Low Incline vs High Incline Dumbbell Press
A lower incline of about 15-degrees targets the mid to upper chest. At this angle, you can also lift heavier weights which maximizes size and strength gains.
On the other hand, an angle of 45-degrees isolates the upper chest more. But you can’t lift as much weight. So this angle is better for sculpting and defining your upper chest.
Incline Dumbbell Press Benefits & Limitations
The incline dumbbell press has some advantages over traditional barbell presses. For one, you have to stabilize each dumbbell independently, which improves balance and coordination.
In addition, you can go lower with dumbbells since there is no bar to hit your chest. And the movement pattern is more natural because your arms move in an arc.
However, you can go quite a bit heavier on a barbell incline bench press. So dumbbells are not as good for building mass and strength.
- Each arm works independently, more stabilizer muscles recruited
- Greater potential range of motion compared to barbell
- More natural movement path compared to machines
- Can’t do as much weight compared to a barbell
How To Do Incline Dumbbell Press
First, grab the dumbbells and set them on your thighs. Next, lean back and kick them up towards your shoulders. Then press the dumbbells up to arm’s length.
Now lower the dumbbells by bending at the elbows and moving your hands out and down towards your chest. Stop when you feel a good stretch through your chest.
Press the dumbbells back up and in until your arms are fully extended again. Repeat for the desired number of reps and carefully drop the dumbbells.
To recap, here are the step-by-step directions:
- Grab the dumbbells and sit with one on each thigh
- Lean back and kick the dumbbells up to your shoulders
- Press the dumbbells up to arm’s length
- Lower the dumbbells out and down to your chest
- Press the dumbbells back up to full arm extension
- Repeat for the desired number of reps and carefully drop the dumbbells