Adding a tilt to your bench targets your upper chest muscles.
- Set the bench at 30-45˚ and sit with your feet flat on the floor
- Grip the bar with hands wider than shoulder-width apart, brace your core muscles and remove the bar from the rack
- Hold the bar directly above your chest, elbows to the sides
- Lower the bar slowly to your chest and press up powerfully
- Don't arch your back
Variation: Gym ball decline press-up
The additional wobble means your core gets a good workout as well as your upper chest, shoulders and triceps.
- Get into a press-up position with your feet together on the ball
- Don't let your hips sag
- Drop down until your nose almost touches the floor
Variation: Incline dumbbell press
Using dumbbells works each side of your chest independently, preventing your stronger side from doing all the work.
- Sit on the inclined bench holding dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing forward.
- Press the weights straight up.
Variation: Incline Smith machine press
When you don't have a spotter to help you, the Smith machine lets you press heavy weights in safety.
- Place the bench so the bar sits directly above your chest.
- Press up quickly and drop the bar down slowly.
Joe Warner worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach, from 2008 to 2013, then returned as editor of Men’s Fitness UK from 2016 to 2019.
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, the latest gear and more.
Thank you for signing up to Coach. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.