Incline Dumbbell Hammer Press

Exercise / Chest

Incline Dumbbell Hammer Press

The incline dumbbell hammer press is a strength training exercise that primarily targets the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. It is performed on an incline bench with a pair of dumbbells held in a hammer grip, which means the palms are facing each other. This exercise provides a variation to the traditional dumbbell bench press, as the incline angle places greater emphasis on the upper chest and shoulders, while the hammer grip activates the triceps muscles as well. It is a great exercise for building overall upper body strength and muscle mass.

How to do:

Incline Dumbbel Hammer Press

Set an incline bench at a 30 or 45-degree angle and select a pair of dumbbells that are appropriate for your strength level.

  • Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and your back against the bench.
  • Hold the dumbbells in a hammer grip (palms facing each other) with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and your upper arms parallel to the floor.
  • Inhale and press the dumbbells up above your chest, extending your arms fully.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  • Exhale as you press the dumbbells back up and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Incline Dumbbell Hammer Press / Benefits

  • Increased upper chest activation: Incline dumbbell hammer press is used as a way to realize the press movement pattern, focusing on the isolation of the upper chest. The incline angle of the bench places greater emphasis on the upper portion of the chest muscles, which can lead to more defined and developed chest muscles.
  • Improved balance and stability: The use of dumbbells requires more stabilization from the muscles and joints, which can help to improve overall balance and stability.
  • Improved shoulder strength: The pressing motion of the exercise also targets the shoulders, helping to strengthen and develop the muscles in this area.
  • Greater range of motion: The incline angle of the bench allows for a greater range of motion compared to a flat bench, which can lead to greater muscle activation and development.
  • Variability in training: Adding incline dumbbell hammer press to your workout routine provides a variation from traditional bench press, targeting different muscles group to overall strength gains.

Many of the movements that work the same muscle group may look alike, but they focus on different parts of the muscles because they are at different angles. If you want to build better muscle specifically, keep in mind that it is more beneficial to include exercises that focus on different aspects to your training program.


It is certain that an angle of 30-45 degrees is required for the better development of the upper chest muscles, but there are still disputes between the two. Variability of the angle of inclination can make different muscles work Therefore, the correct sitting position is the most important element for the upper chest muscle to work.

One study concluded that the 30-degree angle was the best, while another research concluded that the best result was 45 degrees. Even though the studies cause confusion, the truth is that both results are effective.

Incline Dumbbell Hammer Press – Muscles Worked

Pectoralis Major, Clavicular
Synergists - Anterior Deltoid
Synergists - Pectoralis Major, Sternal
Synergists - Triceps Brachii
Dynamic Stabilizers - Biceps Brachii
Bench Press Muscle work