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Best Angle for Bench Press?

Nothing is focused on more in the gym than chest and arms (biceps to be more specific). There are so many different variations and movements, it is hard to determine which is best. However, when it comes to training the chest, the name of the game is the angle of the press.


There are three primary angles to hit the chest: incline, flat, and decline. Now when speaking of decline or incline, of course the angles can be more particular when adjusted, but this is just to speak on a broader approach.


Some people will focus on one angle more than another. This is usually due to the catering of their strong points. So, if a person has a really strong flat bench, more times than not that will be the angle of bench they focus their chest routine around. In the long run, this will short change their gains and overall chest development. So, which angle is best? They all bring their own benefits to the table of chest development.




Incline is one that many guys will do, but maybe not stick with routinely. Incline press does amazing with upper chest development and also hitting the deltoids. Grip width plays a role in every barbell bench press angle in regard to how hard you want to target the triceps along with the shoulders, but when it comes to an incline press, the standard grip width is just outside shoulder width. When pressing with dumbbells, focusing on getting deep in the reps to get a good range of motion is maybe more important than the weight itself. And when using dumbbells for incline press, the shoulders get an amazing workout as well.




The flat press in surely the most popular and the one that many people care about the most when it comes to weight and numbers. Not many people ask how much a person can incline press or decline bench, it is simply “how much can you bench?”, meaning flat bench. Flat bench does a pretty good job at utilizing the accessory muscle groups in the shoulders and triceps pretty equal. A flat bench rep can also help determine weak points better as well when it comes to sticking points and such. Flat bench, be it barbell or dumbbell, is pretty universal, but should not be the only press people do.




Decline can easily be seen as the most neglected press angle in the chest building arsenal, which is actually kind of tragic. The decline press actually hits that lower part of the pectoral muscle more than any other angle. Most men want to rid themselves of “boobs”, and only focus on doing flat bench presses or flies. The decline will help in targeting a huge part of the chest, but mostly the lower part which will help out in rounding out the chest. The triceps are used a lot in a decline press as well so moving your grip in closer if doing a barbell press will give you a phenomenal chest and tricep pump!


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