T Nation

Proper Incline Degrees


for incline bench press, what is the best degree to set your bench at. I've read 30, and 45.


I don't know that I lift to the exact degree, but I prefer 30 over 45. Just seems to be a little easier on my shoulders


doesn't matter.


Well trial and error have dictated to me that 30 is best for the chest, any higher and I'm hitting mostly front delts. I've seen some crackheads go 45 but then pull their asses out of the seat pretty much making it 30 degrees.


i go with 30 just because im one of those idiots who has tried 45, and just pulls his ass out of the seat. when i decline i usually put a bit of a wide grip on it too. i feel like i get the top and outside of my pec better that way.


heres my 2 cents. i think the 30degree is better for 2 reasons. 1 is that your alot stronger in that position and 2. it doesnt stress you r.c and anterior delt. as bad.i think the higher you go the less it becomes a chest exercise and more a front delt. move.

when i did it(45) way back i noticed that my front shoulders would hurt more then my chest the next day. another bit of advice is make sure your elbows are slightly lower then your shoulders. alot of people say they should be out to the side but if you look at the anatomy and function of the r.c and the stresses that apply youll see why alot of people have shoulder injury. hope this helps. good luck lifting.


I just have to add this...
The pec is one muscle...there is no "top" pec and there is no "outside" pec.


There actually is a top pec to some degree, or rather an arrangement of fibers that will activate a little more on inclined movements.

You're right about the outside pec though.

As far as which incline is best - most of them are at certain times. Just depends what you want to emphasize. Also, rather than popping your ass off the bench (to those who posted that) just put your ego away and lower the weight to one you can handle correctly. You shouldn't be able to use the same weight at 45 degrees that you do at 30. Don't try to, use what's appropriate. Problem solved.

This stuff is easier than some folks make it out to be...