Build Big Upper Pecs With Dumbbell Inclines

Few things round out your upper body muscles more than large, rounded pecs. To get that massive, round look you have to build the upper pecs. The dumbbell incline is the king of upper chest exercises. It’s best to use an adjustable bench. Doing the exercise with a steep incline will work mainly the upper pecs, while doing the exercise closer to a flat bench will work the middle pecs. It’s best to do inclines with dumbbells because that isolates your upper pecs and forces the muscles on both sides of your body to do their fair share of the work. Quality is key, so you have to be able to bring a lot of weight to your chest that you can push hard.

Correct Exercise Form:

Begin by placing the dumbbells on your lower thigh, just above your kneecaps. Drive up each dumbbell – one at a time – with your thigh moving toward your upper chest and collarbones. After steadying yourself at the starting position, press both dumbbells overhead, keeping your wrists firm and straight. Return the weights to your chest under control. When finished doing your reps, lower the weights to your thighs, and then put them back on the rack. Do this exercise strictly, without arching your back.


Work All Upper Body Muscles. Upper body movements are varied and complicated. Muscles become unbalanced and the joints lose flexibility if you work only a few motions. Some lifters, particularly beginners, spend more time working pecs and delts than any other upper body muscles. Proper upper body development takes a lot more than doing some bench presses, flyes and raises. Slippery Rock University scientists led by J.C. Barlow evaluated shoulder strength and flexibility in a variety of upper body movements in 29 experienced trainers and 25 control subjects. While the experienced trainers were stronger than controls, they showed muscle imbalances and restricted flexibility during a variety of shoulder movements. Do exercise for all shoulder motions – not just the exercises you like. (Nat Strength Cond Assoc, 24: 16-17; J Strength Cond Res, 16: 367-372)

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