Neutral Grip Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: Form, Benefits & Tips 

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When it comes to building a strong and well-rounded upper body, the incline dumbbell bench press is a popular exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps.  

By incorporating a neutral grip into this movement, you can further enhance the benefits and target your muscles from a different angle.  

In this article, we’ll explore the form, benefits, and tips of the neutral grip incline dumbbell bench press, also known as the reverse grip incline dumbbell press or incline neutral grip press.  

We’ll delve into the advantages it offers, the muscles it targets, and provide some helpful tips to make the most out of this exercise. So, let’s dive in! 

Understanding the Neutral Grip 

The neutral grip incline dumbbell bench press involves using a grip where your palms face each other rather than facing away or towards your body.  

This grip variation provides a more natural and ergonomic position for your shoulders and wrists, reducing strain and potential discomfort.  

It also allows you to target the muscles of your chest, shoulders, and triceps in a unique way, promoting balanced muscle development and overall strength gains. 

Benefits of the Neutral Grip Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 

Increased Chest Activation: The neutral grip in the incline dumbbell bench press places greater emphasis on the upper chest muscles, particularly the clavicular fibers of the pectoralis major. This variation helps to develop a well-rounded chest by targeting different areas and promoting balanced muscle growth. 

Shoulder-Friendly Movement: The neutral grip reduces the stress on the shoulder joints compared to other grip variations, such as the pronated or supinated grips. This makes it a suitable option for individuals with shoulder issues or those who want to minimize the risk of shoulder discomfort or injury. 

Enhanced Triceps Engagement: The incline dumbbell bench press, with a neutral grip, places a greater emphasis on the triceps as synergistic muscles in the movement. This variation helps to strengthen and develop the triceps, contributing to overall upper body strength and aesthetics. 

Core Stabilization: Performing the neutral grip incline dumbbell bench press requires active core engagement for stability. This exercise challenges your core muscles to maintain proper form and balance, leading to improved core strength and stability. 

Technique and Tips 

Set the bench angle: Adjust the bench to an incline position of around 30 to 45 degrees. This angle primarily targets the upper chest muscles while still engaging the shoulders and triceps. 

Proper grip and hand placement: Hold the dumbbells with a neutral grip, palms facing each other. Your wrists should be in a comfortable and neutral position, not excessively flexed or extended. Keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement. 

Maintain proper form: Lie back on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability. Initiate the movement by lowering the dumbbells to the sides of your chest while keeping your elbows at a slight angle. As you press the weights back up, focus on squeezing your chest muscles, and fully extend your arms without locking out your elbows. 

Control the weights: Avoid using momentum or swinging to lift the dumbbells. Focus on controlled and deliberate movements to ensure maximum muscle engagement and reduce the risk of injury. 

Breathe and engage your core: Inhale as you lower the dumbbells and exhale as you press them back up. Remember to engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to maintain stability and support proper form. 

Gradually increase weight: Start with a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and control. Gradually increase the weight as you become stronger and more comfortable with the movement. 

Include variation in your routine: While the neutral grip incline dumbbell bench press is a valuable exercise, it’s important to incorporate variety in your chest workouts. Consider combining it with other exercises like the dumbbell floor press, hammer press, or incline prone dumbbell lateral raises to target different muscle groups and stimulate further growth and strength development. 

To conclude; the neutral grip incline dumbbell bench press offers several benefits for developing a strong and well-defined upper body.  

By targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps from a different angle, you can enhance muscle activation, reduce strain on the shoulders, and promote balanced muscle development.  

Remember to focus on maintaining proper form, controlling the weights, and engaging your core throughout the movement.  

As with any exercise, start with an appropriate weight and gradually progress as your strength improves. Incorporating this exercise, along with other variations, into your workout routine will help you achieve a well-rounded upper body and take your fitness goals to new heights! 

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