Flat Bench vs. Incline Bench

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    Flat Bench vs. Incline Bench


    Which should be stronger?

    I have been told that your flat bench should be stronger than your incline, but I am the other way around.

    Which would generate more size?

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    I don't think i've ever met anyone with a legit stronger incline over flat bench but I don't exactly know a whole lot of lifters and know their lift maxes either.
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    I agree with Jay my flat is much stonger than incline
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    I used to be equivalent until I learned how to bench "appropriately"; ie elbows tucked, back arched, body tense. Then my flat took off and my incline stuck, as my shoulders say "no F'in way" to more weight.
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    Incline utilizes a lot of shoulders while the flat uses alot of back, if you lats are weak and you have strong shoulders it's possible to have a stronger incline, but your flat should be stronger. Like Enigma said, proper technique will make a huge difference, on the incline it's not as easy to get the whole body involved, it's a lot more isolatory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basso
    on the incline it's not as easy to get the whole body involved, it's a lot more isolatory.
    Especially in commercial gyms on high inclines. I tried to drive my legs when using an incline that wasn't bolted down and the damn thing slid out from under me.lol
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    Well flat will kill your shoulders. But decline is ( should be ) your weakest, Flat strongest, Incline med . But I focus on Incline b/c it develops the chest best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtysouthmuscl
    Well flat will kill your shoulders. But decline is ( should be ) your weakest, Flat strongest, Incline med . But I focus on Incline b/c it develops the chest best.
    I actually find my decline to be my strongest, then my flat, and my incline being the weakest
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    Decline will typically be the strongest due to less range of motion and a lot more back involvement. If you have really good PLing form on the the flat, your flat will be the strongest because you can get the whole body involved.
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    Maybe I don't have such good form on my flat.... over the summer, I was hitting 275 for 3 reps on incline and could only hit that same weight on flat 1 or 2 times.

    For a while though I did focus a lot on my upper chest and shoulders... maybe I just got too far along with them.
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    My incline press is stronger than my flat press. I rarely use barbells and stick with dumbells for the most part. About 5 years ago I made an effort to enhance my upper chest....thus, I would usually start my chest workouts with inclines. Now, I just alternate every other workout. I can get 10 reps with the 100 lb dumbells on the incline while only getting 8 reps on the flat. Not sure what this means, but I could care less......my Pecs look great so I am happy!

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    I've noticed a few things. When I work out with dumbells for awhile, Then swap to barbell I lose alot of power. Same thing vice-versa. I guess The same is said for Incline to Flat. But everything I've every read Incline or tried . Incline is KING for the chest. Flat makes thick pecs, but Incline Makes thick square pecs.
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    Anybody ever done incline CG bench..?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtysouthmuscl
    Well flat will kill your shoulders. But decline is ( should be ) your weakest, Flat strongest, Incline med . But I focus on Incline b/c it develops the chest best.

    Huh, everyone I know has stronger declines than their flats. I don't think there is really a "should" in the equation. Either you have predominant shoulders which would help your Incline, or you are like 90% of the training population and have stronger Flats and even stronger Declines due to the shortened range of movement.
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    I have to agree with Ubi on this one... I've only met one person who had a stronger incline than flat, and most of the people I have had the (dis)pleasure of watching them lift, don't do decline movements (or correct form on the flat and incline.. but I digress). But everyone I know who properly does all three, goes from Decline to flat to incline (strong to weak).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous
    Huh, everyone I know has stronger declines than their flats. I don't think there is really a "should" in the equation. Either you have predominant shoulders which would help your Incline, or you are like 90% of the training population and have stronger Flats and even stronger Declines due to the shortened range of movement.
    I guess I miss quoted my self( should be ) .As for range of motion , I know some people who use a super wide grip on flat that makes them stronger. Due to ROM. And then on decline a closer grip , same on Inclie a closer grip . Which gives a greater ROM and means weaker press. When I do my decline I co to my neck not my lower pec . Its created a greater pec for me. I know most peple go to lower pec making a shorter ROM , mine adds about 5 " to the press.Making me wearker. But Everything is not for everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtysouthmuscl
    I guess I miss quoted my self( should be ) .As for range of motion , I know some people who use a super wide grip on flat that makes them stronger. Due to ROM. And then on decline a closer grip , same on Inclie a closer grip . Which gives a greater ROM and means weaker press. When I do my decline I co to my neck not my lower pec . Its created a greater pec for me. I know most peple go to lower pec making a shorter ROM , mine adds about 5 " to the press.Making me wearker. But Everything is not for everyone.

    Are you saying you go down to your throat when you do decline? That seems like it would put alot of forearm/bicep into the lift. I can't imagine trying that with a couple plates on there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakaveliThaDon
    Are you saying you go down to your throat when you do decline? That seems like it would put alot of forearm/bicep into the lift. I can't imagine trying that with a couple plates on there.
    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.
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    I dont Flat BP.
    I agree with Dorian Yates philosphy he says,The way its positioned Its too easy to tear your pec and too much front delts into play.

    He also says too much Incline like most 35-45 degree Incline stations also place to much stress upon the deltoids. He recommends 30 degree incline or less. a slight incline.
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    As I have gotten older, my incline has increased and has gotten amazingly closer to my FB. THe craziest part is that my seated press has gone up by leaps and bounds, while flat always stayts the same
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    I can't even do flat press's due to osteolysis.... but I'm incline pressing 365... wish I could do flat and decline
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    Osteolysis can involve getting an artificial part right in your case a artificial shoulder is that right and do you have an artificial Shoulder?
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    I can actually press the same on my flat and incline. I focus more on my incline press more than flat tho. Declines, hahaha who does those? i would rather do dips and DB pullovers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLOODZ View Post
    I can actually press the same on my flat and incline. I focus more on my incline press more than flat tho. Declines, hahaha who does those? i would rather do dips and DB pullovers.
    I agree w/the decline comment. It's a WASTE of space.....DIP IT!!!!
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    Decline dumbell presses supersetted with dips work well for me.
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    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.
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    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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    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
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    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.
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    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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    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.
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    most peeps will max out stronger on flat then incline
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    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.
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    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
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    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
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    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.
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    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.
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    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!
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    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
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    BIG R's Avatar
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    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.
  

  
 

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