T Nation

I Don't Incline Press


i did try it once with dumbells. i dont know if the incline was quite right because i could not lock out light weight. i know from observation that one cannot use as much weight when as on a flat bench. but this was like a mechanical, leverage sort of problem. halfway through every rep i just could not lock out w/o alot of effort. i worked out long enough to know if someting is too heavy, and it wasnt. so i never tried incline pressing since then. but i see that everybody does so i am wondering if i am missing anything. i bench press and do overhead pressing so do i really need to add a third angle of pressing?


how steep of an incline are you using? is it an adjustable bench or fixed in your gym?

what weight are you flat pressing vs. trying to incline?


it was a long time ago and i did not have a protractor with me. it was adjustable and not very low. i thought it was perfectly between lying and sitting. i wanted to try it out with dumbells before commiting to the barbell. the dumbells were less than fifty pounds. probably forty. i could lift seventy pound dumbells once or twice on a flat bench at the time.


hm, so from what you're saying it was like 45 deg... try 60 maybe? its closer to a seated shoulder press, i think you may have been too far reclined

id take my advice with a grain of salt until someone huge comes along to help, but thats just my two cents from experience


We can assume he doesnt have trouble locking out a flat bench press from his post. And he's stated that he was doing his incline with 45 degree bench and having trouble at the lockout.

And your advice is to INCREASE the angle??? Please explain.

OP post a video. This kind of question is almost impossible to answer based on your information. Do you have any problems with military press? Can you do "broomstick stretches" (google it)?

What was stopping you from locking out? Were you trying to bring the dumbells together or just press them straight up? Were you pressing the dumbells perpendicular to your body or perpendicular to the floor?


A vid would make things easier here, for sure. Sounds like your trying to keep the dumbbells out wide, though (already referred to above). It can be hard to lock out that way.

Keep them wide until near-lockout, then bring them together.


I dont think bringing them together makes it easier at all. If anything, that requires more coordination. I incline press dumbells as if Im pressing a bar. Bringing dumbells that weigh 120 or more together just isnt efficient at some point.


so the answer to my question is that incline pressing is important?
i havent done it in a long time but keeping my arms wide does not seem like something i would do. when i flat press i have a very tight arch and keep my elbows tucked. which i think i am the only person that does that. everybody else presses the dumbells so casualy regardless of the weight.
i am sorry i dont have a video since i dont do it, and dont really intend to since i already do bench pressing and overhead pressing. unless a veteran would tell me if i am incorrect.
i dont have trouble with overhead pressing. well a bit too much arch when i press the 65 pound dumbells


Ok so then dont do it. That was simple enough, I guess.


I dunno, Bonez. Locking out with the bells held out wide fucks with my elbows. I have to at least finish with my arms perpendicular to the ground.


Inclines are important for developing thickness in the upper chest, preventing the saggy titty look. You should do some sort of incline pressing, but not necessarily with dumbbells.


My arms are perpendicular to the ground the whole time. What do you mean?

I basically press the dumbells as if I was holding a bar. From point A to point B is straight up. I save the arc motion for power flyes or whatever type of machine fly


lockouts with anything is a bad idea. When you lockout, you put a lot of unnecessary stress on the joint of that particular region. But you can get full extension without locking out. I personally am a fan of bringing the dumbbells together, i feel its the advantage of dumbbells over bars. Basically all my reps with dbs shape a triangle (starting out, the Dbs at the bottom, your elbows forming the lowering points of a triangle, then you press it up to the top, making the apex of it). But, as Bonez said, when get to about 120+, i stop. More for the fact that trying to press that kinda weight up at an angle is dangerous lol


A. "alot of effort" get used to it. if you arent putting a lot of effort in, you are wasting time.

B. What does what you said tell us? You're weak in this area and your curious as to if you should train it? I kinda think that answers itself, wouldn't it?


I was talking about upper arms, not forearms. Forearms stay perpendicular at all times. I press fairly wide to keep more tension on my pecs, but I bring them in at the top. Not to the point of the bells touching, but enough to take the strain off of my elbows. To be more clear, they end up with my hands, elbows, and shoulders in a straight line perpendicular to the floor.


Can you give a more detailed description here? I've heard this before and I think I'm doing it the way you're talking about, but I'm not sure.

I end up with little to no strain on the muscles, but my elbows are in a sort of 'neutral' position instead of being slightly hyper-extended.


You guys think locking out in general is pretty much always a bad idea only in relation to joint health?

What about in terms of building muscle? Does it have any affect on your gains? I pretty much just focus on creating as much force as possible during the concentric portion and never really worried too much about if I was locking the barbell/DB out or not.


^^^ Except for Deadlifts


It depends. Sometimes its good to lock out a lift. Other times not so good. There are ways to lock out a weight without destroying your elbows. Guys have bench pressed 1000lbs to lockout. Locking out without controlling the weight can be dangerous.

I honestly couldnt even tell you if I lock out during my heaviest pressing. All of my attention is on getting the dumbells up. I can not worry about whether I locked out or not.


inclines are absolutely unnecessary unless you're a body builder with a poor upper chest due to genetics.

stay away from it.