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Incline Dumbbell Press

The incline dumbbell bench press -- chest and triceps

The incline dumbbell press works the chest and triceps. You can do this exercise without a spotter, but a spotter can help you get that last repetition or two.

Start with arms extended

Incline dumbbell bench -- starting position

Incline dumbbell bench -- starting position

To start, raise the end of the bench 30 degrees. The higher the bench the more the upper chest and shoulder muscles come into play.

Take a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the end of the bench. It is helpful to rest the weights on your thighs.

Then as you lie back on the bench you can use your legs as well as your arms to help push the weights up into position.

You start with your arms fully outstretched.

Lower weights to 90 degrees at elbows

Incline dumbbell bench -- second position

Incline dumbbell bench -- second position

Slowly lower the weights until your arms are bent 90 degrees at the elbows. Pause for a moment, and then press weights up until the arms are fully extended.

Maintain control

You want to do a weight that you can control, so until you have experience use lighter weights.

With some machines the strong arm can dominate and you won't get even development. But with one dumbbell in each hand you get even development in both sides.

Change the emphasis

The position of the arms as shown here gives good development to the pecs. Use a narrower position of the weights to emphasize the triceps.

Muscles developed

This exercise builds the pectoral muscles of the chest as well as the triceps on the back of the arm. So it will help give you a nice shape to your chest and firm arms.

It is a little different from the flat dumbbell press in that it emphasizes the upper part of the chest. If you do both exercises you will get more complete development.

Range of motion

You can get more range of motion with this exercise than with a barbell, because the barbell has to stop when it hits your chest. But doing movements beyond the 90 degree point will increase the stress on your joints.

You can also adjust the movement by the way you lower the weights. Keeping the weights closer together as you lower them emphasizes the triceps. Keeping the weights farther apart as you lower them emphasizes the pectoral muscles of the chest.

Where to start:

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