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The Bench-Press Angle that Will Maximize Your Chest Workout

A new study shows that raising the bench to a 30-degree angle during a bench-press best triggers muscle-growth.

If you want to get the most out of your next chest workout, try a horizontal bench-press and raise the incline to a 30-degree angle.

Why that angle? It triggers the most muscle activation throughout the pectoralis major muscle—a contraction that helps build strength optimally, according to a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Sport Science.

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In the study, 14 participants were put through two training sessions. In the first session, participants completed a one rep max bench-press. In the second session, they pumped out six reps for each of four barbell press angles—0, 30, 45, and -15—at a weight equivalent to 65 percent of their one-rep max.

After analyzing the muscle contractions for each, researchers found the 30 degree angle was the most effective at strengthening and developing chest muscles. 

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