Which Is Better For Chest Building: Incline Or Flat Bench? Expert Answers

Pros

Since the incline bench puts more stress on the upper pec, it will help to fill in an area of the chest that seems to be lagging for many lifters. The amount of stress placed upon the upper pec will vary depending on the degree of the incline bench and the grip width that you use on the bar.

IFBB Pro Jay Cutler mentions “I personally feel upper pec development is very important for a bodybuilder. So I concentrate more on the incline bench than I do on the flat bench.”

Bodybuilder Mike Francois agrees that incline benching is great for hitting the upper pecs and “a grip that is just a little bit wider than shoulder’s width really hits my upper pecs best.”

Incline bench helps put your shoulders in a safer position for pressing. The inclined position will help reduce strains and keep your rotator cuffs healthy when proper form is used.

Dumbbell incline benching is a great way to add in extra upper pec work after you’ve already pre-exhausted your pecs and triceps.

Cons

Incline benching is a great exercise to build muscle, but there are also some negatives associated with the lift.

Incline benching recruits the same muscles used in other pressing movements. If you do not have a balanced routine, you will further facilitate muscular imbalances that can create shoulder problems later on down the road.

The incline bench press is temperamental and if you do not correctly perform the exercise, you may not work the muscles you think you are working. Worse than this, you could get injured. For instance, if your butt comes off of the incline bench, you are essentially doing a flat bench press.

If you’ve never tried the incline bench, you will notice that there is a limited “groove” that you have in order to press optimally. Be sure to get used to the movement and learn what works best for you before you load the bar up and risk injury.

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