The bench press on an inclined bench is the most important exercise for the development of the upper and lower chest. In this article, we will consider four options for the bench press - at angles of 30, 45 and 60 degrees (on top of the chest) and bench press upside down (on the bottom).
The advantages of a tilt position
When you do a bench press on a horizontal bench, the following work:
- Large and small pectoral (middle part) - do the main work.
- Anterior bundles of deltoid muscles.
We are specifically interested in breast. It is believed that a regular classic bench press evenly pumps the entire chest. However, the main load in its implementation falls on its central part. If the top or bottom of the chest looks much smaller than we would like, various options for the press at an angle come to the rescue.
When we move the body to an inclined position, the main working muscle groups do not change, but the load is distributed differently. We can purposefully make the upper or lower chest work.
Redistribution of load depending on the angle:
- Bench press at an angle of 30 degrees loads mainly the middle part of the chest and a little top.
- 45 degrees transfer the load to the top, freeing the middle.
- 60 degrees already transfer the entire weight of the bar to the front deltoids and triceps, leaving part of the load to the very top of the pectoral muscles.
- Bench press on an inclined bench can be performed upside down. This is a proven way to pump your lower chest.
Thus, by varying the technique of the press, you can build the desired relief of the chest.
Bench press position at workout
It is not recommended to use the bench press on an inclined bench as an independent exercise. It is better to do it after basic exercises, for example, after a classic bench press. In extreme cases, after push-ups on bars with weights.
First you need to give a heavy general load, and only then you can begin to work on specific areas of the pectoral muscle.
The bench press lying on an inclined bench is very useful for beginners for the uniform development of the entire mass of the upper body.
Here are a few schemes, using which you can reasonably load the entire area of the pectoral muscles.
Exercises are performed in this order:
- We make a classic bench press.
- After it, we set the angle to 30 degrees and make there an inclined bench press in 3 sets and 10 repetitions.
- Then we do 2 approaches with less weight, but at an angle of 45 degrees.
- After that, we finish killing our breasts with wiring on a horizontal bench.
This scheme is a superset on the pectoral muscles:
- They did a bench press on a horizontal bench (the required number of approaches).
- We put an angle of 30 degrees on an inclined bench, while sitting, doing an approach of 10 reps with heavy weight.
- Then we take light dumbbells and instead of a break we make wiring in 15 repetitions.
- Again we do an inclined bench press, wiring. As a result, we must do this 3 times in 10. This is a kind of superset on the chest, which allows you to load and pump it very well.
- After its implementation, we rest for a minute, during which we set the angle of 45 degrees on the bench. We press the bar at this angle (if it's hard - you can lighten the weight) as many times as at 30 degrees. In the same way, we carry out the wiring. After three approaches you can relax.
If you wish, you can repeat the superset if you still have strength.
And when to press upside down?
If you want to highlight the bottom of your chest, then the bench press on a bench with a downward slope is ideal for these purposes.
As already mentioned, there is no point in doing such a bench press as an independent exercise. If you did not make the base that day, then try to complete at least 3 chest exercises.
- First do the bench press upside down.
- Then the dumbbell press from the same position.
- And you end up breeding dumbbells on a horizontal bench.
The first exercise is performed in 3-4 approaches and 8 repetitions, the second - 10 times, and the third - also 10 times in two or three approaches. Be guided by your condition.
If you have enough strength, do 3-4 approaches in each exercise. Between sets, a break of 60–90 seconds, between exercises - 90 seconds.
If you work to failure on the bench, rest a little more than you need. Just remember that too long rest leads to "cooling" of the muscles. And on the "cold" muscle, you can get a stretch.
You need to press down with your head in those cases when the lower part of the chest is far behind. Bodybuilders usually use this exercise to compete effectively. The rest is enough to do a horizontal bench press and bench press on a bench with an inclination up.
And a good piece of advice: when you are doing a bench press on a bench with a downward slope, ask your partner or trainer to help you. You will need help with weight gain. The bar is usually taken from the floor. In the position in which you will be, it will be quite difficult to take it. Especially if the barbell weighs 50 kg or more. Still, do not remove from racks. Although some gyms are quite well equipped and allow you to conveniently do such things.
Finally, we reached the most important thing. Now you know why to make an inclined press, it's time to learn how to do it correctly!
As always, we start with a warm-up. To begin with, an empty neck will do, you will need to do 10-15 repetitions at an average pace, but without throwing sharply up and down.
- Set the desired angle for the back of the bench. Sit on it so that the pelvis is pressed to the seat, and the back to the back. Place your legs apart and rest your heels on the floor.
- In the lower back, leave a natural deflection. Flatten the blades, they should rest against the back. Put your head on the back, look at the top of the wall opposite you.
- Grasp the neck with a direct grip wider than your shoulders, guided by the risks. On each of the neck marks (on the right and on the left) there should be some finger of your hand (usually the middle or ring finger, depending on the length of the athlete’s hands).
- Remove the bar from the racks, bring it to its original position: it should be located above your collarbones.
- Lower the bar onto the top of your chest as you inhale. Without holding your breath, exhale and push the bar up. Control the movement at each stage! There is no need to throw the barbell on the chest, as well as no need to uncontrollably push it up.
When you do the required number of warm-up repetitions - put the bar back, hang the working weight and do 3 sets of 8 repetitions.
Before you start training, pay attention to a number of important points.
It is more difficult to remove the bar with an inclined press than with a classical one. So you need an assistant. Ask someone to help lift your barbell. While you are doing the exercise, let the person stand nearby. Putting the bar back is no less difficult, so here you will need to help.
When you work with a weight of 60-75% of the maximum, you can do it all yourself. Failing approaches require insurance.
During the exercise, you lean on your buttocks, back, and legs. Typically, beginners tear off the pelvis from the bench. With an inclined bench press, this is even more dangerous than with a classic bench press, since the weight puts pressure on you in a vertical plane (albeit slightly).
Do not tear your pelvis from the bench!
Trying to make a bridge
When you try to get into the bridge in such a bench, any meaning is lost at 45 or 30 degrees. Due to your bridge, you reset this angle. So you do not need to bend, a natural deflection in the lower back is enough.
The coach can put you a bench press in Smith after the classic. This is normal and allows you to pump the upper chest in isolation. Everything is done here in the same way as when working with a free barbell. Only the task is easier - the bar is fixed and moves strictly in a vertical plane.
It’s best, of course, to work with free weights. Let other muscles connect to stabilize the position of the bar.
What to do with shoulder pain
If your back beam of deltoids hurts, this will not affect the inclined bench. If the middle or front - everything is much more complicated.
Decide through an experiment with light weights, at what angle you are more comfortable harvesting. If the pain haunts you in absolutely any press, you will have to exclude these exercises for a month or two.
If, for example, you do not feel pain at an angle of 45 degrees, you can work. But those exercises in which you feel discomfort need to be ruled out.
Warm up well before exercise, use special ointments. Listen carefully to your body. If pain appears somewhere, stop exercising immediately! When warmed up, the athlete may not immediately understand that a sprain has occurred. This will manifest itself after training, when the muscles have cooled.
It may not hurt you to press the barbell head down. The shoulders in it are not as much involved as the triceps and chest.
How to do reclining presses often
If you divide the exercises on the chest for 2-3 days, then you can do different types of presses 3 times a week.
For example, a bench press at an angle of 30 degrees in the first training session, after it, wiring and a bench press of dumbbells at 45 degrees.
In the second training session, after push-ups on the bars, you can make an inclined bench sitting at 45 degrees and finish with the same wiring.
If you alternate light and heavy workouts, you should do the same thing, but with current weights. For example, if today is easy training, weights should be less than your failures.