Close Grip Bench Press

With the Close Grip Bench Press, you bring your hands in closer together on the bar than you would normally do with the traditional grip. The benefits of this closer grip are that it enables the exercise to target your triceps, whilst still allowing you to work on your strength and ability to bench press heavier weights.

Close Grip Bench Press

Close Grip Bench Press

The same traditional muscles are exercised in both the standard and Close Grip Bench Press exercises; Front Delts, Chest and Triceps. The difference in where you place your hands, how you grip, and where your arms and elbows are relative to the floor, shifts the concentration of the exercise to different muscle groups. You are no longer concentrating on your chest when you lift. The power now comes from your Triceps, and is backed up by your Front Delts.

How to Do Close Grip Bench Press

To do the Close Grip Bench Press, you first need to follow the same procedure as you would with the normal Bench Press, which means using the buddy system for your own safety, and a bench with variable weights.

When you are deciding how much weight you want to place on the bar, it is always better to start low and work your way up, as this will minimize the risk of injury to your arms and muscles. We all want to look good at the gym in front of our mates, and our egos often drive us to put on more than we can handle. Resist this temptation though, as you are better off looking after your own safety, than showing off and possibly making a fool of yourself by trying to lift more than you can handle.

Once you have chosen your buddy, picked out a safe amount of weight, and you are on the bench, make sure that you lie down with your feet square and flat on the floor. Your hands need to grip the bar directly above your shoulders, no closer or further apart, as this will bring your chest muscles back into play.

When you take the bar off the rack, you need to tuck your elbows and arms into your ribs and tighten your stomach muscles, then raise the bar. As you do the Close Grip Bench Press, keep your upper arms close to the centre of your body, and your elbows tucked in. This will protect your wrists.

Pro Tip

This way of bench pressing is not easy and will take a while for you to get used to, so always make sure you start off with a lower weight. As you improve, you can gradually start adding more weight on to push yourself harder.

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