T Nation

Questions on Incline Press?

Since this is such an important exercise for aesthetics, it is strange that there isn’t a lot of information on it. I have a few questions:

  1. Some sources say a 45 degree incline is best, some say that is too high and works mainly anterior delts. Which is the best angle?

  2. How wide a grip do you use? The wider my grip is, the more I feel it in my delts.

  3. Where do you lower the bar to? I’ve read that some lower it to their chins, some to the clavicle, some to a part on the chest.

  4. How far down do you lower the bar?

[quote]datta wrote:
Since this is such an important exercise for aesthetics, it is strange that there isn’t a lot of information on it. I have a few questions:

  1. Some sources say a 45 degree incline is best, some say that is too high and works mainly anterior delts. Which is the best angle?
    [/quote]

I prefer an angle that is as close to flat as possible. Never more than 30degrees.

I use DBs so I just use the movement that feels best to me. Try modifying your technique so you feel it in your chest as strongly as possible. Then you know you’re onto a good thing.

[quote]
3) Where do you lower the bar to? I’ve read that some lower it to their chins, some to the clavicle, some to a part on the chest.[/quote]

Pretty much exactly to the point that I’m trying to build. Just below the clavicle. My forearms are perfectly perpendicular to the ground at all times, to keep the tension on my chest as much as possible.

[quote]
4) How far down do you lower the bar? [/quote]

As low as I can go baby!

I also like to superset these with cable x-overs. Very intense.

This is possibly my favourite exercise. I do these more than I do flat bench.

I agree with everything sxio said, except for the angle part. I use a lower angle with dumbells, but when I use a barbell it’s 45 degrees, and I feel it a lot in my chest.

The clavicular head of the pectoralis major is affected by both hand spacing as well as trunk inclination. The narrower the grip, the greater the activation, as well as the greater the inclination, the greater the activation.

http://www.elitefitness.com/forum/5124184-post826.html


Close-grip Incline (roughly 30 degrees) seems to work well for me. I usually bring it down a little below the clavicle. This exercise hits the triceps pretty well too (duh, it is close-grip), so if you’re mainly looking for upper chest growth and not so much tricep growth, you may have to find something else.

Thanks for the replies.

[quote]datta wrote:
Since this is such an important exercise for aesthetics, it is strange that there isn’t a lot of information on it. I have a few questions:

  1. Some sources say a 45 degree incline is best, some say that is too high and works mainly anterior delts. Which is the best angle?[/quote]

Most times, the bench is fixed, and you just go with what you have. If you have an adjustable bench, why not use various different degrees? I would.

I found my comfort zone. Use different widths to find yours. Are you built exactly like anyone else? Then don’t expect a definitive answer to this question. As for delt activation, they take over when my chest is shot. That’s when I’m done.

Sometimes I go right beneath my chin, sometimes I have the bar touch my nips, sometimes I go in between. There is no definitive answer.

All the way.

[quote]datta wrote:
Since this is such an important exercise for aesthetics, it is strange that there isn’t a lot of information on it. I have a few questions:

  1. Some sources say a 45 degree incline is best, some say that is too high and works mainly anterior delts. Which is the best angle?

Anywhere between 10 and 45 degrees. I think a lot of people say 45 degrees because a majority of the olympic incline benches are manufactored to be 45 degrees. It would be best for you to set up an adjustable bench within a power rack an find which feels best for you.

  1. How wide a grip do you use? The wider my grip is, the more I feel it in my delts.

The grip shoul allow the wrists to be directly in line with the elbows in the downward phase of the lift. With this in mind, the hands are probably just outside the lateral deltoids.

  1. Where do you lower the bar to? I’ve read that some lower it to their chins, some to the clavicle, some to a part on the chest.

A general reference point would be just below the clavicles. Again, the forearms should remain vertical at all times. Also too, there should not be any scapular elevation and over protraction or this will alter bar path, muscle recruitment, and proper muscle sequencing.

  1. How far down do you lower the bar? [/quote]

As far as the shoulder joints will allow me to go safely .

as far as the angle goes, even on a 45, if you can get into and maintain a good strong arch, the relative angle will be much less. Heck some guys can damn near turn a flat bench into a decline.

I lower to the chest. About mid chest.

My bench is fixed at a 45 deg. angle.

I vary and do my heaviest lifts with a shoulder width grip. I warm up with a wide grip and finish with a close grip with my warm up weight. I go heavy on the inclines which it seems a lot of folks don’t do. Sets of 3-4 reps.

I train with inclines 2X per week. I use the flat bench about 2X per month. Barbell only, don’t use dumbells for the bench.