the best option. However, there are many people who say that exercise is best at a 45 degree incline.
It is best to experiment with different degrees to see how you feel. The most normal thing is that you only have to raise the bench about 2-3 slots, depending on how separated they are from each other according to the type of bank. Each person is different and it is best to adapt the degree of inclination according to the stimulus you perceive. If after finishing the exercise you feel that your shoulders are loaded, it is too high a degree of incline. It will be necessary to decrease the inclination of the bench.
Remember, the angle of the incline bench press will depend on what feels right to you. Take out the bar and practice, to see if you feel the tension in the upper chest or shoulders. However, none of the aforementioned will help you gain muscle mass if there is no sustained calorie surplus in your diet. If an energy surplus in your day to day you will not be able to generate new muscle tissues.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about the incline press and its characteristics.