Developing a full chest is a goal of most gym-goers. Most struggle however, to bring out the top area of the chest around the clavicles. The best way to think of this is to visualize the part that is emphasized when you do the incline press. Adding this exercise to your chest routine will allow you to bring out your upper chest musculature. In this article, we review the 5 best incline chest press machines for your home gym.
Benefits of Incline Bench Press
The incline bench press allows you to work the upper chest muscles. This is an area that is hard for many people to develop. Doing your presses on the incline also allows for a greater range of movement compared to presses on the standard flat bench press. If you use dumbbells rather than a barbell you will be able to achieve an even greater range of movement
upper pectoral muscles. However, when you do the flat barbell bench press, the front delts have a tendency to take over. That’s why so many guys who do a lot of flat benching and not much incline end up with overdeveloped shoulders and underdeveloped chest muscles.
For best results, you should incline bench press with dumbbells. They will allow for a greater range of movement. They’ll also allow you to bring your hands in together, as you push up from the bottom position. This better follows the biomechanical movement of the pectoral muscles and reduces the involvement of the triceps.
Another excellent variation is the standing cable chest press.
Here’s how to do the incline bench press with dumbbells:
- Set the angle of an incline bench to 30 degrees.
- Lie on the bench with a pair of dumbbells in your hands and firmly plant your feet on the floor.
- Bring the dumbbells up above your chest at full arm extension with your palms facing forward and the dumbbells touching.
- Bring the dumbbells out and down until your upper arms are at the level of your shoulders.
- Push back to the start position.
Best Incline Chest Press Exercise Machines
Best Overall Incline Bench Press Machine
Say the name Bowflex and you’ll likely get two reactions. First, unlike many fitness companies, everyone will know who you’re talking about and second, they’ll also know the company’s most famous product. What they won’t know is that Bowflex also makes some pretty incredible traditional weight benches. The most popular is the BowflexSelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench.
The Bowflex 5.1 Weight Bench is a nonsense-free bench that looks great, is incredibly stable, and hits all the beats any good FID bench should hit in terms of adjustability, portability, lateral stability, and versatility.
- Visually and ergonomically pleasing design
- Detachable leg restraints for ab work
- Easy to fold down and trundle away
- 30-year limited warranty
Best Overall Value Incline Bench Press Machine
Yoleo Adjustable Weight Bench
The Yoleo adjustable weight bench is the best value beginner’s weight bench that we have come across. You can pick it up for less than a hundred dollars. For that price, you will get an impressively solid workout platform. It’s got a max user weight of 330 lbs, which is outstanding for a budget bench.
This bench is adjustable to 7 positions, to provide you with a wide variety of training options. Adjustment is fast and secure. This bench is foldable, collapsing to less than half of its original size. As with the angle adjustment, folding up the bench is a simple process, requiring just the removal of a pin.
The bench padding on the Yoleo is better than you’ll find on almost any other bench in its price range. In fact, this bench uses the same high-density foam that you’ll find on the more expensive BowflexSelecTech5.1, which are hundreds of dollars more expensive. A final cool feature is the addition of anti-slip roller pads to help with stability.
- 7 adjustable back positions
- High-density foam padding
- Great price
Best for Adjustability Incline Bench Machine
Deracy Deluxe Adjustable Weight Bench
The Deracy Deluxe Adjustable Weight Bench lost out as our “Best Overall Value” by the narrowest of margins. It’s a great FID bench for a sharp price. But it really excels when it comes to adjustability.
The Deracy Deluxe Adjustable Bench grips the floor and is easy to roll away and store. It’s adjustable to 10 total positions and sports the type of nice wide saddle we’d like to see on some other benches. It also looks like a much more expensive bench.
- 14-gauge steel construction
- Powder coat finish for lasting good looks
- Can be used with many rack and cage systems
- 2 year limited warranty
Best Chest Press Machine for Tall People
Fitness Reality X-Class 1500 lb Light Commercial Bench
The Fitness Reality X-Class bench is a versatile, heavy duty home use bench that provides you with 7 angles of incline adjustment. The bench will accommodate users up to 6 feet, four inches in height. Angle adjustment is between 15 and 85 degrees. This is a high quality bench that will allow you to effectively work your entire body. It features an ab crunch lockdown feature so that you can effectively work your core long with an arm curl attachment. It comes in at an attractive price point.
- 7 angle adjustment
- Suitable for taller users
- Crunch lockdown
Most Stable Incline Bench Press Machine
Day 1 Fitness Adjustable Weight Bench
The Day 1 Fitness Adjustable weight bench is a solid, secure bench that allows for a user weight of 1000 pounds. That huge number speaks to the solid frame and stable, wide base of this unit. The bench provides you with 6 incline positions and 3 seat inclines to allow for customization of your position.
The seat and back padding on this bench is 2 inches thick to provide plenty of support. The vinyl covering is both odor and sweat resistant. A detachable foot anchor is included to allow you to secure your feet when you are doing sit-ups and decline presses.
- 1000 max user weight
- Solid, stable, and secure
- 2-inch thick padding
- Detachable foot anchor
Frequently Asked Questions
How stable is a weight bench? Does it wobble?
The stability of a weight bench depends on the strength of its frame. The most stable benches will have frames that are made from 2-inch square steel framing. Ideally, the bench should also have stabilizers that allow you to keep the bench level even if the floor is not.
When would you use the bench at different inclines?
You would use the bench at different inclines to work different muscles of the upper body. The flatter the incline, the more you will work your chest. The higher you angle the bench, the more the emphasis is switched to your front deltoids.
Are chest press machines easy to fold for storage and unfold for everyday use?
Not all chest press machines are foldable for storage. Those that are, usually fold easily and pack away into a compact space when not in use. Folding and unfolding the bench usually requires just one or two adjustments of the back support.
Why is incline bench press harder?
The incline bench is harder because it switches the focus from your entire chest to the upper part of that muscle. There is minimal lower chest and not that much mid-chest fiber recruitment when you do this exercise. Because a smaller portion of the muscles are being stressed, you will not be able to lift as much weight, compared to doing the same exercise on a flat bench.
Does incline bench press work the lower chest?
The incline bench press does work the lower chest to a small degree. However, it’s impossible to totally isolate any part of the chest because of the muscle fibers all contract and expand together. You should note though, when you have the incline bench angled at 30 degrees, you are able to place the emphasis on the top half of the chest.
Having a secure, stable incline chest press at home will allow you to get a great upper chest workout, to round out your upper body training. The best overall bench on the market right now is the BowflexSelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench. For a more budget bench option, that will still do the business, go for the Yoleo Adjustable weight bench. Happy pressing!
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