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The incline bench press is one of the first exercises that can be used to target the muscles in the upper chest.

If you do n’t have access to an incline bench or barbell, what if you do n’t like the exercise at all ?

We have a list of the 6 best incline bench press alternatives that will help you build and tone muscle in the upper section of your chest. These exercises will largely replicate the same results as the incline bench press. Some of the exercises are perfect for home workouts.

At a glance, the best incline bench press alternatives.

  • Decline push up.
  • Incline Dumbbell Press.
  • Band flye or low to high cable.
  • Smith Machine Incline Press.
  • Incline Dumbbell Flye.

What is the upper chest ?

The pectoralis major is the same muscle as the upper, middle and lower chest. The pectoralis major is made up of different sections of muscle fibres that attach to the surrounding bones in different ways. We are referring to movements that emphasize theclavicular head for the upper chest.

Decline Push Up

The best exercise to target the upper chest is the decline push up. A lot of determination and effort is all you need.

The decline push up is harder than a regular push up and will cause your upper chest and shoulders to work harder. It requires more stability and balance than chest isolation movements, so it is a great all-round exercise to include in a chest/push workout.

Although a decline push up looks very different to an incline bench press on the face of it… it actually involves a very similar movement pattern.

It is easy to adapt and adjust to help you target that upper chest. The higher your feet are, the more focused the movement will be. By trial and error, you can find that sweet spot between the chest and shoulders.

The decline push up is one of the best exercises for a calisthenics chest workout.

A pike push up is where your feet are on the floor but your hips are raised, whereas a decline push up is where your feet are resting on an elevated surface.

Elbows are tucked in.

Keep your elbow tucked in during the movement and use your chest to lift yourself up.

Incline Dumbbell Press

If you have access to an incline bench, but do n’t have access to a barbell, then the incline dumbbell press is the most similar alternative to try.

The incline dumbbell press could be done on the Swiss exercise ball.

The movement pattern of the incline dumbbell press is the same as the incline bench press, except you use dumbbell instead of barbell.

The advantage of using dumbbells for targeting the upper chest is that you can use rotation during the movement to further strengthen the upper chest and shoulders. The movement involves both a pushing and squeezing element, which combine together to really elevate muscular development in the chest.

It ‘s better for a close grip pressing movement to use a neutral grip, where your palms are facing each other. If you want to specifically target the chest/upper chest, using a dumbbell instead of a barbell is a good idea.

Dumbbells help to combat muscular imbalances.

Low to High Cable or Band Flye

The low to high cable flye is a great exercise to try if you want a completely different movement to target the upper chest.

The benefit of doing low to high flyes is that you can really increase the range of motion during the movements. By crossing your hands, you are taking your chest muscles to a place they do n’t usually go with pushing/pressing exercises.

The ability to extend the range of motion helps to target and sculpt the individual parts of the chest.

The maximum tension is at the top of the movement. The movement is getting harder. You can only have a rest at the top with free weights.

This is a fun exercise to include in a chest routine due to the different biomechanics involved and a chance to take a break from pushing/pressing exercises.

The chest muscles will work overtime if we include some slow, eccentric reps to increase time under tension.

This is a great option for those who want to exercise at home.

Smith Machine Incline Press

If you want to really overload the muscles with heavy weight, but do n’t have a spotter or training buddy, the Smith Machine is a great option.

The Smith Machine can be used to re-rack weights.

If you want to use a Smith Machine for an incline press, you need to align the bench with the machine so it feels natural. A close grip will allow you to keep your elbow in.

The ability to use heavy weights with the Smith Machine means you can really leverage training concepts like progressive overload training, which is proven to be an effective way to build muscle.

You can try different grips, such as a reverse grip, when using a Smith Machine.

Incline Press Machines.

Some gyms have incline press machines, as well as using the Smith Machine. The incline bench press is an alternative to these.

Incline Dummbell Flye

The incline dumbbell flye is a great exercise to include in a chest workout if you have access to an incline bench or Swiss exercise ball.

The movement pattern should be across the upper chest. You can use the angle to target the upper chest. Compared to a flat dumbbell flye, the incline will increase the fibre engagement in the upper chest due to the way your arms move the weight across this part of the chest.

To make the most out of the movement, focus on maximizing the range of motion and stretching the pecs as much as possible at the bottom of the movement.

Keeping your arms and the dumbbell moving across the chest is ensured by a slow and controlled movement.

You could use the press and flye as well.


It ‘s perfect for anyone without equipment. They challenge the chest muscles differently than holding a weight.

You can use parallel bars to adjust your body position.

To focus more on power and strength, you can add weight to dips.

There are some good dip bars for home use on our list of the best calisthenics equipment.

Bottom Line

The incline bench press is great for training the upper chest, but it is not the only exercise that builds muscle.

There are many incline bench press alternatives in this list. For the best results, incorporate these exercises into your fitness program. Hypertrophy training programs focus on muscular growth, which is better for those looking for aesthetic outcomes, as opposed to absolute strength.

There are related articles.

These exercises will tighten your chest.

The best Outer Quad exercises are for strength and definition.

Everything you need to know about hand release push ups.

Source: https://nhadep247.net
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