Quick Fix: Incline Dumbbell Press - Muscle & Performance

Quick Fix: Incline Dumbbell Press

Simple solutions to widespread incline dumbbell press errors.

The Flaw: Using too steep of an incline.

The Fix: A 45-degree angle on the adjustable bench should be the absolute upper limit for incline presses; any steeper and it’s basically a shoulder exercise. That said, don’t only stick with 45 degrees. The upper pecs will be significantly targeted at several points below that, so mix up your incline angles. Utilize all bench settings from 45 degrees all the way down to one click up from flat.

The Flaw: Pointing the elbows directly out to the sides.

The Fix: As you lower the dumbbells and press them back up, keep your upper arms at roughly 45 degrees to your torso, elbows pointed slightly forward. This will help you generate more power and also relieve unnecessary stress on the shoulder joints to help reduce injury risk.

The Flaw: Clanging the weights together at the top of each rep.

The Fix: The only thing touching the dumbbells at the top does is make noise. And no, it doesn’t significantly hit the inner pecs. You’re better off keeping the weights spaced a few inches apart and stopping just shy of elbow lockout to keep constant tension on the chest. If you’re throwing around 120-pound dumbbells, you may have no choice but to tap them, so in that case do what you gotta do.