T Nation

Incline Bench Presses

When doing incline bench presses, what degree of incline do you guys use? In addition, what is the best way of estimating the incline of an incline bench?

I change the Angle all the time from like 30 to 50

To hit the upper chest - 25 degrees or less. Any more than 25 degrees and your shoulders are getting the most stimulation–not upper chest!

any higher than about 30 degrees and you’ll be working your delts. The problem is a lot of gym’s barbell incline benches are too high. Seems like the gym owner wanted to get the most for his money and not shell out for a bench that was only 15 degrees. The best way to estimate? Hold your palm facing the wall. That’s 90 degrees (military). A flat bench, palm facing the floor, is 0 degrees. So tilt your hand halfway. That’s 45. Now tilt your hand half way between 45 and the ground. That’s where you should be. Usually on adjustable incline benches, it’s the lowest setting. You could just put a 45 plate or two under the head end of a bench.

Thanks guys…The problem is that my gym’s incline benches go to about 70 degrees and it makes it difficult to estimate how high the bench should be. Any lower than 45 degrees and i have to practically climb onto the bench.

I was always a very lousy flat bencher. However, when I raised the bench for as little as 15 degrees, I saw tremendous improvement in all parameters. So, anywhere between 15 and 30.

Ideally you want a bench that inclines as high as 90 degrees and decreases in 5 degree increaments. I personally prefer using the incline between 50-30 degrees. Every gym has benches that udjust to variety of angles. I would never stick to just one. Good Luck!