Unlock Your Full Potential: How the Incline Bench Boosts Your Range of Motion
The incline bench is a versatile and very effective addition to any fitness enthusiast's workout arsenal.
Its unique design allows for increased range of motion and targeted muscle development, helping to improve upper body strength and overall performance.
But how exactly does the incline bench boost your range of motion? And, what are some exercises you can try to unlock your full potential?
Read on to find out…
Benefits of Incline Bench
Increased range of motion
One of the primary advantages of the incline bench is its ability to provide an increased range of motion compared to flat bench exercises.
By angling the bench, you alter the angle of your body relative to the ground, targeting different muscle groups and allowing for a deeper stretch during the eccentric phase of the movement.
This helps improve flexibility and can lead to greater overall muscle development.
Improved upper body strength
Incline bench exercises place more emphasis on the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps, making them perfect for building a well-rounded and powerful upper body.
Targeting these often under-trained muscles means you can build a more balanced physique and avoid muscular imbalances that can lead to injury.
Enhanced muscle balance
The incline bench not only targets different muscles, but it also helps promote muscle balance by engaging stabiliser muscles more effectively than flat bench movements.
This can lead to improved overall performance and a reduced risk of injury.
Incline Bench Exercises
Incline bench press
The incline bench press is a classic upper body exercise that targets the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps.
To perform this exercise, set the bench at a 30-45 degree incline and position yourself with your feet firmly on the ground.
Grasp the barbell with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip, lower the bar to your upper chest, and press it back up to the starting position.
Incline dumbbell flyes
Incline dumbbell flyes are an excellent exercise for isolating the chest muscles and improving overall range of motion.
Set the bench at a 30-45 degree incline, and lie back with a dumbbell in each hand.
With a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights out to the sides until you feel a stretch in your chest.
Then, bring the dumbbells back together, contracting your chest muscles at the top of the movement.
Incline push-ups are a bodyweight exercise that can be done on an incline bench, targeting the upper chest and shoulders.
Place your hands on the edge of the bench, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Lower your chest toward the bench, keeping your body in a straight line and maintaining a tight core.
Press back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms and engaging your chest and shoulder muscles.
Technique Tips for Incline Bench Workouts
Proper form and execution
To maximise the benefits of incline bench exercises, it's essential to maintain proper form throughout each movement.
Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, engage your core, and retract your shoulder blades for stability.
Be mindful of your body positioning and ensure you are targeting the intended muscle groups.
Breathing and bracing
Proper breathing and bracing techniques are crucial for maintaining stability and generating power during incline bench exercises.
Inhale deeply before lowering the weight, and exhale forcefully as you press the weight back up.
This helps create intra-abdominal pressure and keeps your core engaged throughout the movement.
Progression and variety
To continue making progress and avoid plateaus, it's essential to vary your incline bench exercises and gradually increase the weight or intensity.
Incorporate different exercises, rep ranges, and angles to keep your muscles challenged and stimulated.
Integrating incline bench into your routine
Incorporating incline bench exercises into your workout routine can help improve overall upper body strength, balance, and flexibility.
Aim to include incline bench movements at least once or twice a week, either as part of a dedicated upper body workout or within a full-body training session.
Remember to listen to your body and adjust the intensity and frequency of your incline bench workouts based on your individual goals and fitness level.
The incline bench is a powerful tool for unlocking your full potential and boosting your range of motion in various upper body exercises.
By targeting often under-trained muscle groups like the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps, you can develop a well-rounded and balanced physique that not only looks impressive but also performs at its best.
Proper technique, progression, and variety are essential to making the most of your incline bench workouts.
By focusing on form and execution, as well as incorporating different exercises, rep ranges, and angles, you can keep your muscles challenged and stimulated, leading to continuous growth and development.
Incline bench exercises are versatile and can be easily integrated into various workout routines, whether you're focusing on upper body training, full-body sessions, or even incorporating them into circuit-style workouts for added intensity.
This adaptability ensures that you can consistently reap the benefits of incline bench exercises, no matter your fitness level or goals.
Remember that consistency and dedication are key to unlocking your full potential.
By incorporating incline bench exercises into your routine and adhering to proper technique and progression guidelines, you're setting yourself up for success in your fitness journey.
Embrace the challenge, stay committed, and watch as the incline bench helps you achieve new levels of strength, flexibility, and overall performance.
What angle should the incline bench be set at?
Typically, the incline bench should be set at a 30-45 degree angle for most exercises. However, you can experiment with different angles to target specific muscle groups and add variety to your workouts.
Can I use an incline bench for lower body exercises?
While the incline bench is primarily used for upper body exercises, it can also be used creatively for certain lower body exercises, such as Bulgarian split squats or single-leg hip thrusts.
Is it better to use a barbell or dumbbells for incline bench exercises?
Both barbells and dumbbells have their advantages. Barbells allow you to lift heavier weights and promote symmetrical strength development, while dumbbells provide a greater range of motion and engage stabilising muscles more effectively. It's a good idea to incorporate both into your routine for optimal results.
How often should I incorporate incline bench exercises into my workout routine?
Aim to include incline bench exercises in your routine at least once or twice a week, either as part of an upper body workout or a full-body training session. Listen to your body and adjust the frequency based on your individual goals and fitness level.
Can beginners benefit from incline bench exercises?
Yes, incline bench exercises are suitable for beginners and can help build a strong foundation for upper body strength and muscle development. Start with lighter weights and focus on proper form before progressing to heavier loads.