Incline Dumbbell Press

incline dumbbell bench press
Exercise Profile

Primary Muscle Group(s): - Upper Pectorals (Chest)

Secondary Muscle Group(s): Shoulders (Front) and Triceps

Exercise Instructions

1. While seated in an incline bench, grasp two dumbbells in an overhand grip.

2. Rest the dumbbells in an upright position on the edge of your knees.

3. Carefully lie on the incline bench, bringing the dumbbells to the sides of your torso at chest level. Feet should be planted firmly on the floor.

4. Slowly adjust the dumbbells with your arms fully extended at right angles to the floor. Press the weight up to the locked position. The dumbbells should be held directly over your chest area, slightly touching each other with palms facing forward.

5. Slowly bend you arms and lower both dumbbells in a slow, controlled fashion to your chest. The dumbbells should be at the sides of your chest.

6. Lower the dumbbells to a position where you feel a comfortable stretch.

7. Slowly press the weight back up from the sides of your chest to the starting position. Do not bounce the weight from the chest. Keep you elbows out and away from the trunk of your body.


The incline dumbbell bench press is a great alternative to the traditional incline barbell press. The exercise targets the upper chest area but also hits the secondary muscles including the front shoulders and triceps. This exercise is considered a compound movement since it hits more than one muscle group.

The important thing you have to remember about this exercise is to keep the incline between 30 and 45 degrees. Anymore than that and your going to be hitting your shoulders more than your chest.

Also, really concentrate on the bottom portion of the movement because, I feel, this is where this exercise really shines. With a traditional barbell, most trainers will bounce the weight up from their chest, therefore foregoing the real benefit of this type of movement. With dumbbells, you can't. As your go down, pause slightly at the bottom and come up nice and smooth.

Also, try and keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. This will help keep you balanced.

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