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Incline Bench vs. Flat Bench

Is it the joint angle? Is it about shoulder development? IS THE BENCH PRESS WORTHLESS?!?!?! Time and time again the question gets thrown around, “What is better, the incline or the flat bench?!!?”


This argument goes in circles, over and over again. There has to be some in-depth manner in which we can approach the effectiveness of these pressing movements and how they impact the overall throws. Let’s dive deep into the incline vs. flat bench debate.


Tools of the Press

Coaches forget time and time again, what is it about lifts that actually make them effective? It comes down to understanding the adaptation needed to improve competitive performance. In a simplistic term, it is all about adaptation! This comprehension of training makes it a bit easier to analyze the argument of incline vs. flat bench.


These movements are literally tools of the trade. One lift may have a very clear impact on specific athletes while another lift may have a totally different impact on their end result. This is similar to tools in a toolbox! Certain tools need to be used for specific tasks, a screwdriver is not better than a hammer, instead, they are both effective for their purpose!


This still does not clear up the muddied waters of the bench press vs. incline bench. These two tools are so similar it can get quite aggressive. Some coaches want to bring in the joint angle argument, others like to bring up the intensity aspect around the bench press. At the end of the day, what is the adaptation we are looking for as throws coaches?!?!




Target the Weakness...


A big key question coaches need to ask is specific to every single individual thrower. What is their weakness? The bench press can be used to analyze the thrower and assess their weaknesses throughout the movement. A quick glimpse at their elbow movement can show us if th