For incline press, the barbell is best suited for strength and size. The dumbbells are more of a shaping exercise and your repetitions for each set are higher.
We’ll start with the barbell incline. There are a couple of different positions for your hand placement. A wider grip is going to work on the outer chest, expanding the width of your chest. A closer grip is going to work more on the peak of your chest which also involves your triceps.
With the dumbbells, there are a number of ways to isolate the chest. The ordinary incline chest press simulating a barbell in your hands as you fully extend your arms and then lowering back to your chest. There’s also the incline pec flys where the where you start with the dumbbells down at the level of your chest, elbows below your chest and then contracting as the dumbbells are raised, fully extending your arms and touching the dumbbells at the top together.
There are a couple of ways to position your hands. I prefer what I would call the joystick position so that you’re isolating the chest only and not involving your shoulders. You can even go as far as slightly leading with the pinky’s as the arms are fully extended upwards as the dumbbells meet at the top. This really squeezes the pecs from bottom to top, filling the muscle bellies full of blood.
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