The incline bench press isn’t what you think it is. Opt for the decline press for more chest growth. This is science.
Seeing reclining chairs in gyms is becoming less and less common. Of course, we get it. People sometimes think that step-down stools are unnecessary or superfluous. They argue that while the flat bench press works the lower part of the pectoral muscles, or sternum, the decline exercise works the same areas, but at a different angle and to a lesser extent.
Also, the incline was uncomfortable because all the blood was going to the head. If you do use an incline bench, it’s usually for some kind of jerk crunch where people use too many lower back erectors.
That’s too bad, because an almost-forgotten study showed that the decline bench press is surprisingly as good, if not better, than the incline bench press for building the upper (clavicle) portion of the pectoralis major, and that the sternum The overall effect of the part is better on the chest than on the slant.
The researchers’ motivation was simple: Do incline and decline bench presses work as well as weightlifters think? the answer is negative.
To reach this conclusion, they recruited 15 experienced weightlifters and hooked them up as they performed incline and decline exercises in the lab. The electrical activity reflected during exercise told the researchers everything they needed to know.
In the concentric or weightlifting portion of the exercise, the incline bench press stimulates the upper part of the chest muscles a little more than the descent, but during the eccentric or descending portion of the exercise, the decline stimulates the upper chest muscles slightly more chest than the incline more.
In short, the effect on the upper pecs is almost a wash. However, when it comes to activating the lower part of the pectoral muscles (the main body of the pecs), the dip eliminates the oblique.
So, contrary to what most weightlifters assume, the angle of the bench press has little effect on the upper pecs, but the angle definitely affects the lower pecs.
Declining bench press is better than incline bench press in terms of exercise, according to this study whole pectoralis.
Also, the declines are equal, or slightly better (when you factor in the greater stimulation of the eccentric part of the exercise) than working the upper pecs.
That doesn’t mean you should give up on the incline press. It just means that you should take the incline bench out of the gym bin and not only put it back in your routine, but respect it as much as the incline bench.
You might also want to try a very slight dropespecially if you have shoulder problems.