Incline Dumbbell Fly

Technique Summary

Lay on a bench that is set at a 30 to 60 degree incline. Form a straight line with your arms through your shoulders, maintaining a slight bend in your arms with your palms facing up. Lift the weights up over your upper chest by squeezing your pecs, exhale, then bring the weights down and inhale.

Technique Details

As with other exercises, let’s first focus on what may injure you if dumbbell flys are performed incorrectly. One common way to get hurt is by bringing the weights too far down. You should lower the dumbbells until they are at the same level as your shoulders. You could bring the weights down slightly lower for a better stretch. Maintain a constant bend at your elbows. Fully extending your arms leads to injury. Introducing a greater bend into your elbow transforms the exercise into a dumbbell press. Don’t rush through the reps. Be very deliberate in the movement, controlling the weight in the positive and negative phase of the lift. The dumbbell fly is a great isolation exercise; it doesn’t require heavy weight to be effective. Avoid sacrificing form in favor of heavy weights. Only move up in weight when you are fully comfortable with what you are already doing. 

Incline Dumbbell Press

Technique Summary

Lay on a bench set at a 30 to 60 degree incline. Bring your elbows out forming a straight line, lower arm perpendicular to the floor. Bring the weight up, exhale, bring it down, inhale.

Technique Details

Since the purpose of the exercise is to improve your health and not the opposite, let’s identify things you should not be doing to avoid injury. First basic rule, do not lock out your elbows. This means bring the weights up, and straighten your arms up to and until the point where your elbows lock, without actually locking it. Do not bring the weight down to far. That hurts your shoulders. Going down until your upper arms make a straight line with your back is sufficient. You can bring the weights slightly lower to get a stretch and extend the range of motion, but only slightly. 

Incline Bench Press

Technique Summary

Lay on the incline bench-press bench, feet flat on the floor. Grip the bar between elbow length and shoulders. Lower the bar onto your chest, inhale, push out, exhale.

Exercise Type: Compound
Primary Muscle: Pectoralis Major (with emphasis on upper chest)
Secondary Muscle: Triceps Brachii, Anterior Deltoid, and Serratus Anterior

Technique Details

The incline bench press is the best and most commonly used compound exercise for your upper chest. First, let’s get the basics out of the way. Never lock out your elbows. This prevents tendonitis and keeps the pressure on your chest throughout the exercise. Also, never rest the bar on your chest, or let the bar come in contact with your chest. Way too many people bounce the weight off. Not only does that not help you develop your chest, but it is a pretty good way to hurt yourself. For all intents and purposes, you may as well be bouncing the weight off your head.