Close Grip Bench Press

About the Close Grip Bench Press

Type: Compound
Level: Beginner
Muscle Groups: Triceps, Chest, Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell

Video: How To Do Close Grip Bench Press


Close Grip Bench Press Instructions

1. Lie supine on an exercise bench, with your hands held at shoulder-width apart.

2. Pinch your shoulders together, driving them into the bench.

3. Take a deep breath and hold it before you lift the weights. It’s ideal to have a spotter to help you out with the lift-off, so you can maintain the tightness in your upper back muscles.

4. Allow the weight to settle. Make sure that you are holding your upper back tight even after liftoff.

5. Breathe in while letting the bar descend slowly as you unlock your elbows.

6. Bring the bar down in a straight line, almost to the bottom of your breastbone, so that it touches your chest.

7. Then push the weights back up, once again keeping the bar straight. Press yourself back into the bench and drive your leg into the floor for strength as you extend your elbows.

8. Repeat the exercise for as many reps as you want.

How To: Close Grip Bench Press

Close Grip Bench Press


Precautions and Tips for Close Grip Bench Press

In no other exercise is it as important to focus on technique rather than weight. If you don’t get your form right, you’ll only end up injuring yourself.

Make sure the bar travels in a straight line. It should line up with your wrist and elbows. Position the bar as low in the palm as you can while wrapping your thumb around it.

To retain tension on your triceps and chest, you can stop the extension just short of lock up as you raise the bar. This provides a tougher workout.

With a close grip bench press, your elbows are tucked more than a regular bench press. If you feel shoulder pain, tweak your grip and elbow tuck until you feel comfortable.

If you must arch your back during the close grip bench press, make sure it’s only your mid or upper back and not the lower back. When you feel cramping in the lower back muscles, it means you’re not in the right position. Adjust yourself before lifting, or else you’ll injure your back.

With every rep, the bar should touch your chest. It should come down smoothly smoothly, without bouncing or too quickly.

Bringing down the bar to your lower chest provides the ideal linear bar path for muscle gain.

Do NOT let your wrists roll back into extension.

Try out different grip widths to find your optimal position. Those with longer arms might need a wider grip. Pain in your shoulders is a good indication that the close grip bench press is too close.

Hold the bar tightly to make your shoulders more stable for the lift.

There’s some controversy about the best way to hold your feet during the close grip bench press. Some lifters tuck in their toes. Others keep it flat on the floor. Try out both to see which gives you more power.

Keep your shoulder blades retracted and don’t keep changing position while you press.

A trick that works wonders is to imagine that you’re pushing yourself away from the bar (like doing push ups) than lifting the bar away from you!

Your upper back should remain tight throughout the lift for maximum muscle strength gain.

Squeeze your glutes to stabilize the pelvis while lifting up.

Your glutes and shoulder blades should stay in contact with the bench all through the close grip bench press exercise.


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Close Grip Bench Press

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