Incline bench press with barbell is the typical exercise that you do to work out your upper chest.
The joints involved, like for the barbell bench press, are shoulders and elbows, while the muscles involved instead are shoulders and triceps.
For these reasons it is a very effective compound exercise that develops your upper chest so that your pectorals don't have that "flat look" in the upper part.
Incline bench press is generally harder than the flat bench press exercise, which works the whole chest muscles.
I'd say that an average person can execute this exercise with about 70/75% of the weights that they use at the flat bench press.
Incline Bench Press Details
PRIMARY MUSCLE: Upper Chest
SECONDARY MUSCLES: Triceps, Shoulders
EQUIPMENT: Incline Bench, Barbell
Shoulder muscles are more involved here than the flat bench press. The more you lift the bench the more you work out your shoulders (anterior part).
In fact if your bench was 90 degrees the exercise would become a military press.
INITIAL POSITION: Sit on a 45 degrees incline bench with your feet well stable on the ground and your back in complete contact with the back support. Grasp the barbell with a grip a little bit wider than your shoulders. Take off the bar from the stand and keep your arms almost extended (slightly bend your elbows) above your chest.
MOVEMENT: Slowly lower the bar on a vertical line and stop before it touches your chest, then push up with force till you reach the initial position. Feel the contraction of your pectorals and then repeat.
BREATHING: Inhale while you lower the bar and exhale while you push up.
TIPS and ERRORS: I see many people arching their back when they push the bar and that's something you have to avoid. The correct position of the bar when it's low should be between your neck and your nipples.
If You Don't Feel Comfortable...Use a Spotter
It's easy to lose balance when you execute the incline bench press. I think it's always a good idea to have someone spotting you, ready to help just in case you can't lift any more or if you lose stability.
I always try to have a spotter behind to assist me when I have take off the bar and reposition it.
With a spotter you can probably push yourself to try adding weights knowing that they could help you in case of need.
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