Just like with the pushup variations, changing the positioning of your body during a bench press will slightly change how the exercise targets your muscles. The incline bench press puts a bit more emphasis on the upper pecs and the shoulder muscles.
To get started, you’ll need an incline bench. This is typically an adjustable weight bench that lies flat and inclines. Sit down in the seat with your back flat against the back rest. Do not allow your lower back to arch during the movement. Bring the weights up to mid-chest height, elbows bent out to the sides. Contract your core muscles and press the weights away from you overhead. When your arms are fully extended, reverse the movement, bending your elbows and slowly bringing the weights back down to chest level.
A more advanced variation is the decline bench press. This elevates your legs above your chest and changes the angle to hit your lower pecs harder. Adjust the bench so it is declined 15 to 30 degrees. Position yourself on the bench, holding your weights. If you are lifting heavy weights, you may need a barbell rack or someone to hand them to you. Press your back against the bench, contract your core, and press up to straight arms. Then, slowly lower down to your starting position.