How to use an incline bench: 7 best exercises you can do using this equipment

Use an incline bench to improve your workouts! (Image via unsplash/Arthur Edelmans)
Use an incline bench to improve your workouts! (Image via unsplash/Arthur Edelmans)
Aryan Bajaj

The incline bench is a useful piece of equipment you can have to strengthen your upper body. The exercises involving it require anything other than a set of dumbbells or a barbell, and are thus easily doable at home.

These exercises help develop and strengthen your upper body, thereby improving your posture, reducing back pain, and increasing overall athletic performance.

Although there is a plethora of exercises that can be done, here are the seven most common ones you can do using an incline bench:

Best Exercises To Do With An Incline Bench

1) Incline Dumbbell Press

  • Lie down on the incline bench with your feet flat on the floor and grab a pair of dumbbells in each hand.
  • Press one arm up until it's straight and then lower it back down to its starting position before repeating the motion using the other arm. Continue to alternate between them until you've completed your set number of repetitions (15 or so) for each arm.
  • If you're looking for something more challenging than this variation, try doing a single-arm dumbbell press instead by pressing one arm at a time, rather than instead alternating from side to side as you would with two sets of dumbbells


2) Incline Dumbbell Flyes

  • Perform the exercise by reclining on the incline bench, with your feet firmly planted on the floor or anchored to something secure.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, positioned right in front of you (as if you're about to do a bicep curl).
  • Slowly open up your arms until they have been extended out on either side. Your palms should face up throughout this movement; don't let them twist around so that they face downward at any point.
  • Slowly lower the weights back down again until they're close enough together.


3) Incline Curls

Incline curls are a great exercise to include in your workout. They provide a lot of benefits, and can help you build lean muscle.

To do incline curls, recline on the bench with your back straight, legs extended in front of you, and arms hanging on either side. With palms facing inward (supinated), curl dumbbells towards shoulders while keeping elbows close to the body (about 30 degrees). Bring the weight down slowly until your arms are fully extended at your side again.


4) Preacher Curls

To do this exercise, you will need to utilize both a dumbbell and an incline bench. The exercise itself is very simple:

  • Grab a dumbbell with an arm and stand behind an incline bench.
  • Lay your arm out along the length of the bench.
  • Lock your elbows and tuck your chest in behind the bench, while hinging forawrd.
  • Pull the weight up slowly, but remember to use solely your biceps!
  • This exercises will efficiently target your biceps and isolate them. Do it for 10-12 reps per arm.


5) Spider Curls

To get started, you'll need an incline bench, dumbbells, and a weight belt if you need one. Make sure to align the bench such that you're looking straight ahead at a wall or mirror that's 5-6 feet away from where your head is resting against the back of the bench.

Lie face down on the bench and grab the dumbbells in a way that they hang almost perpendicularly. Start the exercise by bringing the weight straight up like a standard bicep curl. Squeeze your biceps at the end of the curl for about two seconds before bringing the weight down.


6) Chest Supported Rows

Chest-supported rows are a great way to work your back and biceps, as well as your chest.

To perform this exercise, lie face down on an incline bench. Hold the barbell with an overhand grip, hands a bit more than shoulder-width apart.

Pull the weight up towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement. From there, lower the barbell down slowly until your arms are straight but not locked out at the bottom.


7) Dumbbell Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is another classic exercise. The process of performing this exercise is very similar to the incline press, but with dumbbells instead of a barbell.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Start by sitting on the bench and placing your feet flat on the floor in front of you.
  • Grab two dumbbells and hold them at shoulder level with palms facing forward (also known as supinated).
  • When ready, slowly push up until arms are straight overhead before slowly lowering back down to starting position again.
  • Do as many reps as you can of the same movement to finish a set(usually 8-10).



Overall, the incline bench is a great way to develop your anterior and posterior chains and get stronger in general. It can be used for many different exercises that target different muscle groups and allow you to work on specific movements.

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Edited by Aranya Chaudhury


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