Incline Dumbbell Squeeze Press: How To Do, Muscle Worked & Benefits

The incline dumbbell squeeze press is an upper body workout that engages the upper chest pec muscles, the triceps, and the anterior deltoid muscles of the shoulders.

The angle of the adjustable bench in this variation puts more tension on your upper chest muscles than a flat bench press.

The incline close grip press is also easy to learn and progressively overload, which is why it’s used to good effect in both novice and advanced training programs. 

What is Incline Squeeze Press

The Incline squeeze press is also known as incline close grip press, Incline dumbbell crux press.

The Incline Squeeze Press is a variation of the traditional incline dumbbell chest press. The key difference is that the dumbbells are pressed together throughout the movement.

Since it’s performed on an incline bench, there’s a greater focus on the upper pectorals (clavicular head). When combined with the squeezing action, it makes for a very effective exercise for targeting the upper and inner portions of the chest.

Incline Close Grip Press Muscles Worked

The incline dumbbell squeeze press primarily works the upper pectoralis major muscles, in addition to its target to the main pec muscle.

Incline close grip press has the involvement of several synergist muscles, these muscles include,

A handful of other muscles worked or play the role of stabilizer muscles, including your

Incline Dumbbell Squeeze Press

How To Do Incline Dumbbell Squeeze Press

  1. Set an incline bench to a 30 to 45-degree angle. Lie back on the bench with your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and use a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
  3. Press the dumbbells up over your chest so that your arms are extended. Ensure the dumbbells are touching each other.
  4. Throughout the movement, actively press the dumbbells together as hard as you can. This squeezing motion activates the inner chest muscles.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest. Because you’re squeezing the dumbbells together, they won’t touch each other as you lower them.
  6. Bring them down until they’re just above your chest or until your elbows are slightly below the bench level.
  7. While maintaining the squeeze, press the dumbbells back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
  8. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  1. Keep the Squeeze: The effectiveness of this exercise largely comes from the constant squeeze of the dumbbells.
  2. Control: Don’t rush the movement. Lower and raise the dumbbells in a controlled manner to maximize muscle tension.
  3. Avoid Locking Out: At the top of the press, don’t lock out your elbows completely.
  4. Mind-Muscle Connection: Focus on feeling the chest muscles work, especially the inner pecs, throughout the movement.
  5. Breathing: Inhale as you lower the dumbbells and exhale as you press them up.

Incline Close Grip Press Benefits

There are several reasons that motivate you to do incline dumbbell squeeze press, and I’ve mentioned some of them below.

  • It requires more balance than barbells or machines that can lead to greater muscle fiber recruitment.
  • Incline squeeze press allows for greater joint safety and stabilization and allows the joints to move naturally within their range of motion.
  • The dumbbell squeeze press works your muscles in different angles and will provide you with a stronger, more defined chest in no time.
  • It allows for a greater range of movement (ROM), which leads to an increased number of muscle fibers recruited.
  • It affords a greater level of variety, which prevents physical and mental burnout.
  • Furthermore, it requires more muscular control than barbells, enhancing kinaesthetic awareness.

Training Volume (Sets And Reps)

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:

  • 3-4 Sets
  • 8-12 Reps

Choose a weight that allows you to execute the exercises with proper form throughout the entire set and repetition range. The load should bring you to or near failure within the given rep ranges to be effective.


To start, choose a relatively light weight. Aim to complete 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps at a lighter weight.

Once you master the form, try experimenting with lower rep ranges and heavier weight to further challenge your muscles.

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