How to Do the Close-Grip Bench Press for Bigger, Stronger Triceps

Maximum lifters within the gymnasium have carried out the vintage flat bench press to construct chest dimension and higher physique urgent power. Relating to diversifications of this time-honored workout, maximum lifters regulate the attitude to focus on the “higher chest” the use of an incline press or focal point at the “decrease pecs” with a decline bench. On the other hand, … Learn extra
The publish How you can Do the Shut-Grip Bench Press for Larger, More potent Triceps seemed first on Breaking Muscle.

Maximum lifters within the gymnasium have carried out the vintage flat bench press to construct chest dimension and higher physique urgent power. Relating to diversifications of this time-honored workout, maximum lifters regulate the attitude to focus on the “higher chest” the use of an incline press or focal point at the “decrease pecs” with a decline bench.

muscular person in gym performing barbell press
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On the other hand, many of us forget a extremely efficient adjustment proper at their fingertips, actually. By way of shifting your hand place rather inward, you flip the chest-building flat bench press into the triceps-building close-grip bench press.

This adjustments the educational stimulus and emphasizes the tricep muscle mass, will increase the motion’s vary of movement, and nonetheless builds critical higher physique urgent energy. Right here’s the whole thing you want to find out about getting began with this straightforward motion for dimension and power.

How you can Do the Shut-Grip Bench Press

The close-grip bench press biases the triceps muscle mass with explicit workout efficiency and an extended vary of movement. As its identify implies, the close-grip bench press calls for your fingers to be nearer than right through an ordinary bench press. This will increase the variability of movement and places your elbows via extra elbow flexion and extension, which emphasizes your triceps over your chest.

Step 1 — Set Up at the Bench

person in gym preparing to bench press
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Lie down on a flat bench. Push your ft into the ground to slip your self up the bench till your eye are underneath the barbell. Pull your shoulders down and again. Position your fingers across the bar in a pronated (palm down) grip together with your fingers on the subject of shoulder-width aside. (1)

The fundamental method will have to virtually similar to your same old flat bench press setup. The main distinction is that your fingers will have to now be a minimum of one fist-width (4 to 6 inches) nearer than the chest-focused workout. This is very important for recruiting extra triceps into the motion.

Shape Tip: Whilst a reasonably shut grip is important, taking an overly shut grip can also be counterproductive, growing extra joint pressure and no more muscular rigidity. Some oldschool lifters imagine your thumbs will have to have the ability to contact right through the close-grip bench press. That is erroneous, impractical, and inefficient recommendation. Having your fingers more or less in keeping with your shoulders can be efficient for almost all of lifters.

Step 2 — Unrack the Bar

muscular person in gym performing bench press
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Fill your abdominal and chest with a deep breath and raise the bar from the give a boost to pins. Handle complete physique rigidity out of your flat ft via your core for your shoulders.

With stiff fingers, information the bar ahead till it’s over your shoulders. Stay your shoulders pinched again to have interaction your higher again for give a boost to.

Shape Tip: The bar will have to really feel balanced when it settles into the best place. If you’re feeling such as you’re “preventing” an risky weight above your physique, it’s both nonetheless too a long way above your face or too a long way towards your abs. Keep an eye on the burden and succeed in a robust, strong place sooner than decreasing the burden.

Step 3 — Decrease the Bar

person lowering barbell to chest
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Decrease the bar towards your torso, retaining your elbows stacked underneath your wrists. This place helps to keep your tricep underneath rigidity, avoids reimbursement from the deltoids (shoulders), and minimizes pressure to your joints.

Stay your elbows on the subject of your ribs. In the event that they start to flare out to the edges, tuck them again in towards your physique. Carry the bar down as on the subject of your physique as your mobility lets in, preferably attaining close to your sternum and decrease chest.

Shape Tip: Don’t permit your wrists to bend again during the rep. Stay your knuckles dealing with the ceiling. This will likely stay your wrists in a extra favorable, much less aggravating place. It additionally keeps your wrists stacked above your elbows, which is a extra tough urgent place than falling out of line.

Step 4 — Press to the Beginning Place

person in gym doing bench press
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After attaining your most comfy intensity, press the bar as much as its beginning place. Stay your ft flat at the ground and really feel total-body engagement. Handle a impartial wrist place above your elbows.

The bar will have to finally end up balanced immediately over your shoulders, in the similar place it used to be in after being unracked.

Shape Tip: For the reason that function of the workout is to problem the triceps, actively squeeze your triceps within the locked out place sooner than acting the following repetition.

Close-Grip Bench Press Errors to Steer clear of

There are a couple of errors that may occur within the close-grip bench press as a result of this loose weight workout has many variables that will have to be managed by way of the lifter.

Against this, sure machine exercises can lock you into pre-determined positions that don’t be offering as a lot positional selection. In different phrases, manipulating a barbell calls for extra focal point and extra muscular keep watch over than a identical device motion. Right here’s what to be careful for right through this workout.

Elbows Flaring Out

That is one of the most not unusual mistake other people make when doing any triceps workout. Your elbows will have to observe underneath your wrists to emphasise the lengthening of the muscle right through the eccentric, or decreasing segment, of the repetition.

person in gym performing bench press
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When your elbows flare out to the edges, your shoulders are extra strongly gotten smaller, which reduces the burden at the triceps.

Steer clear of it: Use a sluggish pace when bringing the bar down towards your chest. Take 3 seconds to decrease the burden and focal point controlling your elbow attitude. Stay your elbows ahead towards your ft slightly than out to the aspect. While you’ve practiced and really feel comfy, progressively build up the bar velocity to some degree wherein you’ll be able to keep watch over your elbow place during all the motion.

Gripping Too Slim or Too Broad

In case your grip is simply too slender, your elbows will most probably flare out excessively, forcing your deltoids to give a contribution extra to the motion. A too-narrow grip place too can give a contribution to inner rotation of the shoulder which, over the years, would possibly build up the chance of harm to the supraspinatus muscle of the shoulder joint.

muscular person in gym holding barbell overhead
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On the other hand, a grip that’s too large can also be simply as counterproductive, by way of lowering the call for at the triceps and lengthening chest recruitment. A detailed-grip bench press with out a shut grip is a undeniable outdated bench press.

Steer clear of it: Analysis has proven that the optimum grip for a close-grip bench press is the the similar as the space between the acromion (periphery) of your shoulder blades.(2) All over the setup segment of the workout, position your fingers shoulder-distance aside together with your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in a instantly line. This will likely create a custom designed grip as everybody has a singular shoulder width, slightly than telling each lifter in each gymnasium to arbitrarily set their fingers 18 inches aside, for instance.

Inefficient Bar Trail

It is very important remember the fact that the bar trail within the bench press isn’t a strictly vertical line. The bar starts over your shoulders and can trip down and rather ahead because it’s decreased, in a slight arc-like trail.

In comparison to the usual bench press, the close-grip bench press has an greater vary of movement and can subsequently have a distinct touch-point at the physique and a distinct bar trail than the usual bench press.

person in gym lower barbell in bench press
Credit score: Hryshchyshen Serhii / Shutterstock

It is very important remember the fact that the bar will contact decrease to your chest in a close-grip bench than an ordinary bench press. When you try to use the similar touch-point for each actions, it’s going to result in over the top elbow flare to make amends for the inefficient movement.

Steer clear of it: Intention for the bar to the touch across the narrowing level of the ground of your sternum — the xiphoid procedure. On the other hand, the precise spot will range rather from individual to individual in keeping with their arm length, ribcage dimension, and general physique place.

How to Development the Shut-Grip Bench Press

As a fundamental barbell workout, the close-grip bench press can also be tailored to fit a variety of lifters’ features with step by step heavier weights. On the other hand, if folks can not but arrange a complete vary of movement with the barbell, there are a couple of choices to assist reach the workout.

Shut-Grip Flooring Press

The ground press variation reinforces the similar close-grip setup and common bar trail with a discounted vary of movement. Whilst one good thing about the close-grip bench press (carried out on a flat bench) is a reasonably lengthy vary of movement, this ground press variation removes the decrease portion of the workout. This reduces shoulder pressure whilst keeping up muscular rigidity at the triceps.

The close-grip ground press lets you turn into conversant in the grip width and hand place, and encourages right kind shape whilst staying tight and controlling the motion. Don’t permit your elbows to leisure at the floor.

Paused Shut-Grip Bench Press

By way of incorporating a planned, lengthy pause on the backside and most sensible of every repetition, you support right kind mechanics during the motion. Pause within the backside, stretched place of each rep for 2 seconds. It’s the most important that you just handle rigidity and don’t chill out with the bar resting to your chest. Your muscle mass will have to be tight and engaged for the period.

Press typically and cling the locked out place for 2 seconds. Once more, don’t deal with the pause as a chance for leisure. Grip the bar exhausting, flex your triceps, and have interaction your core sooner than decreasing the burden once more.

Advantages of the Shut-Grip Bench Press

The close-grip bench press has a couple of advantages, from efficiency to aesthetics or even longevity in barbell coaching. Right here’s why you will have to incorporate this convenient motion.

Energy and Efficiency

For powerlifters or gym-goers having a look to extend their max bench press, the close-grip bench press has explicit advantages with direct carryover for your bench. When you battle particularly at lockout, you most probably wish to toughen your triceps power.

The close-grip bench press basically demanding situations the triceps, main to bigger urgent power.(3) This easy workout variation may well be what’s lacking out of your coaching regimen to push via your sticking level and succeed in a brand new bench press PR.

Muscle-Construction and Aesthetics

Filling out the sleeves of a blouse isn’t a nasty concept. Whilst triceps dips and pushdowns problem the lateral head of the triceps specifically, the close-grip bench press considerably recruits the medial and lateral head, resulting in extra well-rounded muscular development.

This compound (multi-joint) motion additionally has an greater impact on muscle hypertrophy as it lets you use reasonably heavy weights, which can also be helpful for exciting enlargement.(4)

Joint Well being

When you persistently educate the use of a restricted vary of movement for any muscle or workout, you’ll be able to expand power in that vary. On the other hand, this may additionally create a better chance for traces and tears when the ones muscle mass are put via a better vary of movement with “absolutely lengthened” or “absolutely shortened” positions. (5)

gray-haired person in gym performing bench press
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The close-grip bench press does problem a better vary of movement than the usual grip because of the location of the fingers at the bar. The shoulder joints are labored via an extended distance. This will likely rigidity the triceps within the lengthened levels, making them extra powerful and reasonably much less vulnerable to damage.

Muscular tissues Labored by way of the Shut-Grip Bench Press

The close-grip bench press is maximum frequently recognized for difficult the triceps muscle mass, then again there are extra muscle mass concerned than you might imagine.

Pectorals Main and Minor

The pectoralis primary and pectoralis minor are your chest muscle mass and, whilst they don’t seem to be the main participants to the close-grip bench press, they do play a very powerful function within the motion. All over each the concentric (lifting) and whimsical (decreasing) levels, each the pec primary and minor are recruited to raise the burden and push your fingers upward.

Anterior Deltoid

Your shoulder is made from 3 separate heads — the entrance (anterior), aspect (lateral), and rear (posterior). Each and every is helping to lift the arm in its respective route out of your physique’s midline. The anterior deltoid, particularly, contributes to elevating and decreasing your higher arm right through the close-grip bench press.

On the other hand, remember that in case your anterior deltoid is fatiguing sooner than different muscle mass teams right through the workout, your elbows are most probably flaring an excessive amount of. Adjusting your grip and/or bar trail will have to make certain most focal point to your triceps.

Triceps Brachii

Your triceps make up nearly all of your higher arm, relative for your biceps. The triceps muscle is composed of 3 heads — the lateral, medial, and lengthy head — and in combination their primary motion is to increase the arm from a unethical elbow place to complete to elbow extension. The triceps contraction is emphasised within the lockout of the workout the place the triceps are extra strongly recruited.

How you can Program the Shut-Grip Bench Press

When programming the close-grip bench press, the primary attention must be your objective. Top-of-the-line way can be desperate by way of what you need to succeed in with the motion and the way it suits into your general coaching plan.


To prioritize strength-building, reps wish to be saved in a reasonably decrease vary whilst operating with upper percentages of your one-repetition max (1RM). Educate with two to 6 units of 1 to 5 reps, the use of 80 to 95% of 1RM.

The volume of units can range in keeping with your revel in, conditioning, and skills. Extra isn’t all the time higher if you’ll be able to’t deal with it. Without reference to your whole coaching quantity, focal point on the use of a quick bar velocity and completely locking out every repetition.


The use of average to excessive units with average to raised reps will supply a better hypertrophy adaptation. For muscle enlargement to happen, the muscle wishes stimulus, quantity, and fatigue.(6) Paintings with 3 to 6 units 8 to twenty repetitions, the use of of 55-65% of 1RM.

The objective is to succeed in muscular fatigue on the finish of every set. When you’re acting extra triceps-focused workout routines in the similar exercise, use fewer units and reps. If the close-grip bench press is your number one triceps workout, give it the upper finish of the workload.

Shut-Grip Bench Press Diversifications

Past the close-grip bench press itself, there are some diversifications you’ll be able to put in force for similar advantages of hypertrophy and bettering your urgent energy.

Banded Shut-Grip Bench Press

To extend urgent energy and/or toughen your lockout talent, including resistance bands of more than a few rigidity to the close-grip bench press will problem higher vary of movement. Resistance bands be offering accommodating resistance — they get more difficult as they’re stretched farther and be offering reasonably much less resistance sooner than they’re maximally stretched.

The biomechanics of the bench press, the lockout place calls for much less power and advantages from a leverage benefit. As your elbows turn into extra prolonged, the burden feels “lighter.” Bands require you to use most rigidity as resistance will increase towards the highest place, forcing a more potent contraction. Because the bar travels upward, band rigidity will increase on the lockout. This forces you to consciously produce extra energy and force exhausting to succeed in lockout.

Device Press

This is a wonderful variation for hypertrophy objectives. The use of any device that mimics a identical arrange because the close-grip bench provides you with extra choices for hypertrophy. The design of machines lets in lifters to successfully incorporate various high-intensity tactics for greater coaching stimulus.

Choices similar to similar to drop units, partial reps, and even forced reps with a coaching spouse permit for better diversifications for your workout routines. This may be a more secure possibility than coaching past muscular fatigue with the close-grip bench press.

Shut-Grip Push-Up

This triceps-focused push-up variation is a pleasant supplement to any coaching program, as a number one workout or as a muscle-exhausting completing motion. Since your fingers are nearer in combination, just like the close-grip bench press, the variability of movement is bigger than an ordinary push-up, thus making it more difficult.

If you can’t carry out a complete vary of movement rep out of your feet, you go for changed variations similar to a close-grip susceptible push-up (together with your fingers increased on a bench) or a kneeling close-grip push up.

Incessantly Requested Questions

Why does the close-grip bench press harm my shoulder?

There may well be a couple of elements at paintings, however most of the people’s shoulders harm because of a loss of balance within the higher again. This calls for a greater focal point on scapular retraction and melancholy — pulling your shoulder blades in combination and down.

All over the workout, you’ll want to squeeze your shoulder blades again towards your backbone and “tuck” them down towards your again wallet. This stabilizes all of your shoulder girdle to give a boost to the burden. If it’s achieved incorrectly, or under no circumstances, your anterior deltoid is extra strongly activated as your shoulder is going into protraction (attaining ahead) and elevation (shrugging as much as your ears).

Plenty of upper back strengthening exercises and mobility drills can assist, along side drilling right kind urgent method and cueing your higher again stabilizers sooner than unracking the bar.

What choice can I do if I don’t have a bench?

Any workout that demanding situations your higher physique urgent muscle mass in a supine place can also be an efficient choice. When you don’t have a bench however can lie at the ground, this can be a nice choice. A dumbbell or barbell ground press is a smart workout each time a bench is unavailable. The focal point at the higher part of the variability of movement additional emphasizes triceps recruitment.

Maximum industrial gyms have steps, bins, and risers that can be utilized as changed bench. Preferably, you need the improvised bench to be the similar peak as an ordinary one. Position a yoga mat on most sensible of the step or field to cut back the chance of your torso slipping off.

Get a Grip on Your Bench

The close-grip bench press can also be carried out both as an help workout to spice up your vintage bench press or it may be approached as a first-rate motion by itself to expand a more potent higher physique. The added arm dimension is an incidental bonus. Observe this straightforward grip adjustment to a time-tested motion and also you’ll quickly welcome new ranges of dimension and power.


  1. Lockie, Robert & Moreno, Matthew. (2017). The Shut-Grip Bench Press. Energy and Conditioning Magazine. 39. 1. 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000307.
  2. Larsen, S., Gomo, O., & van den Tillaar, R. (2021). A Biomechanical Research of Broad, Medium, and Slim Grip Width Results on Kinematics, Horizontal Kinetics, and Muscle Task at the Sticking Area in Recreationally Educated Men All over 1-RM Bench Urgent. Frontiers in sports activities and energetic residing2, 637066.
  3. Saeterbakken, A. H., Stien, N., Pedersen, H., Solstad, T., Cumming, Okay. T., & Andersen, V. (2021). The Impact of Grip Width on Muscle Energy and Electromyographic Task in Bench Press amongst Beginner- and Resistance-Educated Males. World magazine of environmental analysis and public well being18(12), 6444.
  4. Brandão, Lucas & Painelli, Vitor & Lasevicius, Thiago & Silva-Batista, Carla & Brendon, Helderson & Schoenfeld, Brad & Aihara, Andre & Cardoso, Fabiano & Peres, Bergson & Teixeira, Emerson. (2020). Various the Order of Mixtures of Unmarried- and Multi-Joint Workout routines Differentially Impacts Resistance Coaching Variations. Magazine of Energy and Conditioning Analysis. 34. 1. 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003550.
  5. Valamatos, M. J., Tavares, F., Santos, R. M., Veloso, A. P., & Mil-Homens, P. (2018). Affect of complete vary of movement vs. equalized partial vary of movement coaching on muscle structure and mechanical houses. Ecu magazine of carried out body structure118(9), 1969–1983.
  6. Mangine, G. T., Hoffman, J. R., Gonzalez, A. M., Townsend, J. R., Wells, A. J., Jajtner, A. R., Beyer, Okay. S., Boone, C. H., Miramonti, A. A., Wang, R., LaMonica, M. B., Fukuda, D. H., Ratamess, N. A., & Stout, J. R. (2015). The impact of coaching quantity and depth on enhancements in muscular power and dimension in resistance-trained males. Physiological experiences3(8), e12472.

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