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go higher than 45 degrees on the incline?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by big_frank, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. big_frank

    big_frank Active Member

    Jun 6, 2006
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    does anyone do that? i never have... my bench has one click higher but i never do it bc it seems to shoulder-y. am i missing out on hitting the upper pecs?
    thanks to all in advance,
  2. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
    Lifetime Platinum Member

    Feb 1, 2004
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    I would not recommend it, as it's simply not necessary. Just a few degrees of incline is enough to shift emphasis to the clavicular chest.

    As well, the shoulder joint becomes less stable at high inclines (that are not vertical or very close to it) -- although one click past 45 is not high enough to really make this an issue.
    #2 chicanerous, Jul 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  3. MT77

    MT77 Active Member

    Aug 2, 2010
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    Interesting. I do seated DB presses at a variety of angles as part of my weekly routine. At home I do 20*, 40*, and 60* and then back down to 40* and then 20*. When I visit commercial gyms with nicer benches that feature even more positions, I will choose lighter DBs and do sets at nearly every notch. The steeper angles are more difficult and involve more delt / less chest, but I believe they complement my other overhead presses.

    I hear you on the shoulder joint stability issue, and as such I adjust the range of motion and stop my elbows just below parallel to reduce the strain on the shoulder. I used to touch the bells to my chest at the bottom of each rep and that was bad for two reasons - it allowed me to rest for a brief moment and reduce the tension on the muscle, which is counterproductive from an exercise standpoint, and it also put extra stress on the shoulders which often resulted in aches and general discomfort. Fortunately, no injuries, and I've wised up and cleaned up my technique a little.

    I always do my barbell incline work at about 40*. I chose this because it's the closest position my bench has to half way between flat benching and military presses.
  4. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2005
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    I haven't done an Incline bench or Incline Dumbell press for so long I can't remember when.

    The reason being is that I think they are not necessary for upper Pec development.


    Every time I finish a normal (for me) chest workout......mu upper Pecs are screaming anyway.

    Exercises I do for upper body/chest are:- (although not in this order or or all in any given session):-

    Barbell bench, elbows tucked
    Elbow-pad Pec Dec
    Machine Horizontal-grip Seated Chest Press.
    Roller "slide" pushups.

    That's it......and every time I'm finished a workout, the next day it's the upper Pecs where I can feel it most......

    So I don't bother with the incline stuff at all anymore.....

    Part of the reason is that I can lift more weight on a Standard bench press than I can on an Incline bench....which means greater stimulation for the Pec muscles (which work as a group....not in individual segments such as upper and lower Pecs).

    I don't see how the Incline bench isolates the upper Pecs to any extent........so I stick with the heavier weight on the standard bench nowadays.
    #4 HevyMetal, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  5. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2005
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    I agree with chic, Hevy and MT. Inclines will hit the chest to a degree. Any overhead pressing (military press) will also stimulate upper pecs. If you want total chest and upper chest stimulation, try decline bench presses, Gironda Dips (weighted), and Kelso Shrugs. What I have noticed over the years, is that incline BB presses are a very good delt developer. A better option for upper chest with the inclines is to do them with a wide grip and bring the bar down to your chin level. Be careful on these and make sure you do them at the end of your chest workout. If you have any shoulder issues, you should perhaps avoid this movement entirely.

    There is also genetics involved. It's just a fact that the longer the tendon, the shorter the muscle belly, and that equals less muscle width potential. The shorter the tendon, the longer the muscle belly, and that equals greater muscle width: "round," full muscles.

    Genetics rule.
    #5 mastover, Jul 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2012

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