Step 1

Starting Position: Grasp two dumbbells and lie supine (on your back) on an incline bench angled between 45 and 60 degrees with your feet placed firmly on the floor or on a raised platform to allow you to maintain a neutral spine (flat to normal curvature).

 

Step 2

Depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders down and back) to make firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, butt and feet should make contact with the bench and floor/riser throughout the exercise. If using a spotter, signal for assistance in moving to your starting position. Grasp each dumbbell with a closed, pronated grip (palms facing forward, thumbs wrapped around the handle) and press the dumbbells in unison to a level over your eyes or slightly higher, with your elbows fully extended. Maintain a neutral wrist position (avoid flexion / extension at the wrist joint).

 

Step 3

Downward Phase: Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in unison and in a controlled movement towards your upper chest, but moving slightly wider towards the armpits. Gently touch the dumbbells to your chest without bouncing, maintaining your neutral wrist position. Keep the elbows under your wrists, and either close to your sides (emphasizes more triceps) or flared out from the body (emphasizes more pectorals). Maintain all points of contact with the bench and floor/riser and avoid any arching in the low back.

 

Step 4

Upward Phase: Exhale and gently press upwards to full elbow extension with the dumbbells positioned at your starting position. Maintain your points of contact with the bench and floor/riser, avoid arching your back during the lift and maintain your neutral wrist position throughout the movement.

 

Step 5

At the end of the set, signal your spotter to assist you in taking the dumbbells and 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.

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