incline chest press
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Target Chest: Smith Machine Incline Chest Press

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
October 9, 2017
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Let’s build some thick upper pecs! Incline chest presses create mass and build strength in your upper and middle pectoral muscles, plus, your front deltoids get some rowdy action in the process. If you’re looking to develop the upper part of your pectoral muscles and build well-rounded pecs like Arnold’s, you need to get under the Smith machine and do an incline chest press.

incline chest press

I bet you're wondering why you should use the Smith machine instead of just incline pressing on a standard bench or even using an incline bench cable flye, the Smith machine offers some great benefits. First: It’s a great variation to regular incline presses, and variation keeps your body from adapting to the same stimuli. You can also go ahead and go heavy! You won’t need a spotter because you do not have to balance the weight as you would have to with free weights. In addition to that, the Smith machine offers constant tension on your pecs which leads to hypertrophy. Want more proof? It’s also better for your joints. You can lift heavier and your joints will thank you because the Smith machine is less taxing on your joints than free weights.

How To Do The Incline Chest Press:

  1. Position an adjustable incline bench under the Smith machine bar.
  2. Set the incline bench to a 30 to 45 degree angle.
  3. Load the weights on the Smith machine.
  4. Sit back into the incline bench. Make sure the bar lines up with the top of your chest.
  5. Grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart using an overhand grip. Your palms will be facing away from you.
  6. Plant your feet firmly on the floor.
  7. Release the safety bars and position the bar above your chest with your arms fully extended.
  8. Begin by lowering the bar in a controlled manner. Allow the bar to barely touch your chest, pause, and then begin pressing the bar back up in the same controlled manner.
  9. Don’t lock your elbows out before beginning the next rep.

Trainer Tips:

Keep your repetitions slow and controlled. There’s no reason for the Smith machine to sound like a roller coaster with speeding cars on it. Keep a cadence of 3/3/0 and allow yourself to feel those pecs working.

Sample Exercise Plan:

  • Smith machine incline chest press 3 sets of 12
  • Dumbbell incline press 3 sets of 10-12
  • Smith machine bench press 3 sets of 12
  • Low cable crossovers 2 sets of 8
  • Medium Cable crossovers 2 sets of 8
  • High Cable crossovers 2 sets of 8
  • Close grip dumbbell press 3 sets of 12
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