Incline Weight Bench Exercises and Benefits
If you’re setting up your own gym, it’s very useful to get an adjustable bench that you can use as an incline bench. The benefit of having an incline is that it can add a level of complexity and challenge to your workouts, and it can also help you target different muscles. Performing incline weight bench exercises can also help you achieve your fitness goals.
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Incline Weight Bench Benefits
There are several ways you can benefit from the use of an incline bench when you workout.
- The incline angle minimizes the stress you put on your lower back.
- The higher angle works different muscles, and the incline balances your decline bench work so your body attains a more natural shape.
- It offers a nice change from flat bench exercises. Your mind can get too used to flat bench work, and the different angle can keep you from being bored.
Tips for Weight Bench Exercises for Beginners
Doing exercises on an incline bench may seem easier to newbies. After all, it’s just like lying back on a very comfy couch.
But that’s not really true. So if you’re a beginner, here are some helpful tips that may make it better for you.
- Use light weights first. The incline angle is actually more unstable than a flat on your back position.
- If you’re doing heavy weights, make sure you have a spotter to assist you.
- You should start with about 8 to 10 reps, and if you’re using the right weight then it will only feel heavy in the last 2 or 3 reps.
- Incline exercises provide greater activation for smaller muscle groups, and these can be easily overstressed.
- Don’t arch your back when you perform any sort of exercise. This action is actually a sign that you’re lifting a weight that’s too heavy.
Incline Weight Bench Exercises for Legs
The thing about incline weight bench leg exercises is that they often don’t just target your leg muscles. They often target your core muscles too.
A leg lift (or a leg raise) on an incline bench can work your abs, back muscles, hip flexors, and thigh muscles.
- Lie back flush on to the incline bench.
- Secure your arms, either by holding on to the post over your head or to the side of the bench over your head.
- You can then do single leg lifts, by raising a keg straight all the way up so that it’s perpendicular to the floor.
- You can do 10 reps for each leg.
- You can also do 10 reps of raising your legs together.
- If you have back issues, you can do leg lifts with your knees bent instead. This reduces the torque you apply to your lower back.
Here’s a video you can watch to follow all the moves.
Incline Weight Bench Exercises for Glutes
You can also use an incline bench to sculpt more shapely glutes. Here’s a video of the Incline Bench Glute Squeeze, on which you lie face down on the “back rest” towards the seat section of the bench.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you do these exercises.
- Keep your legs wide.
- Let your breath out while you raise your legs up.
- Your toes should be pulled towards your shins as you make your movements.
- Don’t let your toes touch the floor until the exercise is over.
- Resist the temptation to pull yourself down the bench.
Incline Weight Bench Exercises for Abs
The leg lift we’ve mentioned earlier here is also tremendous for your lower abs. Here’s another effective exercise you can try: the simple abdominal crunch.
- You take your seat at the upper level of the incline bench, and your head is at the lower part of the bench.
- You can place your arms across your chest. But if you want to make it more challenging, you can put your arms behind your head.
- Secure your feet by tucking them under the bar at the end of the bench.
- Now it’s time to raise your upper body. Inhale to prepare your lift and then exhale as you go up.
- You can always just raise your body a little bit before you set yourself down.
- Or you can go all the way up until you’re sitting up straight, before you return to your original position.
- Inhale as you go back down so you can exhale as you go up again.
- Keep the movements nice and smooth.
- Do 3 sets, with 10 to 20 reps each.
Here’s a video demonstrating the moves.
Incline Weight Bench Exercises for Chest
If you’re focusing on your chest, you need to do bench presses. Flat bench presses are great, so why switch to incline?
Here are some reasons why you may want to consider doing some incline bench presses too.
- The incline bench press puts more stress on your upper pectorals. This helps develop a chest area that’s often overlooked in some workouts routines.
- You can perform these exercises when you have already tired out your pecs and triceps.
- The position does offer a safer position for your shoulders when you’re bench pressing. The angle lowers the strains and with the right form you can also keep your rotator cuffs healthy.
- If you like to do flat bench presses and you constantly feel like you’ve hurt your shoulders, switch to incline.
Incline Weight Bench Exercises for Arms
The size of the biceps when you flex may be the traditional way to gauge muscularity,but the truth of the matter is that strong arms are crucial for daily tasks. You need strong arm muscles like your biceps to lift and push heavy objects. With strong arms, you won’t have to strain when you carry grocery bags and luggage.
Here’s a simple barbell exercise on an incline bench to develop those biceps. It’s a version of a barbell curl, while you lie against the incline.
- Your starting position is you lying down against the incline, while your arms are hanging down while holding a barbell.
- Keep your upper arms still and squeeze your biceps while you curl the barbell as high up as you can. Only the forearms should move and you mustn’t swing your arms.
- After the second contraction, gradually return to your original position as you inhale. You have to go all the way down with the barbell, before you resume the motion.
Here’s a video that shows you how it’s done.
Incline Weight Bench Exercises for Back
Now it’s time to focus on your back muscles, and one great exercise is doing incline bench dumbbell rows. These focus on your latissimus dorsi and trapezius, which are the largest main muscles in your back.
Here’s what you do:
- Place a dumbbell on each side of the incline bench.
- Lie chest down on the incline bench and set your feet on the ground for support.
- Grab a dumbbell with each hand.
- Let your arms extend fill towards the floor, with your palms facing in.
- Lift the dumbbells straight up slowly. Don’t lift your chest up from the bench to lift the dumbbells.
- At the top, flex your upper back muscles. If you can’t squeeze your shoulder blades together, you’re lifting too much weight.
- Return to your original position. Do 10 reps.
Here’s a video of a trainer demonstrating the incline dumbbell row.
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As you can see, an incline bench is a great supplement to any workout routine. It can help develop various muscle groups all over your body.
Just make sure that you perform your incline weight bench exercises with proper form. Don’t cheat, and keep safety in mind at all times!
If you are looking for an incline weight bench, you can view our review of the best adjustable bench for your money.