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Incline Dumbbell Press Form

Up until recently, I’ve only used flat bench press and machine flies for chest development and progress has stalled.

My upper chest as you can imagine, lacks development as a result of not using incline.

I have two major issue with form when performing incline dumbbell presses and need advice on fixing them.

First, I can never tell if the dumbbells are going straight up. I know I’m supposed to be able to feel extra strain on my delts (or abs if they go over the other way) if it isn’t going straight up, but I can’t really tell.

Second, I feel like other muscles such as my delts or arms give out before my chest does. I also feel like I’m stretching my chest and shoulders too far back. I thought it might be a weight issue, but lowering the weight below what I’m using now does nothing for me.

Any ideas?

Do them first in your routine.

The bench angle should be 35 degrees or lower.

Scapulae need to be retracted. And the dumbells should move in a slight arc motion.

If you can’t tell if they’re going straight up just look in the mirror and check or have someone tell you or have someone video you.

I’m also not sure where the dumbells could be going if they aren’t going up. If you are able to press them anywhere close to perpendicular from your torso you are using extremely light weights.

Other muscles are giving out because you aren’t actually hitting your chest while doing the movement OR those are the weak links OR both.

I’d recommend using preexhaust techniques but I don’t think you have the mind muscle connection developed enough for that to work yet. That is purely speculation and not meant to be an insult.

How wide apart are the dumbells througout the first 2/3s of the motion. Imagine doing a barbell press with the grip you’d normally use. You want the dumbells to be a similar distance. The closer they get the more your triceps will get involved. Many people using the small dumbells don’t realize how close together they are keeping them.

As the dumbells get bigger it becomes impossible to do ‘close grip’ db press but by that point the person has probably figured it out if he got to be able to handle the big ones in the first place.

edit

If your failing early because the other muscles are getting tired you can try using more weight but doing fewer reps with extra sets. Not powerlifting style. You still need to be able to handle the weights to feel your chest contracting. Increase the poundages slightly. Don’t take any of the sets to failure.

You’re supposed to feel the chest muscle stretching.

Maybe try doing incline barbell presses to learn the correct groove, before moving to dumbell presses?

go really slow and controlled with whatever dumbells you can for like 12 reps. focus on using the chest to move the weights.

mind muscle it up. completely focus on your pecs the entire time. dont let anyone/thing distract you even for a second during your set. stare at her ass when you’re resting.

So I took the advice on slow reps and it has been helping (I’m pretty solid on presses straight up), but it still feels like my shoulders and forearms give out out first, which is very strange. I’m definitely working the chest and triceps, but I don’t feel it nearly as much as the arm/shoulders.

Also, there is soreness/pain in the shoulder joint when i perform this as well as the day after. It isnt delt soreness, so im pretty sure my elbows are going way too lower and over-stretching.

Next I will try Bonez’s suggestion about higher weight, lower rep to feel it out.

[quote]Dangles wrote:
So I took the advice on slow reps and it has been helping (I’m pretty solid on presses straight up), but it still feels like my shoulders and forearms give out out first, which is very strange. I’m definitely working the chest and triceps, but I don’t feel it nearly as much as the arm/shoulders.

Also, there is soreness/pain in the shoulder joint when i perform this as well as the day after. It isnt delt soreness, so im pretty sure my elbows are going way too lower and over-stretching.

Next I will try Bonez’s suggestion about higher weight, lower rep to feel it out.[/quote]

If you are having shoulder pain i strongly recommend you figure out what it is or what is causing it before trying heavy presses.

google YTWL and start doing those, they can help anyone.

nail your form before going heavy, it will only set you back in the long run.

i know this because i went heavy without having excellent form and had to go back lighter and really focus on form.

get a repeatable motion. every rep should look the same, feel the same, etc. mind muscle connection is so important also.