Incline Press (Barbell and Dumbbell)

An anatomical drawing of a man performing an incline barbell bench press. The muscles that are worked (chest, shoulders, triceps) are highlighted.

First, let me start by saying I only use Incline Presses with wrestlers who want variation in their pressing AND their shoulders can handle it.

In fact, a great majority of the pressing I have wrestlers do now is as follows:

1. Dumbbell Floor Press.

2. Barbell Floor Press.

3. Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press.

My thought is this- I’m not training professional pressers. I’m just trying to help get wrestlers as strong as efficiently possible.

Oftentimes there’s a lot of unnecessary wear and tear with bench presses and incline presses.

If you find that Flat or Incline Presses bother your shoulders, don’t do them!

You don’t really care what you bench or incline, do you?

You just want to be a better wrestler, right?

Ok, with that said, let’s get into the dumbbell version.

Incline Press with Dumbbell

Here’s a video:

You can perform the Incline Press at different angles. I like 45-degrees simply because it’s halfway in between.

For additional variations that you can perform with dumbbells check out- DB Bench Progression.

Incline Press with Barbell

Here’s a video of the barbell version:

For grip placement suggestions read this post- Tricep Strength For Shoulder Health.

Additionally, just like the dumbbell version, please keep the weight in check. What I hate seeing is your butt coming off the pad as you bridge your hips up.

This is simply your body trying to make yourself more mechanically efficient by turning the incline press into a flat bench press. As you can imagine, this defeats the purpose of the exercise.

So, if you feel your hips coming off the bench during any incline press, lower the weight.

I suppose a little is ok on the last rep, but anything other than that and you should really re-evaluate your weight selection.

Remember- the goal is to win more matches. Not to incline press more than anyone else at your gym.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


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