An incline bench is one of the most common pieces of exercise equipment that you’ll find, after a standard exercise bench. Benches of all types are available at most gyms and are very helpful in ensuring that you’ll be able to perform a wide variety of exercises that are difficult to do from a seated or a standing position.
In most cases, the incline bench is used to adjust or modify an exercise that you’d do on the flat exercise bench. There are a number of reasons to do this, but the most important for the majority of people who make use of an incline bench is that it will target slightly different muscle groups. By combining the same exercise on a flat bench and on an incline bench, you’ll be able to work your muscles more completely and thoroughly.
Using an Incline Bench
An incline bench is relatively easy to use. In a flat position, it will appear just the same as a regular exercise bench. In fact, incline benches can be used as standard exercise benches as well, provided that you’ve set it up to be entirely flat. When you’ll use the incline bench for the purpose that it was designed for, however, it’s best to tilt up one half of the bench to an angle that measures between thirty and forty-five degrees.
To set the incline bench where you’d like, look below the surface of the bench for the knob that holds it in place. Most benches have a knob system that can be pulled out to adjust the bench. Hold the knob out while you adjust the height of one side of the bench, then click the knob into place when you’ve reached the appropriate height in order to set the bench. Be sure to test it before you put all of your weight down.
Exercises Using an Incline Bench
One of the most popular exercises that makes use of an incline bench is the incline bench press. Performed just like a standard bench press, but with your torso lying on the incline part of the bench, this exercise is helpful at targeting the pectoral muscles, the biceps, and the triceps. Depending upon how many repetitions you do of this exercise, a standard set may burn anywhere from 50 to 100 calories, in most cases.
Another exercise that makes use of an incline bench is the seated fly. By resting back on the bench as you perform the fly exercise with dumbbells in both hands, you’ll extend the range of motion that you’re able to make, thereby increasing the intensity of the standard fly. This exercise can burn dozens of calories per set as well.
Most of the exercises that are done on incline benches are those that target upper pectoral muscles. Nearly every gym will have at least a few of these benches. Ask a trainer for additional advice on how to best make use of an incline bench.