Athletics and Aesthetics: High Incline Bench Press | Erin Stern

Posted on January 5, 2016 at 12:00 AM

I have always loved track and field, and competed in the shot put in college. The shot put isn't like a traditional throw; your elbow is behind the shot, and you use force, speed, and strength to "put" the object as far down the field as you can. Most presses are performed with the same idea, as you're able to push more weight with your elbow under the bar and with the bar in a straight line from wrist to elbow. The high incline bench press can help improve strength and power in other lifts, and overall strength.

Utilizing unilateral presses in your training can help even out asymmetries and prevent injury. They're also great for strengthening the core. Additionally, most of us lose mass in our upper chest as we lean down, making the incline bench key for building and maintaining a nice, full look. Placing the bench a few pegs higher than you'd normally go effectively targets the upper chest and also hits the front delts.

To begin, adjust your bench to about 60-70 degrees from the ground (standard incline is about 45 degrees, and a half bench is 90 degrees). Choose dumbbells that you can handle with explosive power. Go light on your first set to get a feel for the exercise. Once seated and in position, make sure your feet are flat on the ground and your back and shoulders are flat on the bench. Perform alternating presses, making sure to use the same form on both sides. Start with your non-dominant arm and aim for 3-4 sets of 5-6 reps on each side. This is a great warm-up for upper body lifting days.

Check out the video for a full demonstration! Remember to add PEAK ATP to your supplement regimen.  PEAK ATP helps me maintain my explosiveness through each set - especially during the last couple of reps! I have seen great progress since I started taking it!  Thanks for reading! Until next time, train hard, y'all!

- Erin Stern


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