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Form Check: Incline Bench Press

Hey guys, I would like a review regarding my incline bench press. I am new to the exercise and it has proven to be difficult weight wise (weight in videos is my 13 or 14 RM push press) and form wise. My concern is about the amount of elbow flare that I have and I would like to know if it is a problem or if I am overthinking this.

Kinda of a weird form check but let’s give it a go.

Are your goals with the incline bench performance/ strong man oriented?

Firstly it’s useless to compare incline bench and push press.

One is a measure of how much you can press through full ROM using your pecs, front delts and triceps while the other is a a measure of how much momentum you can generate with your lower body and lock out with your upper body with a little less chest emphasis.

Tbh your amount of elbow flare/tuck looks fine. Actually looks good to me. Many people flare too much.

If you are strong this way then bench this way. If you are stronger with a bit more flare, a bit less or with different grip widths then bench that way. If you do your competition lifts/events with a certain grip width due that way as its more specific and should carryover better.

Peeps have problems with elbows flare because its shifts load to the shoulders and puts the shoulders in an internally rotated position while abducted which can lead to shoulder impingement and other issues. This is on the flat bench tho. With an incline bench your shoulders/arms are in a different position which makes this less of an issue.

Probably keep your head down when benching. Might be habit for you but its a habit worth breaking. It leaks power and messes with the nice solid pressing base you have. You may see it around a lot in some strong dudes but it’s still a bad habit they’ve gotten strong in spite of it and whether or not it costs them some pounds who knows.

I fully agree, I felt I could benefit from it though.

Yes. No other reason than to improve in strongman. I see a lot of strongman preferring it over flat bench and wanted to give it a try.

True, I just thought it might help put things into perspective but I am probably wrong.

Thanks for the evaluation. I appreciate the input. My shoulder felt fine doing it and also afterwards. It wasn’t that much weight though, so I will have to wait till I complete the training cycle.

Very true! I have been told to keep my head down before but it is super difficult to actually so. Thanks though.

Maybe try to “move” your chest/contact point towards the bar during the descent if you really feel need to move something. Sounds like a bit of a strange cue and you shouldn’t be moving much but its the intention that counts. It’s gold for keeping your pressing base tight.

Is also kinda the opposite of raising your head. Raising your head tends to cave in your chest/arch while cuing “raise the chest to meet the bar” will do the opposite

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You might possibly be bringing the bar a little too low down your chest. The incline is supposed to be straight up and down. It should come to right below your chin and look like it’s on a rail, like on the smith machine.

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Keep the upper back tighter. You are losing a lot of tension by moving your head as others have noted.

A few days ago I hit 6 sets of doubles and filmed three of them as a follow up for this thread. I am trying my best to keep my head down (which is difficult). I also tried to bring the bar down higher on my chest :

Tommorrow or so I will be going for something pretty heavy.

Looks good to me. Is your grip wide enough? Do it feel comfortable? I’ve actually found my incline is stronger when I have a slightly wider grip and lower the bar down low(i.e. The nipple line) which is all pretty much the opposite of most people. It’s all about finding what feels the strongest for you and hitting it with plenty of volume to get the neural pattern down

This actually is significantly wider than my flat bench grip. I seem to be the same as you in that regard, I have to grip wider than usual.

I would use a similar grip to whatever you use for your overhead pressing, rather than comparing it to a flat bench press, because you’re using the incline pressing as an accessory to build your OHP, presumably.

Form looks fine, what you’re doing will make you stronger. What I do is different from this, and I’ll share it, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

I find bringing the bar all the way down to my chest to be very straining when I incline press. Since all my overhead pressing in Strongman involves either an axle or a log, it makes sense to me to either: use these implements for my incline pressing as well, or use a ‘football’ bar for the pressing, or bring the bar to a couple inches above my chest, not all the way down, and press from there. To me, that trains me more specifically for competition purposes. Obviously this isn’t necessary, but I like it.