Bench Press for Upper Chest – (2 BIG MISTAKES!)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. We’re breaking out Jeff’s marker today to
help you get more out of the incline bench press. No doubt, it’s one of the best upper
chest exercises you can do if you can figure out a way to minimize the front delt from
dominating the movement. You see, we know that these two muscles – the
front delt and the upper chest fibers – are really close to each other, which means they
can really start dominating one or the other if we don’t do the exercise correctly. So I want to carry over and show you the two
biggest problems with the exercise that most people are making. I can tell you, it was
backed up with a recent trip to the gym where our international chest day – Friday now,
a lot of guys getting their swole on for the weekend – there were so many guys doing
incline bench incorrectly at the gym that I felt like it warranted a video to recover
this important topic. So first of all, what is the angle that you
want to use on the bench in order to hit the upper chest the most? Now, I’m not saying
that you want to totally exclude the front delt, but the fact of the matter is, our front
delts get a lot of attention from a lot of the other exercise that we not only do in
the gym, but every day activities that we do with our body. If I were to do a shoulder press you guys
know that an upright shoulder press is going to maximize the attention that the shoulders
get – the front delts get. Why? Because it’s straight up against gravity. You can see this muscle is working and shortening
up against the force of gravity, right through here. Well, if I were to back off the angle
of the bench 30 degrees to 60 degrees – which is one of the most common places that people
will do an incline bench press from – then you’re going to shift the focus down a little
bit. But you can see this muscle is a pretty large
muscle and it’s not enough. It’s not enough to put the focus down through the mid-belly
of the upper chest. So 60 is not enough. You might want to go a bit lower. You can see me make that adjustment here on
the bench, down to 45 degrees. Well, 4t5 degrees is better. Anytime you start going lower and
lower, you’re shifting that focus down. Remember, completely flat bench-press, 0 degrees would
represent one that’s going to target more of the middle chest. So at 45 degrees you’re still not really there.
You’ve got a little more room to play. As a matter of fact, research shows that 30 degrees
is the best angle for targeting the upper chest. Now, that leads to the second point. As you’ve seen me bang out a couple reps of
th 30 degrees, notice the position of my shoulder. Now, the position of my shoulder is key. This
is why the 30 degree angle works better, because when you look at these two muscles – again,
I talked about the dominance of the front delt. When the front delt becomes dominant our shoulders
tend to round forward. I know a lot of people watching this are probably sitting here right
now like this watching the video. That’s common, unfortunately. What happens is, the front
delt is actually put in more of a position of power in relation to the chest. It’s actually here more willing, proud, standing
out, willing and able to push more quickly and spring to the task more quickly than your
upper chest. The way we can silence that is by getting it back where it belongs, allowing
the chest to now being a better position to contract. The way we have to do that is through positioning
our shoulders in the right direction. So we want to make sure that whenever we press the
shoulder blades have to be back and down, okay? Back and down. What the does immediately, you can see here,
is it puts the front delt back in its place and allows the upper chest to be in a better
position of pushing power because we’re laying back flatter, and flatter, and flatter on
a 30 degree versus a 60. We’re actually allowing that to take place
more naturally. So you have to not only rely on the fact that the bench is helping you
get there, but you have to consciously be sure that you’re contracting those shoulder
blades to ensure that it’s there because a lot of us will continue to press. Over time, even as we fatigue, more and more
we’re trying to recruit a little bit of help from the front delt and that’s when the exercise
falls apart. So, guys, I hope you’ve found this detailed breakdown of the incline bench
to be helpful. Remember, this is about putting the science
back in strength. I don’t like to just tell you “Oh, do inclined bench because it’s good.”
We all know it’s good, it’s why it’s good that allows you to get better results, faster
when you follow our training. Guys, if you’re looking for a complete training
program, step by step, put the science back in your strength, you can head to ATHLEANX.com
right now and get our ATHLEANX training system. If you’ve found this video helpful, if you
like Jeff’s marker, make sure you let me know in the comments below and I’ll make sure to
break it out again and do more of these detailed breakdowns. All right guys, I’ll be back here again real
soon.

100 thoughts on “Bench Press for Upper Chest – (2 BIG MISTAKES!)

  1. U r amazing jeff, have really helped my workout routine and my physique. Thank you for all the great videos. πŸ™‚

  2. I hate when Jeff is so condescending and tries to tell me how I'm sitting….and then I realize that's exactly how I'm sitting…

    #getoutofmymindcharles

  3. Undoubtedly best fitness channel there is, straight to the point, and most importantly the HOW and the WHY things should be done at the gym, not just, do this, do that, or what's worst… dudes uploading videos of themselves training.

  4. What happen if you put in 15 degree incline press are you still Targeting your upper chest cause im doing for 15 degree inclined press.

  5. It is bad known that to train the upper chest you should have a supine grip and incline the bench 15Β°, thanks lads i appreciate u as well

  6. Thanks for the breakdown!! Really helped to separate the front shoulder by squeezing back (& down) and put the emphasis on the upper chest! #stayflexing

  7. Watching your videos has helped me exponentially with my gains. Combining this with your video about proper dumbbell lifts has allowed me to be able to rep 90lb dumbbells and get a mean chest pump. You da man jeff!

  8. My front delt just won't stop. Did chest today and and couldn't even warm up with one wheel. Felt like a pussy. Lol.

  9. It seems my gyms incline bench press machine is greater than 30 degrees. I avoid it do to the slight shoulder discomfort when performing a press. I believe the 30 degree angle will help, at least it looks like it will. Can't wait to try it when I get back to the gym (recovering from a torn main triceps tendon). Seems common sense when watching your vid. Thanks for all your great and professional advice.

  10. I've always hated the gym because of the uneducated people telling me to do exercises which did more damage to my body than build any muscles. After a few years of quitting, simply because I'm scared of injuries, I started working out again after watching Jeff. I know now that I'm training safely and I'm even giving advice to others at the gym! Thanks Jeff, you are amazing!

  11. This makes me happy, because I have "accidentally" adjusted for this "on my own" (but I have learned a lot from this channel, so hence quotation marks). I've found that whether I am on the bench, or using cables, sort of pushing my chest forward and shoulders backwards before the lift, puts a better and more isolated amount of stress on my chest. Glad to hear to science behind why! Thanks.

  12. Is this a good exercise to get rid of man boobs? I'm fit in general but I'm desperate at this point to fix those.

  13. Jeff I've benching for years and I carry a lot of chest fat even during my leanest years…and have seen massive gains or shaping in the chest are. I’ve recently just heard about shoulder packing when benching? What is this and does it help with developing the chest. video would great or let me know how I can get in touch for some personal advice

  14. I Love The Detailed Breakdowns! I Love The Markers. I learn so much more about what muscles I am targeting and where they are and what they do. Thanks

  15. Constitution Day and US Citizenship T-shirt Is Available Now 😍 American Pride πŸ’ͺ
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  16. i will try the shoulder thing trick tomorow and see the difference.i always knew something was off as i couldnt feel much at the chest and always felt at the shoulders when i bench pressed.

  17. can i do 3 sets of the chest press machine and do also 3 sets of the incline barbell bench press in the same chest workout? or is that overkill on the upper chest?

  18. Helpful as always, thank you. Have you done any vids on muscle recovery time? I'm an old guy trying to get back what I've lost after 10 years out of the gym. I've noticed my recovery times are much longer now than when I was in my 40's. Is there anything I can do to speed that up both physically and nutritionally?

  19. I've been doing bench for quite a while, not realizing a few small tweaks could make it significantly better. Thanks Jeff!

  20. When I keep my shoulders back to properly activate my chest it hurts my back in between my shoulders blades. Any idea what this is and how to prevent it?

  21. I just watched a video where jeff says dont listen to people who says "study shows that" or "according to research" because what they are saying is i have no experience whatsoever, i have no idea what im talking about. And now he himself tells us acvording to research, study shows that.

  22. Good breakdown and the marker is very helpful. I've used the 45 degree angle for years (I'm 60) and am happy to learn that I can drop the bench down a little and get better results. Probably will be easier on my shoulders too. Thanks!

  23. You are amazing! When I have questions about my lifts, more often than not, I can find an answer from ATHLEAN-X that is always technical and informative!

  24. The other day in the gym I was doing the incline bench DB press. Bench was set at 45 but I felt a lot of strain on the front delt. Reset the bench to 30 and it made a HUGE difference!

  25. 30 degree is also Chance to injury of neck back bone… please more specific on this topic you can't say it this is good

  26. Jeff you’re the bomb keep up the marker work I was just wondering about these the other day and you hit it right on

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