Close Grip Bench Press

Training Details Close Grip Bench Press

  • Primary Muscle
    Triceps
  • Secondary Muscle
    Pec, Front Delt
  • Equipment
    Barbell
  • Level
    Average

Muscles and purpose of Close Grip Bench Press

Bench press with a narrow grip is a very good triceps exercise. Dips, where you can use a weight plate, and bench press with a narrow grip are exercises where you can load a lot of weight and overload your triceps, which is important for muscle growth. In addition, both exercises train all three mounts in a good way. Therefore, make sure to run at least one of these two exercises during your triceps workout as often as possible.

As mentioned earlier, your triceps have three attachments, all of which must be stimulated a little extra in order for your triceps to grow to a maximum way. This exercise is good because it loads all three. You can also put on a lot of weight which is important for muscle growth. The exercise is similar to a regular bench press and it also activates to some extent the chest muscles and the front of your shoulders, but there are differences in design that are very important to keep in mind.

Starting position

Lie down under the bar on a bench just like with a normal bench press. Just like a bench press, you should grip the bar with an overhand grip, but you should have a slightly narrower grip. Grasp the bar shoulder-width apart, if you have a wider grip, your chest muscles will take over the exercise. If you have a too narrow grip studies have shown that your triceps are not activated anymore and can lead to injuries. Pinch your shoulder blades together. Also make sure that the butt is fixed to the bench. It is okay to have a slightly arched back, but the buttocks and shoulder blades should be fixed to the bench during the entire exercise. Lift the bar and have it directly above your shoulders. You are now in your starting position.

Performance

Slowly lower the bar. Make sure your elbows are fixed to your body at all times. Unlike a regular bench press, the bar should be moved further down towards the core. Remember to keep your wrists over your elbows on the way down. You should therefore not angle the elbow joint so that your wrists are closer to your head than your elbows. If you have your elbows next to your body and constantly your wrists over your elbows on the way down, the bar will end up much lower than with a normal bench press. You should not go all the way down so that the bar hits your core / chest, but stop when the arms are close to a 90 degree angle. If you go further than that, your shoulders are engaged and you lose contact with your triceps. When the arms are at an 80-90 degree angle, push the bar up again. The bar should end up just above your shoulders in the top position again, Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.

Guide for Close Grip Bench Press

  • Perform the exercise with a shoulder-width grip to reduce the risk of injury
  • Lower the weight in a calm and slow manner, always with tension in the muscle you are exercising. 
  • Make sure your elbows are close to your body
  • You should hit the chest slightly lower than with a normal bench press
  • It is important that your wrists basically lie over your elbows during the entire movement
  • The bar should end up over your shoulders in the top position, not over your stomach
  • Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up

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