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Best Bench Angle to Hit Upper Chest?


for chest i do weighted dips and inc db press .currently im pressing at 40 degrees i do feel it in the upper chest but just wandered what you guys thought , is this steep enough or too steep ?


I always go low incline, any higher puts too much strain on my shoulders. i usually go 25 or 30 degrees roughly.


15-30 degrees tops, pressing with a slight upward arcing motion (instead of a straight path of press) will recruit your upper chest fiber much better than traditional angle with a straight push.



I agree stu, going in on an arch takes the pressure off the triceps and focuses the move more on chest is this why? i started doing this instead of going straight up and it feel better on the chest. same as shoulder pressing.


do you mean an arch as in a sort of fly motion or as in arching the db's towards the head ?


bring them in at an arch instead of pressing them straight up , going straight up is working your triceps at the top when you dont want to, bringing them in puts all emphasis on the chest.


thanks guys i'll be doin chest on sunday . ill try what you suggested n let you know


for what its worth, i do incline db on the lowest pin setting on the adjustable bench. not sure of the exact degree, but its only just off horizontal. its hasnt taken that long for the upper part of my chest to actually be defined with the >< kind of cut visible. Before that i used a fix bench approx 40 degrees and i just got sore shoulders and no chest gain.


I mean arcing slightly towards your head during the concentric portion of the ROM (with a bar, or with dumbells). Many people bring the weight (bar) down to their upper chest, and then press straight upward. However, if you bring the bar lower on your pecs at the bottom, you will find that you get a much fuller stretch throughout your pec region, especially in the upper portion (Yates mentioned this somewhere). Now, when you press upward, in an arcing path in order to get the bar above your head, you will feel a better contraction from the muscles just below your collar bone.



My favourite upper chest exercise is the low-incline dumbbell press.
I set the bench at 15 degrees. Anything over 30 and it will be much more of a shoulder exercise.
Another thing I discovered is, that I feel my chest much better if I start with a hammer/parallel grip at chest level and then rotate during the pressing movement. Most people I see do it the other way round.


Like most I press at an angle of roughly 30-35 degrees. Lately I've been lowering the barbell or dumbbells towards the base of my neck. I use a lighter weight and slower, safer reps but I feel the stretch in my upper chest and it has been working for me.

Stu's point about lowering the bar towards the bottom of the pec is a good idea and will certainly try that soon.


32.91 no more no less


You want to lower the weight in a natural path. I feel best at about 45 from the trunk. I agree on the angle of the bench. Not too much. If you strive to keep the forearms perpendicular with the ground, there will be a upward path, as well as a slight circular path.
Have someone poke you in the upper chest when doing these. It really does work. Works well with lats too.


this is why i started doin delts on a different day , when id try delts after pecs id be weak on military press but i put that down to the dips .
you live n learn .


I set my bench to hole 2, whatever that incline is ha. I'd guess around 30 degrees.


Look at Stu's upper chest compared to everybody else's in this thread...

listen to Stu.



I credit the majority of my upper chest development to the more "traditional" (35ish degrees) angle for incline dumbbell presses. That said, I now do the lower incline (15ish degrees) on my 2nd chest day now. Personally I don't think I'd replace the higher incline with just the low incline but that's just me and for my peace of mind, lol.


Low Incline DB Press work well if you have never tried them. If your gym doesn't have benches that go below 30 degress, you can put two or three 45lb plates under a flat bench to make an incline - I do this.


i worked my chest (db press's) with the 30 deg angle that most of you guys suggested . only 10 deg difference but felt it alot more afterwards in my chest .
plus that little tip from stu about slightly archin the db's and startin lower down the trunk kicks arse .
cheers boys


Anybody tried doing low incline guillotine presses with a wide grip in the smith? I seen a video of Ruhl doing them. Looked liked they hit the upper chest great.