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Incline Dumbbell Press


The incline dumbbell press is a highly effective upper-body exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. To perform this exercise, one lies on an incline bench with the back and shoulders supported while holding a dumbbell in each hand at chest level. With a controlled motion, the dumbbells are pressed upward until the arms are fully extended, engaging the upper chest muscles, and then lowered back down to the starting position. This movement promotes balanced muscle development and functional strength in the upper body.


  1. Grab onto the dumbbells, preferably off your knees.
  2. Breathe in as you kick the dumbbells up – bringing the dumbbells up.
  3. Breathe out and lock your arms.
  4. Bring each dumbbell down, bending your elbows to 90 degrees.
  5. Repeat until desired repetitions.

Range of Motion for Incline Dumbbell Press

The range of motion in the incline dumbbell press exercise is crucial for maximizing its effectiveness. When performing this exercise, one should aim for a full range of motion by lowering the dumbbells until they are just slightly below chest level. This deep stretch at the bottom of the movement allows for a greater stretch in the chest muscles and a more comprehensive engagement of the upper chest fibers. When pressing the dumbbells upward, extending the arms fully without locking the elbows ensures that the targeted muscles are effectively contracted at the top of the exercise. Maintaining a proper range of motion not only enhances muscle activation but also reduces the risk of injury and supports the development of a well-rounded and strong upper body.

Benefits of Incline Dumbbell Press

The range of motion in the incline dumbbell press exercise is critical for its efficacy in building strength and muscle development. To perform this exercise correctly, it’s essential to begin by lowering the dumbbells to a point where they are just slightly below chest level. This downward phase of the movement allows for a deep stretch in the chest muscles, maximizing the stretch-reflex response and engaging a broader range of muscle fibers in the upper chest. Going too shallow with the range of motion can limit the exercise’s effectiveness, so ensuring that the dumbbells descend to the appropriate depth is key for optimal results.

On the upward phase of the incline dumbbell press, it’s important to fully extend the arms without locking the elbows. This complete extension at the top of the movement ensures that the targeted chest muscles are thoroughly contracted, promoting muscle activation and growth. A full range of motion also helps in enhancing shoulder stability and maintaining proper form throughout the exercise. Maintaining the correct range of motion in both the descent and ascent of the dumbbells not only maximizes the benefits of the exercise but also reduces the risk of injury, contributing to a well-rounded and powerful upper body.


Incline Dumbbell Press Example

Muscle Targets

  • Chest Primary
  • Shoulders Secondary
  • Triceps Secondary

Muscle Anatomy

Front Back
Muscle Click active muscles for description.

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