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15 Degree Incline Bench Press (Benefits & Muscles Worked)

Welcome, fitness enthusiasts, to our exploration of the 15 degree incline bench press. A phenomenal exercise that can take your upper chest development to new heights.

In this article, we’ll delve into the benefits, muscles worked, and key mistakes to avoid when incorporating this exercise into your workout routine.

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, allow me to share my personal experience with the 15 degree bench press.

Just like many of you, I’ve always strived to develop a well-rounded and defined chest.

I vividly remember the frustration I faced when my progress seemed to plateau after months of traditional bench pressing.

And that’s when a seasoned gym buddy introduced me to the 15 degree bench press.

Little did I know that this seemingly small tweak in bench press technique would unlock a whole new dimension of upper chest engagement.

As I adjusted the bench to a 15-degree incline, my muscles were suddenly ignited with an intense burn.

It was a game-changer, and I was hooked.

15 degree incline bench press

15 Degree Bench Press Muscles Worked

  • Upper Pectoralis Major: The incline angle of the bench places a greater emphasis on the upper portion of the pectoralis major, helping to develop a well-defined and sculpted upper chest.
  • Anterior Deltoids: The front portion of the shoulder muscles, known as the anterior deltoids, are engaged to stabilize and assist in lifting the weight during the exercise.
  • Triceps Brachii: As a synergistic muscle group, the triceps work alongside the pectoralis major to extend the elbow joint during the pressing movement.
  • Clavicular Head of the Pectoralis Minor: This smaller muscle located beneath the pectoralis major contributes to the overall development and definition of the upper chest region.
  • Serratus Anterior: This muscle, situated on the sides of the chest wall, helps stabilize the shoulder blades during the movement, aiding in proper form and stability.

Benefits of 15 Degree Bench Press

Enhanced Upper Chest Development

The incline angle of the 15 degree bench press places a greater emphasis on the upper portion of the pectoralis major, allowing for targeted muscle activation.

This focused engagement helps sculpt and develop a well-defined upper chest, giving your physique a more aesthetic and balanced appearance.

Strength and Muscle Hypertrophy

The exercise recruits multiple muscle groups, including the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps, leading to overall upper body strength gains and increased muscle mass.

Functional Carryover

The 15 degree bench press offers functional carryover to various pushing movements in everyday life and athletic endeavors.

The strength and stability developed through this exercise can translate into improved performance in activities like pushing heavy objects, sports involving upper body power, and even improving posture.

Muscle Balance and Symmetry

By targeting the upper chest, the 15 degree bench press helps counteract the natural dominance of the lower chest, creating a more proportional and aesthetically pleasing physique.

Improved Shoulder Stability

This exercise helps enhance shoulder stability by engaging the anterior deltoids and other supporting muscles.

It can contribute to better shoulder joint health and reduce the risk of imbalances or injuries when combined with proper form and technique.

Variety and Muscle Stimulation

Adding the 15 degree bench press to your workout routine provides a welcome variation from traditional flat bench pressing.

This variety stimulates your muscles in a different way, breaking plateaus and promoting further muscle growth and development.

Full-Body Engagement

While the primary focus is on the upper body, this bench press variation also engages various stabilizer muscles, including the core and lower body, to maintain proper form and stability throughout the exercise.

This leads to a more comprehensive full-body workout.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Doing The 15 Degree Bench Press

Having witnessed many people do the 15 degree bench press, I’ve noticed a few common mistakes that can hinder progress and increase the risk of injury.

Neglecting Proper Bench Setup and Positioning

One mistake I often see is people overlooking the importance of setting up the bench correctly.

It’s crucial to adjust the bench to the appropriate 15-degree incline to target the upper chest effectively.

To avoid this mistake, take a moment to ensure the bench is at the right angle before starting your sets. This simple adjustment will enhance muscle engagement and overall results.

Sacrificing Form for Excessive Weight

Ego lifting is another common problem I see with this exercise.

Remember that any exercise is most effective when performed with controlled movements and strict technique.

Instead of lifting excessive weight that compromises your form, focus on selecting a weight that allows you to maintain proper technique throughout the exercise.

This will ensure optimal muscle activation and reduce the risk of injury.

Incomplete Range of Motion

Another mistake I often see is people doing this exercise with an incomplete range of motion.

Some tend to cut short on the descent or not fully extend their arms on the upward phase.

To overcome this, make a conscious effort to perform the exercise through a full range of motion.

Lower the weight until your upper arms are parallel to the ground or slightly below, and then push the weight back up until your arms are fully extended.

Lack of Proper Shoulder Blade Retraction

Proper shoulder blade retraction is vital for maintaining stability and targeting the intended muscles during the 15 degree bench press.

However, many people seem to neglect this.

Focus on retracting your shoulder blades and keeping them in contact with the bench throughout the exercise.

By doing so, your stability, form, and upper chest muscle activation will improve.


In summary, the 15 degree bench press is an epic chest exercise that offers many benefits, including the following:

  • Targeted upper chest development
  • Improved shoulder stability
  • Muscle balance and growth
  • Functional carryover to daily activities

And to maximize the benefits of the exercise, remember avoid these common mistakes:

  • Poor bench setup
  • Sacrificing form for weight
  • Incomplete range of motion
  • Neglecting shoulder blade retraction

That’s all for this article, but perhaps you want to learn more about a 200 pound bench press? Or is 275 a good bench press?

Hope this helped!