Half-Reppers: I see this one all the time; ego takes over and people use too much weight. Sure, you can lift a lot more weight but you’re neither fooling nor impressing anyone! Leave the ego at the door of the gym, drop the weight and work to a full range of motion. This can be said for most lifts.
Bouncy-Reppers: When you bounce reps or do them super-fast without any control, you not only increase your risk of injury but you lower time under tension also. You might be able to lift heavier but the tension will not be there and you will not be targeting the muscle group correctly. Again, this can be said for most lifts.
Over-Arching: We are performing an incline press to work the upper chest (pectoralis major and anterior deltoid). Don’t be that guy who arches his back off the bench, turning it into a flat press, increasing the risk of injuring your lower back at the same time. Suck your belly button in and push your hips and lower back into the bench.
Rounded Shoulders: Don’t let your shoulders internally rotate at the top of the lift. People will do this and also rest the dumbbells at the top or touch them together to “target the inner pec”. It doesn’t. You’re better off keeping the weights spaced a few inches apart and stopping just shy of elbow lockout to keep constant tension on the chest.
Now you know what not to do, here’s what you should do:
Focus on the mind-muscle connection: Too many people get obsessed with how much weight they're pushing rather than how much work their muscles are actually doing. Your muscles don't grow because of the weight moving up and down. They grow because they're forced to contract by acting on that weight. If you maximise the force placed on your target muscles you will maximise your gains, and that's what it's all about: maximising the work done by your target muscles. Not maximising the weight moving up and down, this is secondary. You need good quality contractions for the muscle group you are working.
For the Incline Presses; retract your shoulders back and then down. Imagine you’re trying to put your scaps into your back pockets. Or alternatively, think of pushing our chest out while trying to hold a tennis ball between your shoulder blades. With a bit of practice, you can focus on locking this in stone on every rep and target the right muscles.
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