Read on for this week’s news…
Oxygen Health & Fitness
Incline Bench Press
The Incline Bench Press is one of the primary exercises for working the upper chest. Some people have a hard time getting results from this exercise…oftentimes getting tired triceps and sore shoulders. If that’s been you, I’ve got the solution for you. It’s a very simple adjustment to the setup for how you perform the exercise.
One problem I’ve encountered with clients over the years is the tendency for the chest and rib cage to flatten out during the exercise, which takes the tension off the chest and puts it on the shoulders and triceps instead.
In order for the pecs to get a good contraction, the shoulder blades need to be tight in together behind your back with the shoulders back and chest/rib cage expanded.
Here’s a trick to get that right…grip the bar and pull your torso just slightly UP off the bench like you’re doing a pull-up. When your torso is up off the bench, pinch your shoulder blades together behind your back (just like with a row), puff and expand your rib cage up to meet the bar, then set your torso back down on the bench. Notice how your shoulders are back, and your chest feels tighter?
THAT is the correct position to perform the incline bench press so now you’re ready:
- Hold the barbell with a medium to wide grip lifting it straight up so your arms are fully extended.
- Bring the weight down to your upper chest without bouncing the weight, pause, then press it back up to the starting point.
- Use a full range of movement.
- Note the eccentric (down-phase) should be roughly twice as long as the concentric (up-phase).
- Repeat for reps.
30-45 degrees maximum incline
Remember that the incline bench press works the upper chest. Set the bench to an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees. Anything higher than that will start to use your shoulder muscles too much and shift the emphasis of the chest muscles we want to target.
Young gun leading the way
Just this week she conquered a 38kg incline press! She squats 50+kg, deadlifts 60+ kg and is executing great technique and improved strength at her chin ups. Although a quietly spoken girl, Jess is always polite, thankful and friendly. Find me another 15 year old who’s like that at 6 o’çlock in the morning!
Leanne betters her best
Leanne Williams (yes mother of Jess above) is one of our original FitChicks that started way back in January 2013. She had been a Member of Oxygen prior to that since October 2011.