Neutral Grip Incline Dumbbell Bench Press Overview
The neutral grip incline dumbbell bench press is a variation of the incline dumbbell bench press and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
The neutral grip when pressing is popular among those with joint discomfort as it can put some of the major joints (shoulders, wrists, and elbows) in a more favorable pressing position.
Incline variations of pressing are also popular as supplemental movements and accessory work for both athletes looking to increase their strength and improve their aesthetics.
For instance, from an aesthetic standpoint, using an incline can help you better target the upper chest. And for those looking to improve their pressing numbers, the incline provides a challenge by altering the press to a more difficult and challenging angle.
Neutral Grip Incline Dumbbell Bench Press Instructions
- Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on the edge of an incline bench.
- To get into position, lay back and keep the weights close to your chest. Once you are in position, take a deep breath, and press the dumbbells to lockout at the top using a neutral grip.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells under control as far as comfortably possible (the handles should be about level with your chest).
- Contract the chest and push the dumbbells back up to the starting position while maintaining a neutral grip throughout the duration of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
**Dropping the dumbbells to the side is discouraged unless you are experienced with the technique or using excessively heavy weights.
**Ideally you should twist the dumbbells back to neutral (palms facing each other), bring your knees up so the ends of the dumbbells are touching your thighs, then use the weight of the dumbbells to rock back to an upright, seated position.
Neutral Grip Incline Dumbbell Bench Press Tips
- Maintain more tension through the pecs by not locking out the elbows entirely.
- Keep the weights slightly tilted at a 45 degree angle in order to keep the elbows in a neutral position.
- Don’t allow the dumbbells to collide at the top of each rep - bouncing them together may cause you to lose stability within the shoulder and injure yourself.
- Squeeze the dumbbells as tight as possible to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
- Keep your shoulder blades pinched together to ensure the shoulders remain in a safe position.
- Imagine you’re trying to push yourself away from the weights rather than pushing the weights away from yourself.
- If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
- Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t allow the lower body to move during the set.