What Is the Primary Muscle Used in a Dumbbell Incline?

The incline bench press will strengthen your upper body.
i Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The dumbbell incline, also known as an incline bench press, is a standard exercise that's done in most gyms. In fact, Bodybuilding.com calls this a beginner lift. Even though it's a beginner exercise, knowledge is power. Understanding the primary muscles involved will give your workout the boost it deserves.

DB Incline

    The DB incline is a multijoint exercise for the upper body. It's also an excellent exercise to build healthy shoulders because each arm has to work by itself. There are several ways to grip the weights, such as palms facing each other or rotating the grip on the way down and back up. To get started, sit on the end of an inclined bench with one dumbbell in each hand. Get the dumbbells to the starting position and lower them until they are about one inch from touching your shoulders and then press them back up. For shoulder safety, keep your elbows close to your sides.

Muscles Used

    The incline press focuses on the collar bone attachment of your pectorals to lift the dumbbells. The pectorals are the muscles on your chest. Your triceps and anterior deltoids get a workout by assisting the exercise. Your triceps are on the back of your arms, while your anterior deltoids are on the front of your shoulders. Your biceps stabilize the movement. A stabilizer is a muscle that contracts with the working muscles to add stability to a movement.

Training Plan

    To get started training with the dumbbell incline, do a warmup for the total body. Start by doing five to 10 minutes of cardio to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. After that, do some pushups to specifically warmup your chest and shoulders. Set your bench at the incline that you want and start your first few sets with light weight. This will continues to warmup the muscles. Do three sets of eight to 10 repetitions, once or twice a week. After your first month is over, do four sets of six repetitions for the next four weeks. You should start to feel a burn in your muscles once you are about two reps away from finishing the set. Add weight as your strength and technique improve.


    Consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. When you get started with the dumbbell incline, be conscious of how your shoulders feel. If you have a shoulder injury, wait until you are pain-free before beginning to train. Drink water before and during your workout to prevent dehydration. To keep your shoulders healthy, do pulling exercises, such as rows and pullups. Work out with a personal trainer to get a customized program that maximizes your results while preventing injury.

the nest