The optimal incline bench press | An EMG study
If you set up your bench at an upright angle of 30 degrees, you train the upper part of your chest muscles a little better than if you press on a flat bench. But the effect is frankly not sensational. Plus, it quickly disappears if the angle of your bench is greater than 30 degrees.
Spanish sports scientist David Rodriguez-Ridao of the University of Almeria had thirty experienced young men bench press on a bench at 0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 degrees. He had stuck electrodes on the subjects' skin that registered how hard the muscle groups underneath had to work.
You see those electrodes here.
For the middle and lower pecs, the flat bench press was superior to the incline bench press. For the upper part of the pectoral muscle, the stimulation was optimal at an angle of 30 degrees.
If the angle of the bench got bigger than 30, the incline bench press turned into an exercise that mainly stimulated the front of the shoulder muscles.
For the triceps, the angle of the bench was not a factor.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Oct 8;17(19):E7339.
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