Coach Alicia Fong

Just another weblog

Health tip for week Feb 15th

  • When you are training your chest muscles, make sure you mix flat and incline bench press.

Let’s start with defining both flat bench press and incline bench press.

Flat Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

Flat bench press is a weight-lifting exercise, performed while one is lying flat or horizontal on a bench with the feet on the floor, in which a barbell is pushed upward from the chest until the arms are fully extended and then lowered back to the chest.

Incline bench press is a similar movement but performed while one is lying on an incline bench, about 45 degrees.

People often ask me this:  Why a person would do flat over incline bench press or vice versa?

The answer is do both.  Even though they are both chest exercises, each exercise works or targets different fibers.  Flat bench press works more the mid portion of the pectoralis major muscle as well as the other muscles like anterior deltoids, serratus anterior and triceps.  The incline elevates the shoulders and lowers the pelvis due to the position of an incline bench.  Incline bench press works more the upper portion of the chest.  It emphasis the fibers of pectoralis minor.  If you see the picture below, the fibers in the pectoralis minor lies differently and the one best exercise to stress them or work them is the incline bench press.

Most people do flat bench press and push-up throughout time, and they are really good at them.  Push-up works the same chest muscles which are the pectoralis major.  However, the other fiber chest muscles like pectoralis minor are weak because no enough work or stress is been addressed to these fibers.  That is why I usually start most of my clients with incline bench press.  You always want to strengthen your weakest muscles first.

To maximize your chest muscles, I recommend you mix your training program.  One day will be flat bench press and another day will be incline bench press.

Women should definitely do some sort of bench press and push-ups.  When the fibers of the chest muscles are been worked, the fibers or muscles get tight.  In other words, you will get firmer breast.  It’s a better and cheaper solution than breast implants.  It is also true that breasts get smaller initially, but this is also the case for men because it’s the fat around your breast or chest that you lose first through the overall training effect.  For men, the fat around the chest will be lost first while performing bench press, and at the same time chest muscles get lean and eventually grow if you stress them hard enough. For women, the fat is also the first to be lost but while the chest muscles are getting firmer and more “tone”, they will hold the breasts tighter, lifting the breast, which is the same result as “no more saggy breast”.

To end this blog, everybody should do some sort of chest exercises and mix them up by doing push-ups, flat bench press and incline bench press.  Thanks for reading.


February 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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