To perform this exercise, you will require an inclined bench and an EZ barbell. Using the EZ barbell is better than the straight one since semi-pronated grips are more comfortable to hold. Moreover, the handles maintain your wrists in neutral positions throughout the entire exercise. Load the bar with weights that you can manage. Avoid loading too heavy or too light.
How to do the incline french press:
- Start by adjusting the bench so that it inclines to about 45 degrees. Place the EZ barbell below the bench.
- Grab the barbell with an overhand grip ensuring that your hands are shoulder-width apart. Sit on the bench then place the barbell on your thighs.
- Place your back on the inclined pad. Use your thighs to push the barbell to your chest level.
- While holding the bar, stretch your arms and keep your elbows stable. Ensure that your arms are almost perpendicular to the ground. This marks your starting position.
- While maintaining your elbows in a fixed position, lower the barbell to the back of your head.
- Pause briefly then squeeze back up to the starting position.
- Perform 10 to 15 reps for 3 sets.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE INCLINE FRENCH PRESS WORK?
As mentioned earlier, the incline french press is an isolation exercise since it mainly targets the triceps brachii. While performing the workout, you stretch and squeeze your triceps. As a result, you develop stronger triceps. The triceps have three heads, which include medial, long, and lateral. Fortunately, the incline french press works all the heads of the triceps. Therefore, you are able to build mass on your triceps.
The exercise engages and stabilizes your shoulder muscles. This helps in strengthening your shoulder muscles and preventing shoulder pain.
CORE AND LOWER BACK
The incline french press engages your core and lower back. This also promotes stability in the muscles. Furthermore, your posture improves, and cases of back pain decrease.
INCLINE FRENCH PRESS BENEFITS
BUILDS STRONGER TRICEPS
The incline french press targets and works all the heads of the triceps muscles. This plays a vital role in building stronger triceps. Moreover, your arms become bigger hence improving your appearance. Additionally, the exercise eliminates underarm fat by toning your arms. As a result, your self-image and confidence improve.
IMPROVES PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE
Performing the routine correctly and consistently promotes upper body strength. This boosts your performance while performing physical activities. For instance, you are able to perform other body-building exercises such as push-ups, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull- ups with minimal strain. Moreover, your athletic performance improves.
The exercise helps in activating and stabilizing your upper and lower body muscles. Therefore, your body develops a fit and stable physique. The incline french press mainly stabilizes your shoulder muscles and enhances your range of motion. This plays a vital role in minimizing shoulder pain and injuries.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE INCLINE FRENCH PRESS
PARALLEL BAR DIP
The parallel bar dip is a great alternative since it works and defines all heads of your triceps. For this exercise, you will require mounted parallel bars or parallel bar dips machine. You can also improvise by using a table.
How to do the parallel bar dip:
- Start by grabbing the bars and lifting yourself. Ensure that your body is straight. You can extend your legs or cross them against each other. Ensure that your elbows are extended. This is your starting position.
- While keeping your shoulders blades together and chest up, lower your body by bending your elbows until it reaches an angle of 90 degrees.
- Pause briefly then push your body upwards until your elbows are fully extended.
- Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.
CLOSE- GRIP BARBELL BENCH PRESS
The barbell bench press is a great exercise to grow and define your triceps. The close-grip variation of the bench press puts more emphasis on your triceps rather than your chest muscles. Besides, the close-grip variation helps in maximizing the load, hence strengthening your triceps. To execute this technique, you will require a flat bench, barbell, and barbell rack.
How to do close-grip barbell bench press:
- Start by lying flat on the bench while facing the ceiling. Ensure that your feet are firmly pressed on the ground. Place your hands on the bar ensuring that they are shoulder-width apart.
- Remove the bar from the rack and place it close to your chest. Ensure that your elbows are tucked into your body. The barbell should be in your chest area. This marks your starting position.
- Lift the weight by stretching your arms. Pause briefly then return to your starting position.
- Repeat 10 times for 3 to 4 reps.
INCLINE FRENCH PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID
LIFTING TOO HEAVY
Lifting too heavy is counter-productive. This is because the exercise involves a large range of motion. Therefore, you can hurt your shoulder and elbow joints. Additionally, the exercise involves pulling the load behind your head, therefore, lifting too heavy can cause more risks. Start by using lighter weights then gradually increase depending on your endurance level.
USING A WIDE GRIP
Using a wide grip prevents you from achieving your goal, which is strengthening your triceps. Instead, use a narrow grip since it puts more emphasis on your triceps.
FAILING TO TUCK YOUR ELBOWS IN
Executing the exercise using the wrong form can cause injuries. Ensure that you tuck in your elbows while performing the technique so that you can avoid injuries.
The incline french press is a great exercise to build, tone, and define your triceps. Performing the exercise correctly and consistently will reward you with massive gains. Moreover, your appearance will improve and you will develop upper body strength. If you have any existing condition or back and shoulder pain, ensure that you consult your physician before commencing the exercise. It is advisable to warm up before and stretch after the exercise.