Start & Finish Position
One of the best all-round exercises for developing the Pectoralis Major (muscles of the chest): The Incline Dumbbell Press.
Far easier than a Flat Dumbbell Bench Press to manoeuvre heavy dumbbells into position, and, given that many trained individual’s upper chest muscles (Clavicular Fibres) aren't so well developed compared to their lower chest (Sternal Fibres), it's the ideal exercise choice for the seasoned weight trainer. For the same reason (developing the upper chest muscles), Incline Dumbbell Press is a popular and recommended exercise for female gym-goers in order to create the appearance of perkier breasts.
Here are the key steps to performing the Incline Dumbbell Press correctly, including some important do’s and do not’s:
For this gym exercise, you require a spotter. You should get used to manoeuvring light dumbbells in and of position before attempting a greater weight. If you require help lifting dumbbells into position, the weight is most likely too heavy.
1) Ensure that gym equipment is set up correctly. The bench should be positioned between 30 to 35 degree angles. Alternatively, you may choose a Swiss Ball.
2) Lift both dumbbells from the floor and rest flush on your thighs. Gently sit back on the bench and lift the dumbbells toward your chest whilst leaning back to lay flush against the inclined bench (or rolling into this position on your Swiss Ball). Your back and head should be rested flat on the bench at all times during the lift itself!
3) Turn the dumbbells out to your sides in a pre-stretch position - dumbbells level with your mid-chest, arms forming a right angle. Exhale and press both dumbbells to meet (you may touch dumbbells, but do not crash together and do not lock your elbows out!) in a centrally located point above your upper-chest. NOTE: On working sets, you may wish your spotter to help initiate the first press from a pre-stretch position.
4) Inhale as you lower the dumbbells downward in a reverse fashion. At the bottom of the movement, your arms should form a right angle (ask your spotter to check) & you should feel a slight stretch. Do not twist your hands during the movement to increase stretch!
5) Repeat the exercise for the given number of repetitions. Upon completing your exercise repetitions, exit the exercise in the same manner that you entered it.
As regards warming-up and working sets, warm-up with little or no weight, performing 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps or more, in order to lubricate joints and raise local muscle temperature. For your working sets, select an appropriate weight that allows you to achieve your target repetition range in a safe and controlled manner.
If you experience shoulder discomfort with an orthodox position of this exercise, try performing with a lesser weight as part of a superset or, better-still, perform this exercise with a neutral-grip. Below is a combination of the two (a pre-exhaust superset with a neutral-grip).
Chest Superset with Dumbbells...
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