Flat Bench vs. Incline Bench

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  1. The incline bench press is an unnecessary exercise. It focuses on development of a muscle group hit appropriately with flat benches alone. They are hard on the shoulders.

    Here is a study:

    This experiment investigated the effects of varying bench inclination and hand spacing on the EMG activity of five muscles acting at the shoulder joint. Six male weight trainers performed presses under four conditions of trunk inclination and two of hand spacing at 80% of their predetermined max. Preamplified surface EMG electrodes were placed over the five muscles in question. The EMG signals during the 2-sec lift indicated some significant effects of trunk inclination and hand spacing. The sternocostal head of the pectoralis major was more active during the press from a horizontal bench than from a decline bench. Also, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major was no more active during the incline bench press than during the horizontal one, but it was less active during the decline bench press. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major was more active with a narrow hand spacing. Anterior deltoid activity tended to increase as trunk inclination increased. The long head of the triceps brachii was more active during the decline and flat bench presses than the other two conditions, and was also more active with a narrow hand spacing. Latissimus dorsi exhibited low activity in all conditions.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS


  2. Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    The incline bench press is an unnecessary exercise. It focuses on development of a muscle group hit appropriately with flat benches alone. They are hard on the shoulders.

    Here is a study:

    This experiment investigated the effects of varying bench inclination and hand spacing on the EMG activity of five muscles acting at the shoulder joint. Six male weight trainers performed presses under four conditions of trunk inclination and two of hand spacing at 80% of their predetermined max. Preamplified surface EMG electrodes were placed over the five muscles in question. The EMG signals during the 2-sec lift indicated some significant effects of trunk inclination and hand spacing. The sternocostal head of the pectoralis major was more active during the press from a horizontal bench than from a decline bench. Also, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major was no more active during the incline bench press than during the horizontal one, but it was less active during the decline bench press. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major was more active with a narrow hand spacing. Anterior deltoid activity tended to increase as trunk inclination increased. The long head of the triceps brachii was more active during the decline and flat bench presses than the other two conditions, and was also more active with a narrow hand spacing. Latissimus dorsi exhibited low activity in all conditions.
    DAMN...YOU are DUMB!!!
    ALL bench pressing movements are hard on the delts! Especially on heavy lifts,because individuals tend to bring the bar in closer to their shoulders subconsciously to adapt to the heavy load instead of keeping it at or just above nipple level.

    You are making a TOTAL ass of yourself!!!
    Congrats!

    Here's a study...MOST Americans thought obama would be a good president too

    After YEARS&YEARS,stacked upon YEARS of INCLINING,it has been declared on this 5th day of FEB. 2010,the tried and true exercise is useless

    As a matter of fact....My local programming was just interrupted to bring me this earth shattering news
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  3. DECLINE STRONGEST/SHORTEST DISTANCE MOVED
    INCLINE WEAKEST / LONGEST DISTANCE MOVED
    FLAT IN THE MIDDLE
    THE FURTHER DISTANCE YOU MOVE A WEIGHT THE HARD IT IS

  4. Quote Originally Posted by H8dook View Post
    DAMN...YOU are DUMB!!!
    ALL bench pressing movements are hard on the delts! Especially on heavy lifts,because individuals tend to bring the bar in closer to their shoulders subconsciously to adapt to the heavy load instead of keeping it at or just above nipple level.

    You are making a TOTAL ass of yourself!!!
    Congrats!

    Here's a study...MOST Americans thought obama would be a good president too

    After YEARS&YEARS,stacked upon YEARS of INCLINING,it has been declared on this 5th day of FEB. 2010,the tried and true exercise is useless

    As a matter of fact....My local programming was just interrupted to bring me this earth shattering news
    Read the ****ing study, dumbass. The incline press applied more pressure to the shoulders than it did the pec, the flat bench worked the compromise of both heads better.

    And what does Obama have to do with anything? You are bringing him up in bodybuilding posts.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS

  5. Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    Read the ****ing study, dumbass. The incline press applied more pressure to the shoulders than it did the pec, the flat bench worked the compromise of both heads better.

    And what does Obama have to do with anything? You are bringing him up in bodybuilding posts.
    You honestly believe ANYONE is gonna take that ADVICE an quit INCLINING????
    Do you think tomorrow all gyms in the world will remove their incline benches due to your study???
    You are making a "big splash" trying to prove you are smart....NOT working too well though!!!

    The obama reference is proof positive that ANYONE can do a study...Doesn't make it right...DUMBASS!!!

    Here's a concept....SHUT THE FUK UP and read and learn before you jump in trying to prove your smarts,or better yet,lack thereof.

    Let's have a poll here at AM.....How many members will QUIT doing inclines now because nurse dum-dum has presented a "study?"
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by H8dook View Post
    You honestly believe ANYONE is gonna take that ADVICE an quit INCLINING????
    Do you think tomorrow all gyms in the world will remove their incline benches due to your study???
    You are making a "big splash" trying to prove you are smart....NOT working too well though!!!

    The obama reference is proof positive that ANYONE can do a study...Doesn't make it right...DUMBASS!!!

    Here's a concept....SHUT THE FUK UP and read and learn before you jump in trying to prove your smarts,or better yet,lack thereof.

    Let's have a poll here at AM.....How many members will QUIT doing inclines now because nurse dum-dum has presented a "study?"
    You have not had ONE productive thing to say in a single discussion. You are by far the most clueless poster I've seen on the internet. And trust me, I've seen some real "special" people.

    The study conducted that incline presses exhaust the shoulders more so than the pecs. Each push needs an opposite pull in order to keep the joints balanced, what pull would balance an incline press? A Yates row that doesn't hit the posterior deltoids or lats as hard?

    And like I said, I would LOVE to see you try to earn a degree in anything other than stupidity, you've earned a masters in that.

    I've said this before, but everyone is entitled to stupidity, but you sir abusive the privilege. You have done nothing but post caveman pictures to mask your ignorant lack of intelligence in any area other than misspelled words and grammatical errors.

    Let the big boys have some discussions. And once again, leave the President out of bodybuilding discussions. Obama has absolutely nothing to do with an incline bench press. You're trolling. Plain and simple.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS

  7. most peeps will max out stronger on flat then incline

  8. For upper chest development it is best to use incline DB bench over incline BB bench regardless of hand spacing.

    If the sternal head is more active during flat than decline, is the extra force going to the lats? funny there was no clear mention of it in the study.

  9. LOL!! Oh man! Anywayyys yeah ive learned there there are ALOT of good videos on youtube of chest development exercises such as dips and such. they even say if you put your feet in front of you when you dip it concentrates more on the chest. Check it out... ww.youtube.com/watch?v=T9aWfBptNL0&feature=re lated add an extra w in front

  10. Quote Originally Posted by cmc View Post
    Decline dumbell presses supersetted with dips work well for me.
    With your full chest structure I imagine just about any chest exercise would work well for you. lol

  11. I remember reading something stating that reverse grip flat benching has shown to work the up part of your pecs better than incline benching. I have been trying it out and like the way it feels. Ive always seen the flat bench as king and it had been used for years and the main pec developement exercise has it not?. The only reason i would see trying to reinvent the wheel is due to personal injuries or if you just need to change it up for gains.

  12. KingOng, for real man. incline is extremely important. flat may work both heads of the pec effectively but we have incline for a reason. in order to get a full and mature pec (i am talking large upper, lower, inner, and outer portion of pec) you need to do a variety of movements. incline bench, decline bench, flat bench, incline fly's, flat fly's, cable pulls. there are a variety of movements for your pecs that are all useful and needed in order to get a full pec. and personally i have noticed a MAJOR difference in the size of my upper chest sense i started doing incline, and so what if it brings in shoulders a little more, what do you want to have baby back bitch shoulders the rest of your life. i dont think so. i am not saying i know alot but i at least know this much............... you will get there someday ;-) try reading sometime, having knowledge to backup what you say is helpful. and anyone could write down some stupid ass study that isn't true so dont just trust one 'study' read multiple sources. dont just listen to what i say either go out and research it for yourself just to make sure it is true.
  13. not me.


    Quote Originally Posted by H8dook View Post
    You honestly believe ANYONE is gonna take that ADVICE an quit INCLINING????
    Do you think tomorrow all gyms in the world will remove their incline benches due to your study???
    You are making a "big splash" trying to prove you are smart....NOT working too well though!!!

    The obama reference is proof positive that ANYONE can do a study...Doesn't make it right...DUMBASS!!!

    Here's a concept....SHUT THE FUK UP and read and learn before you jump in trying to prove your smarts,or better yet,lack thereof.

    Let's have a poll here at AM.....How many members will QUIT doing inclines now because nurse dum-dum has presented a "study?"
    not me. I do incline and decline bench along w inc/dec/flat cable fly. seems to be working for me. chest looks great and alot stronger!

  14. Quote Originally Posted by bigredmach View Post
    not me. I do incline and decline bench along w inc/dec/flat cable fly. seems to be working for me. chest looks great and alot stronger!
    yep pretty much

  15. KingKong, no disrespect to you or your study, but the study is faulty.

    Ive been training over 20 years, and I can tell when Ive been working inclines more than flat bench. The muscle on the upper chest is fuller and stronger, its obvious.

    If I had a choice of only doing one or the other I would have to pick inclines, because it isolates the muscle better. If my delts and tris get hit harder in the process, so be it. Thats better than hitting my back hard on chest day...I want to save back for back day.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by H8dook View Post
    You honestly believe ANYONE is gonna take that ADVICE an quit INCLINING????
    Do you think tomorrow all gyms in the world will remove their incline benches due to your study???
    You are making a "big splash" trying to prove you are smart....NOT working too well though!!!

    The obama reference is proof positive that ANYONE can do a study...Doesn't make it right...DUMBASS!!!

    Here's a concept....SHUT THE FUK UP and read and learn before you jump in trying to prove your smarts,or better yet,lack thereof.

    Let's have a poll here at AM.....How many members will QUIT doing inclines now because nurse dum-dum has presented a "study?"
    i believe all gyms in the world will remove their incline benches..and Obama will free the slaves,cure AIDS,end poverty,and have a sex scandel with Tiger Woods.

  17. Here is a good video about the subject, Dorian Yates giving a seminar on chest development.

    http://clips.team-andro.com/watch/3d...Chest-Training

  18. Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic View Post
    Here is a good video about the subject, Dorian Yates giving a seminar on chest development.

    http://clips.team-andro.com/watch/3d...Chest-Training
    interesting vid... thanks for posting

    according to dorian, decline bench "was his mass building exercise".. i never realized the efficacy of it but i think im gona incorporate decline into my routine for a couple months and see what happens
    Suffer now.. and live like a champion later.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by dirtysouthmuscl View Post
    I go to the adams apple . It takes alot of focus and form. but I tell you once you get your form and grip figured out It feels great. I use a grip a little closer than my flat bench grip. If you look at a muscle chart and look at the direction the pecmuscles over lap it made more sense to me.
    Guillotine Press is awesome for pec development. It's akward at first, but it becomes more natural as you hammer out your form. However it doesn't let you push as much weight due to the increased ROM

  20. Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    The study conducted that incline presses exhaust the shoulders more so than the pecs.
    Props for taking a researched based approach to lifting. I feel that at times a little too much faith is placed on what people 'feel' rather than results from controlled experiments.

    I think what our friend kingk0ng is trying to say is that if your are going to target the pecs, then use an exercise that shows to fire more motor units of the pectoral. This type of thinking is not new; Dorian Yates was famous for his 'emphasis' training, where he trained to target certian muscles/muscle movements in their most effective position. It so happens (and is not hard to believe) that incline press tends to take some of the load off of the chest and distribute it to the frontal portion of the deltoid, thereby putting them in a weaker position to fire.

    I do NOT believe that anyone is advocating the removal of the incline press from ANYBODIES routine. We can all agree this would not be optimal for overall chest development.

  21. Interesting article: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...ceps_exercises

    Excerpt:
    " The Winners

    Based on this experiment, here are the top three exercises in terms of mean and peak activity for each muscle part:

    Upper Pec
    Mean Mid Pulley Crossover, Band Push Up, JC Band Press
    Peak DB Incline Press, Guillotine Press, JC Band Press

    Mid Pec
    Mean DB Bench Press, Floor Press, Fly
    Peak Guillotine Press, DB Bench Press, Fly

    Lower Pec
    Mean Weighted Dip, Blast Strap Push Up, Guillotine Press
    Peak Guillotine Press, Fly, Weighted Dip "

  22. Just going to throw this out there.......I have been struggling with a shoulder injury for months so I have not been able to bench press in any way....machine, db or bb......I was afraid that my chest was going to really suffer because the ONLY thing I can do is flies on the machine at my gym........I have been really surprised that chest has actually GROWN over the past few months.....LOL, I am serious.

  23. only chest prob i have is my right side is better developed than my left..tried doin just db for a few months..tried just training my left pec only..nothing seems to even them up

  24. Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf0420 View Post
    Interesting article: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...ceps_exercises

    Excerpt:
    " The Winners

    Based on this experiment, here are the top three exercises in terms of mean and peak activity for each muscle part:

    Upper Pec
    Mean Mid Pulley Crossover, Band Push Up, JC Band Press
    Peak DB Incline Press, Guillotine Press, JC Band Press

    Mid Pec
    Mean DB Bench Press, Floor Press, Fly
    Peak Guillotine Press, DB Bench Press, Fly

    Lower Pec
    Mean Weighted Dip, Blast Strap Push Up, Guillotine Press
    Peak Guillotine Press, Fly, Weighted Dip "

    Good post, i was reading through this an was going to post the same thing. They also did the same thing for other muscle. i thought it was pretty good.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf0420 View Post
    Very interesting, especially about the mid pec thing.
    Something of note:
    It's important to know that I used a powerlifting-style bench press: arched low back, good leg drive, arms at a 45-degree angle, slightly narrower grip, bar lowered to the lower chest. The form used for the guillotine press was straight from late Iron Guru Vince Gironda: feet on the bench, no arch, elbows flared out, wider grip, bar lowered to the neck. It's no surprise the guillotine press works much more pec than the bench press.

    I still believe DB Bench with elbows flaired out(correct form) is superior to Guillotine press.

    I think the most interesting thing of the studies, if you go to the previous one and read it aswell, is that using resistance bands seem to be superior.
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