Target Your Upper Chest By Pressing From A Different Angle

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Incline bench press

Adding a tilt to your bench targets your upper chest muscles.

  • Set the bench at 30-45˚ and sit with your feet flat on the floor
  • Grip the bar with hands wider than shoulder-width apart, brace your core muscles and remove the bar from the rack
  • Hold the bar directly above your chest, elbows to the sides
  • Lower the bar slowly to your chest and press up powerfully
  • Don't arch your back

Variation: Gym ball decline press-up

The additional wobble means your core gets a good workout as well as your upper chest, shoulders and triceps.  

  • Get into a press-up position with your feet together on the ball
  • Don't let your hips sag
  • Drop down until your nose almost touches the floor

Variation: Incline dumbbell press

Using dumbbells works each side of your chest independently, preventing your stronger side from doing all the work.

Incline dumbbell press

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  • Sit on the inclined bench holding dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing forward.
  • Press the weights straight up.

Incline dumbbell press

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Variation: Incline Smith machine press

When you don't have a spotter to help you, the Smith machine lets you press heavy weights in safety.

Incline Smith machine press

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  • Place the bench so the bar sits directly above your chest.
  • Press up quickly and drop the bar down slowly.

Incline Smith machine press

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Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.