Close Grip Bench Press
Primary Muscle Group: Triceps, Chest
Secondary Muscle Group: Shoulders
Equipment Needed: Barbell, Weight Plates
The Benefits of Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press is a popular exercise targeting the predominantly the triceps because your hand positioning is closer together than the traditional bench press. Your chest and shoulders will act as secondary muscles working during this exercise.
The close-grip bench press is often used as an alternative movement for the traditional bench press, or as a triceps builder for arm training. Like the bench press, it can be trained in low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle or strength endurance.
If you are looking for ways to add size to your arms then this is a great exercise because of the ability to go heavy. In fact, its one of the best ways to target your triceps in the gym!
If you are looking for other exercises that are the best for building muscle or wanting to lose body fat then you should check our Free Workout Plan or our Workout Plans With Coaching for professionally designed workout plans that have been proven to get results.
The Risks of doing Close Grip Bench Press
When doing the Close Grip Chest Press avoid going as deep as you would normally go on a chest press. By going too dep on this exercise you can put too much stress on your shoulder. If you do feel any discomfort / pain, stop going as dep because it’s not worth the risk!
How To Do Close Grip Bench Press
1. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and grip the barbell with your hands around shoulder-width apart. (They can be slightly closer than that, but don’t move them too close together or the set-up will become unstable and you’ll risk being injured)
2. Tighten your abdominals and squeeze your shoulder blades together to stabilise your body.
3. Lower the bar slowly and press up powerfully. Then bring the bar back down towards your sternum. Keep your elbows close to your sides to emphasise your triceps and don’t arch your back.
This is an exercise that should be done with a spotter
For Perfect Technique
Get your hand placement perfect before starting this exercise. A lot of people go way too narrow with this exercise. The best hand placement on a close grip bench press is so your elbows just skim past your ribs. So that means for most people, placing your hands about one foot apart is a good guide line.
Once you have mastered the Close Grip Chest Press you can try alternative exercises that target similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Triceps Push Downs
1. Set the cable machine up with the bar at head height.
2. Grab the bar and stand upright with your back straight and your elbows tucked in to your sides. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or place one in front of the other if it helps you balance.
3. Push the cable down until the bar touches your thighs and pause to squeeze your triceps at the bottom of the move.
4. Then slowly raise the bar back to the starting position.
How To Do Single Arm Cable Pushdowns
1. Start off standing in front of a cable pulley machine grasping a handle with an underhand grip.
2. Slowly extend your arm down, keeping your elbow at your side, until your forearm and hand reaches your upper thigh.
3. Squeeze with your triceps for a second and then return back up to the starting position.