T Nation

Bench Confusion

Fellow men and possessors of wisdom. I need a question answered. I’ve always been hesitant to add the incline bench to my routine, and frankly, I’m bewildered by all who argue for or against it. Basically, does the incline work the upper pecs more than the flat bench? Thanks all.

If you perform the incline bench correctly it does work more of the clavicular portion of the pecs. Keep your elbows out and bring the bar down in a straight line just in front of your chin. If you do them this way you won’t need to bring the bar all the way down to your chest as I feel doing so places too much stress on the shoulder joint…just bring it to chin level with elbows out and pause for one or two seconds and press back up. When you press back up it also helps if you push the bar back towards the rack instead of pushing straight up. Remember to concentrate on your pecs and really try to focus on squeezing the upper portion of your pecs on the concentric.

I only do 1 exercise as my horizontal push, but when I do 2 or three cycles of bench and see no performance gain, I switch to low incline with a shoulder width grip. To counter, I use a neutral grip chin. The incline is much easier on my shoulder, I get good response from my triceps, and I get documentable progression. If and when it fails, I switch again. I do bring it low on my chest, so that when it hits my chest, my forearms are perpendicular with the floor.

NO!!! it does NOT. you can NOT iso the
upper pec and work it more than the pec major the reason switching ffrom flat to incline and back to flat may seem to up your bench is because benching w/ a power curve(elbows close dureing negative to lower chest, than elbows flare out and you press the bar over your face as it goes up) puts a lot of presure on your rotator cuff.and when you switch to incline you “give them a litle break” you would be better off doing exercises to strengthen you rotator cuff and eliminate the problem. Benching is NOT a great pec exercise anyway, DIPS are the best pec,delt,tri exercise there is. they fully strech the pecs and at the finish the pecs are almost in the fully contracted position

I’m sorry, but again, it has been shown that an Incline up to 35 degrees hits the clavicular fibers more. Also, it showed that a narrower grip in the incline caused more recruitment. Second, the flat bench bar to clavicles with elbows up high.