One of my favorite exercises is the Barbell Bench Press. There’s just something great about pushing that weight off the chest and feeling the rush. I’ve always loved it since I was a teen playing high school football.
Later I began to body build, but the one thing I despised was incline bench. I was told that the only way I could get more muscle development in my upper pecs were to do incline presses so for years I grudgingly got under the incline and went to work. That was until I read a recent study.
According to a recent study by Scientists at Canadian Chiropractic College in Toronto found that a reverse grip barbell bench press with grip wider than shoulder width recruited about 30% more of the upper pecs than a regular overhand grip bench press. This is compared to the incline bench press which is said to recruit only 5% more of the upper pecs than an overhand flat bench press.
This made a lot of sense to me as the general supinated hand position seems to naturally engage more of the upper pectorals simply based on anatomic position. I’ve done Arnold press for years and never put two and two together. Arnold press not only works more of the anterior delts, but targets more of the upper pec as well.
So I’ve been doing reverse grip bench press for about 4 weeks now and not only do I seem to have rapidly gained strength in this exercise, but my flat bench weights have increased at the same time.
Just a few suggestions before you tackle this exercise for the first time. Make sure you start with much lighter weight than normal and also make sure to have a spotter.
Stay safe and good luck building that upper chest.