Inclined Dumbbell Bench Press step one
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Inclined Dumbell Press step two
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Inclined dumbell bench press step three
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The hand release pushup is the third event on the Army Combat Fit-ness Test.

The hand release push up measures upper body strength and power. It is relevant to combat tasks like reinforcing obstacles, moving munitions and pushing up from cover during evade and maneuver.

"Even something as simple as pushing yourself up and getting ready to do the 3- to 5-second buddy rush that power is really important," said Capt. Chris Boyer, 97th Military Police Battalion Physical Therapist. "Especially with the amount of (gear) we are wearing these days."

When executed properly it requires more pectoral contraction than a regular pushup.

One of the exercises Boyer recommends for people who want to in-crease the pectoral strength is the incline dumbbell press.

This move will work the deltoids and the pecs, which are the two main muscles involved in the hand release push up.

"We will put the body at an incline biasing the upper portion of the pecs," Boyer said.

Being on an incline while doing a press will "preferentially target certain muscles a little more than just being flat on the ground," he said.

Like any exercise, if not executed with proper form, injuries can happen.

"You can definitely get some shoulder pain," he said. "The key is to not get greedy. Start with weight you can accomplish with good form. If you're not able to do that then you need to lessen the weight. Don't lift for ego."

Pfc. Austin Miller, 300th Military Police Company, 97th MP Bn., demonstrates the proper form for the inclined dumbbell bench press:


1. Lie back on a bench with a 15- to 30-degree incline. Grip the dumbbells with hands shoulder width apart and palms facing away.

2. Lift up, hold arms straight, keeping the dumbells in line with the upper chest.

3. Bring them back down until they are about an inch away from the chest. Keep the arms at a 45-degree angle and close to the sides.