Starting Position: Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and lie on your back on an incline bench angled between 45 and 60 degrees. Your feet should be firmly on the floor or on a raised platform in order to allow your spine to be in a neutral to flat position.
Pull your shoulder blades down and back so that they make firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, and butt should make contact with the bench and your and feet should make contact floor throughout the exercise. If working with a spotter, signal the spotter for assistance in moving to your starting position. Grasp each dumbbell with your palms facing forward and thumbs wrapped around the handle. Press the dumbbells to a position over your eyes or slightly higher, with your elbows straight. Wrists should be in a neutral position.
Downward Phase: Inhale. In a slow and controlled manner, lower the dumbbells toward your upper chest, but slightly wider toward the armpits. Gently touch the dumbbells to your chest. Keep the elbows under the wrists and the wrists in a neutral position. Performing the exercise with the elbows close to your sides emphasizes more triceps. Performing the exercise with the elbows flared out from the body emphasizes more pectorals. Maintain all points of contact with the bench and keep your feet firmly on the floor throughout the exercise.
Upward Phase: Exhale and gently press upwards to full elbow extension with the dumbbells positioned over your eyes. Maintain your points of contact with the bench and floor. Do not allow your back to arch. Keep the wrists in neutral position throughout the movement.
At the end of the set, signal your spotter to assist you in taking the dumbbells. Maintain a firm grip until the dumbbells are taken from your hands.
Safety is very important in this exercise. A spotter should adopt a split-stance position with the hands positioned as close to the most distal (wrist) joint. Keep the hands near, but not touching the wrists unless needed.