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reverse grip benchpress better then incline for upper pec development?

kingsnake

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Hey everyone. I've been lifting for 10 years. All natural. One of my main problems is my upper pecs have always been lagging with huge lower pec development. You can only see that my upper pecs are lagging when you look at my side profile when I'm not flexing my chest. When you look at me straight ahead, you can't tell.

For the last 5 years I've concentrated on nothing but incline work to bring up my lagging upper pecs. I can do 120LB incline press for 6 to 8 reps and I also can barbell incline 315LBS for 4 reps. Even with the strength feats, my upper pecs still lag. I'm trying to get to the point to where my collarbones are covered with muscle to give my chest that squared armored plate look.

I started researching about the best ways to hit the upper pecs/ clavicular head of the chest and it turns out that the flat reverse grip benchpress hits the upper chest even better then incline benchpress. Studies are showing that the incline only hits the upper pecs 5% better the flat presses but the reverse grip flat press hits the upper pecs 30% better which is 25% better then incline pressing movements. Here's a few links to the studies on it.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFXM4-y52P0"]BodybuilderEXTRA - The Anatomy of the Chest - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL50Kz26I_0"]Top Secret Chest Techniques Part 2 - Reverse Grip Incline Bench - YouTube[/ame]

The last link below is more detailed with the info. When you open this link, scroll down to the emg results with the reverse grip benchpress.
What do we know about EMG activity in the bench press?

Last week I tried the reverse grip benchpress and my upper pec area was definitely hit a lot more then incline movements. I even got sore the next day right up in my upper chest and clavical area.

So I'm wondering if the flat reverse benchpress works the upper pecs so good, what if you were to do an incline reverse grip benchpress. Would that hit the upper pecs even better?

For those with experience with the reverse grip benchpress and even reverse grip incline presses, please chime in with your thoughts. Definitely trying to bring up these lagging upper pecs.
 
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FutureFreak7

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I'm a give it a shot I'll tell you it won't replace my incline bench but I will check it out and possibly throw it in my routine, thanks for sharing this bro


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Giants83

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I use to do them for triceps. I'll try it later with a little wider grip. I have a hard time with my upper pecs. I've had part of my clavicle and sternum removed.
 

jakdup605

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Done these Before, Defiantly hit the upper chest! Hard on the Wrists and have to go lighter, But works!! No Pain No Pain Right! lol
 

Designbuilt

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Good idea... I had a major pec tear a few years ago, i never really felt comfortable benching again, except for declines or dumbells... A friend of mine said that his training partner had a pec tear and switched to rev grip bp... You just reminded me of that, not necessarily for upper pecs, but thanks for posting this, I'm going to give it a shot tomorrow...
 

Giants83

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Done these Before, Defiantly hit the upper chest! Hard on the Wrists and have to go lighter, But works!! No Pain No Pain Right! lol

That was my main problem. My wrists have little flexibility and I definitely had to go lighter.
 

kingsnake

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Hey fellas thanks for the replies.

Meant to say I can dumbbell incline press with 120LB dumbells. Anyway though, one of the good things about the reverse grip benchpress is that it is easy on the rotator cuffs for those with shoulder problems.

Back in the day I worked my way up to a 405 barbell flat benchpress for a triple. 5 years ago after noticing that my lower pecs were vastly overpowering my upper pecs giving my pecs that saggy droopy look, I dropped flat presses all together and concentrated on nothing but inclines. I'm currently inclining barbell pressing 315 for 4 reps on my last set but all of this hasn't brought up my upper pecs and has beat up my rotator cuffs from years of pressing. Particularly my left shoulder where the upper bicep tendon inserts into the front delt.

What I've noticed is the reverse grip benchpress is a lot easier on my rotator cuff injuries while giving my pecs a great workout with the upper pecs being hit harder then ever. I was able to hit 225 for 8 reps and 275 for 4 reps on the reverse grip flat benchpress last week with no upper bicep, front delt tie in pain. I'm guessing since the reverse grip benchpress forces you to tuck in your elbows from using a supinated grip, this prevents massive internal rotation of the rotator cuffs that a normal grip benchpress or incline press causes which is a god send for guys with shoulder issues.

Since the flat barbell reverse grip benchpress made my upper pecs sore last week, I'm going to try an incline reverse grip benchpress today at the gym to see if it hits my upper clavicular area even more.

Let's get some more opinions on the matter from guys with experience with this movement.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xx3l_It4kc"]Reverse Grip Bench Press 405 x 1 (PR), 225 x 33 (PR) - YouTube[/ame]
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef5lqydFEjo"]Paused Reverse Grip Bench Press: 405 x 1 (1RM) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amdCy5-NvMQ"]Reverse Grip Benches 405x4 - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIL-Vvurj4Y"]Old School Benches Reverse Grip 365x8 - YouTube[/ame]
 
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little slice

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ill give it a shot, my wrists don't supinate very well..



but I got some really study wrist wraps, so ill definitely see how it feels.



definitely recommend heavy wrist wraps for all pressing movements.
 

PitbullTank

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imo, none of those guys in the video have big chests(besides the ifbb pro, and he didn't say it was his exercise, just the commentator saying he's going to do the Flex mag routine now)... i guess it could work depending on your body structure, I've tried them before and did them incline.... i really couldn't feel them as much as my normal grip incline and they hurt my wrist to twist them around like that as well... i also preferred them more on smith machine then regular barbell when i tried them..
 
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Anubis

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I had heard about how reverses were great for your upper chest as well and I gave it my best shot and did them twice a week for a few months, there was progress no doubt but the stress on my wrists was brutal. I don't think I dreaded an exercise more but I was pushing to increase weights, maybe I need a different approach and go more volume lighter weights, use it as a finishing move where I couldn't go as heavy, idk but maybe it's time to bring them back in. I'd be curious to hear if some good wrist wraps would make the difference. Little slice if you do give them a shot definitely update as to how it went with the wraps.
 

PitbullTank

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you know what i didn't try and just thought of.... why didnt't i just take DBs and spin them around w wrist positioning as far as i can without pain instead of me forcing my wrists to turn all the way on the bar... duh lol... ill try it on my chest day 2moro..
 
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BALDNAZI

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Not a fan at all. Puts way too much stress on my wrists and even my delts. What has worked for me is the Smith in a slight incline and high incline. I use a false grip which allows me to put my hands in the perfect position with thumbs twisted out just enough, bar resting on palms. Zero stress on wrists or shoulders, load the bar as heavy as you can and hit that groove where you feel it directly in the upper pecs, short stroke, forcing the pump. Love Smith for the pecs, period....
 

Giants83

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I tried it today and like baldnazi said it puts a lot of stress on my wrists and I even felt a little pain in my delts. I know I have poor range of motion so that might be it. If it works for you that's awesome but I think I'll stick to my inclines. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

PitbullTank

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I tried it today and like baldnazi said it puts a lot of stress on my wrists and I even felt a little pain in my delts. I know I have poor range of motion so that might be it. If it works for you that's awesome but I think I'll stick to my inclines. Thanks for the suggestion though.
this is why i think using DBs and just making your palms turn in as far as possible w/o pain would be beneficial over using a bar... i can't straight bar curl, reverse pulldown, or underhand rows w standard bar bc my wrists don't like to turn that much...i have to modify the movement to a EZ bar....
 
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heavyhitter

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I like to use a reverse grip on this hammer strength chest press absolutely crushed upper pecs
 

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lennoxchi

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done them before, i had to use wraps for the wrist issue most have commented on. i throw them in at the end of my chest session
 

Fitilla

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tried it it before and it does work,now I am thinking of trying it again,but use the rverse grip on incline lol
 

kingsnake

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Hey thanks for the replies fellas. So today at the gym I trained chest and performed the free weight incline barbell reverse grip benchrpress. To my disappointment I couldn't really feel it in my pecs, let alone upper pecs. My front delts and triceps took over with no chest pump at all. I'm thinking the fixed 45degree angle of the bench was to high and transferred the stress to my delts while using a supinated grip. Almost like Arnold presses where the grip is supinated as well.

So I then went over to the smith machine and performed a 20 to 30 degree low incline reverse grip benchpresses there. I'm happy to say that on the smith machine with the bench at a low incline my upper pecs where definitely blasted. So for my body type I have concluded that for me, the free weight barbell flat reverse grip benchpress and the low incline smith machine reverse grip benchpress really target my upper pecs.

For what ever reason the free weight barbell incline reverse grip benchpress on the standard 45 degree angle didn't target my pecs at all but instead my front delts and triceps.

Anybody else try the reverse grip for upper pec development.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjW6RmGgeW0"]Reverse Grip Bench Press: 315 lb x 10 (10RM) - YouTube[/ame]

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J34sRIvuLXk"]Reverse Grip Incline Bench Press.wmv - YouTube[/ame]
 
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