When chest day arrives, you’re probably most familiar with the flat bench. However, do you know the benefits of the other two bench press positions? Below I have briefly summarised the benefits of each to help you understand a little clearer what you’re training in each position.
This is the most common of the three presses because there is no reason to fix something that isn’t broken. The flat bench press involves less activation of the smaller muscle groups in your chest compared to the incline and decline press. Instead it engages the larger areas of the pectoral muscles, which enables people to lift a much heavier weight and generate more force than any of the other types of bench press. For me the flat is a must, you can’t afford to miss it out of your training programme.
When completed correctly, the incline press will give your chest the thickness you may be trying to achieve. If executed wrongly you could find yourself with injured shoulders as well as possible lasting damage. Incline pressing develops both mass and strength to the upper and middle regions of your pectoral muscles along with the front deltoids, which is a great bonus. The incline angle of the press hits the upper chest really hard which develops the upper portion of the pectoral muscles, great if you’re a fan of wearing All Saints tops!
For me, decline chest is a great stress-buster because I find it the most challenging. After doing some research I found that a lot of bodybuilders and professionals prefer the decline press over the other two as they feel it focuses on the chest more. Although it is more challenging, you should still be cautious when doing decline, especially if you go heavy. Be sure to always have a spotter with you.
Personally, I feel that in order to develop a really good chest you should alternate between the three when training.
In my next post I’ll explain the difference between pressing with a barbell and dumbbells…
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