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Close-Grip Bench Press Guide — Form, Hand Placement, Alternatives, and More

The close-grip bench press is a superb bench press variation that increases triceps power and hypertrophy, lockout efficiency, and will help reduce stress on the shoulders. Power, energy, and fitness athletes can combine this exercise inside power and hypertrophy packages to spice up performance in lifts like the bench press, snatch, jerk, log press, handstand push-ups, and more.

On this article, we’ll undergo every part you should know concerning the close-grip bench press, together with:

Easy methods to Carry out the Close-Grip Bench Press: Step-By-Step Guide

Under is a step-by-step information on methods to carry out the close-grip bench press with a barbell. Further under we’ll talk about a wide variety of variations and options.


Set up a Robust Base

Just like different bench press movements, establishing a robust base during which the (1) ft are planted to the floor, (2) buttocks contacted, and (3) higher back/shoulders gripping the bench is important.

Be certain that to keep the shoulder blades retracted as you assume a robust bench arrange, not allowing the shoulders to translate forwards (upwards) off the bench.

Coach’s Tip: Seize the floor with the ft. Then, seize the bench together with your buttocks and higher back.


Grab the Barbell and Descend

With the arms inside shoulder width, grasp the barbell making sure to have the bar resting in the midst of your palm. The again ought to be flexed with the chest up on account of thoracic extension.

As you lower the load, you’ll want to guide the elbows inwards in the direction of the physique so that the triceps tackle a lot of the eccentric loading. The barbell ought to make contact on the decrease chest/sternum.

Coach’s Tip: Decrease the barbell beneath management and be certain that to not lose pressure within the higher again, let the elbows to flare out, or the shoulders to return upwards off the bench.

After you have made contact with the chest/sternum, forcefully press the barbell off the physique utilizing the triceps and chest muscular tissues. The legs, glutes, and back muscular tissues must be contracted as they supply a secure base so that you can press from.

Hold your elbows into the physique as you press, ensuring to take care of pressure in the triceps and chest.

Coach’s Tip: Take into consideration pressing yourself deeper into the bench as you press the load upwards. It will typically assist lifters keep rigidity and pressure across the posterior aspect of the body.

3 Advantages of the Close-Grip Bench Press

The close-grip bench press presents immense advantages for freshmen and athletes alike. Under are three of these advantages.

1. Triceps Power and Mass

The close-grip bench press is an train that can build mass and develop triceps power. Just like the bench press, army press, and push press, the close-grip bench press can be utilized to spotlight pressing power and efficiency of the chest and triceps.

When used at the side of the opposite pressing workouts, the close-grip bench press can complete a balances pressing program that targets the shoulders, chest, and triceps.

2. Improved Elbow Extension / Lockout Performance

The elbows should stand up to excessive amounts of stress in power, power, and fitness sports. Actions like jerks, bench pressing, gymnastics, and overhead actions all require stronger triceps and elbow stability.

The close-grip bench press can be utilized to increase the tensile power and performance of the triceps, the muscle answerable for elbow extension and lockout performance. By enhancing triceps power and lockout efficiency, you may also scale back the quantity of stress placed on the encompassing ligaments and tendons of the elbow joint, growing joint well being and furthering damage resilience.

Three. Reduces Stress on the Shoulders While Benching

Some lifers might find that bench urgent with a wider grip aggravates the shoulder. The close-grip bench press reduces horizontal shoulder extension, which may typically be contradictory for lifters with earlier shoulder accidents, impingements, or these trying to limit general shoulder joint stress.

Sport athletes, reminiscent of throwers (baseball, soccer, and so forth.) and overhead lifters (weightlifters, strongman, and so forth.) might discover that the close-grip bench press allows them to develop triceps and chest power and lockout efficiency while minimizing further pressure to the shoulder joint.

Muscle tissue Worked – Close-Grip Bench Press

The close-grip bench press is an upper physique pressing motion. Typically, the broader the palms are on the barbell, the less the triceps are involved in the press.

Individual differences could also be seen using all kinds of grip placements, and subsequently coaches and athletes ought to decide which width maximizes triceps engagement and minimizes stress on the wrist and shoulder joints.

Close-Grip Bench Press Muscles WorkedPhotograph By Makatserchyk / Shutterstock

Who Ought to Perform the Close-Grip Bench Press?

Under are a couple of groups of athletes that can benefit from together with close-grip bench press within training packages.

Power and Energy Athletes

Enhancing triceps power and lockout performance is a key training consequence for many power sport athletes. Actions like bench pressing, jerks, and different overhead lifts all rely on triceps power and elbow stability.

  • Powerlifting and Strongman Athletes: Bench pressing, log presses, and different vertical and horizontal urgent workouts are all dependent on the triceps and chest. Integrating the close-grip bench press inside training packages can enhance general urgent power, triceps mass, and lockout efficiency.
  • Olympic Weightlifters: The close-grip bench press is an effective accessory exercise to increase upper body muscle mass, triceps well being, and lockout power vital for the snatch and jerk. Whereas this movement just isn’t performed in the vertical aircraft, it will probably still be used to extend general physique mass and power whereas minimizing further stress on the shoulders. This may be notably useful for beginner lifters or lifters who my lck upper physique power and muscle mass to face up to progressively increased loading.

Competitive CrossFit and Health Athletes

Competitive CrossFit and health athletes can use the close-grip bench press within training packages to increase higher body power and muscle mass, especially of the triceps. Robust triceps play a key position in al overhead urgent and stability actions (overhead squats, Olympic lifts), in addition to handstand walks, handstand push-ups, wall balls, and more.

Ultimate Push-Up GuidePhotograph By Flamingo Photographs / Shutterstock

It is very important word that newbie lifters and ladies are likely to have less muscle mass within the upper physique (physiologically speaking in comparison to educated males). Performing extra targeted higher physique power work can improve performance in most of the workouts above.

Sports Coaching and Basic Fitness

Along with the advantages discussed above, the close-grip bench press can probably translate on to some sporting actions. In sports like wrestling, American soccer, basketball, rugby, boxing, and martial arts; the close-grip bench press can allow athletes to unload drive forwards into an opponent.

For common health functions, the close-grip bench press might be executed to increase chest and triceps power whereas minimizing shoulder stress because it limits the quantity of horizontal shoulder extension. People with shoulder points, earlier surgical procedures, and/or impingements might discover that the close-grip bench press allows them to train a urgent motion without negatively impacting shoulder health/restoration.

Close-Grip Bench Press Sets, Reps, and Weight Recommendations

Under are two main sets, reps, and weight (intensity) suggestions for coaches and athletes to correctly program the close-grip bench press specific to the coaching objective. Word, that the under tips are merely here to supply coaches and athletes unfastened recommendations for programming and usually are not the one strategies to program this motion.

Muscle Hypertrophy – Reps, Sets, and Weight Recommendations

The close-grip bench press could be educated in quite a lot of repetition ranges when the objective is hypertrophy. Some lifters might find sure rep schemes and coaching volumes to be simpler than others.

It’s advised that lifters experiment with numerous repetition schemes and loading to find out which works greatest for his or her our bodies.

  • Units and Reps: 4-5 sets of 8-12 or 15-20 repetitions with a average to heavy load.
  • Modifications: Tempos, pauses, and partials could be carried out all through the range of movement to induce further muscular injury and hypertrophy.

Power – Reps, Units, and Weight Suggestions

For constructing basic urgent and triceps power with the close-grip bench press, commonplace power programming units, reps, and intensities can be utilized. Basically, average to low repetitions, average training volumes, and heavier masses can elicit power good points.

Moreover, these might be carried out as an adjunct in power packages. Using more average hypertrophy ranges after heavier urgent movements can further stimulate progress of the triceps and chest.

  • Units and Reps: 4-6 sets of Three-5 repetitions with very difficult masses.
  • Modifications: The close-grip bench can be with quite a lot of specialty bars and accommodating resistance to further enhance power improvement.

3 Close-Grip Bench Press Variations

Under are three (Three) close-grip bench press variations to build power, hypertrophy, and improve urgent performance.

1. Close-Grip Dumbbell Press

The close-grip dumbbell bench press is a unilateral variation of the standard close-grip barbell bench press. Through the use of dumbbells, you possibly can tackle any asymmetries and muscular imbalances which will go unnoticed with barbells.

This will also permit lifters some customization of wrist, elbow, shoulder joint angles in the occasion the predetermined barbell positioning is found to be uncomfortable or straining to the joints.

The best way to Carry out Dumbbell Bench Presses

Start by lying supine on a bench (face up) with a dumbbell tightly grasped in every hand.

With the again and hips engaged, squeeze the dumbbell handle and pull the weights right down to the edges of the chest, preserving the shoulders away from the ears and the elbows barely tucked inwards in the direction of the physique.

The elbows must be instantly underneath the wrist, as it will assist maintain the shoulder joint in correct positioning and permit for maximal again pressure.


Lower the Dumbbells, Then Press

On the backside of the press, the weights ought to be barely outdoors the torso, with the shoulder blades retracted and depressed (down in the direction of the hips) to help keep upper again stability.

When ready, press the dumbbells back to the returning position without letting the elbows flare out directly to the edges.

Think about urgent yourself deeper into the bench and/or pushing your self away from the dumbbells.

2. Close-Grip Flooring Press

The close-grip flooring press is a mixture pressing motion that can virtually completely target the triceps and lockout power.

By combining the floor press with the close-grip bench press, coaches and athletes can target triceps power and hypertrophy.

The way to Carry out Flooring Presses


Setup Underneath the Barbell

Start by positioning yourself on the ground beneath the barbell (eyes must be beneath). With the legs both straight or bent, you’ll want to place the ft, hips, and higher back on the ground, just like that of a bench press.

Observe, that this relationship with the ground is important to the ground press. Typically, people who wrestle with this on a bench might find it simpler to develop larger back rigidity within the flooring press within the early learning phases.


Grip the Flooring, Deliver Elbows Downwards

With the body actively gripping the floor, firmly squeeze the barbell and pull the elbows down in the direction of the torso, on a slight angle to ensure that the again muscular tissues and posterior shoulders are being activated.

Be sure you pull the barbell to the bottom of the chest (simply above the sternum) in order that the elbows are roughly 45 levels from the torso.


Gently Contact the Flooring, Then Press

Upon getting gently made contact with the again of the elbows to the floor, remain in pressure and reverse the movement so that you simply go into the concentric urgent part of the floor press.

Observe, that lifters can pause at the bottom of the press (which I favor) to help improve stability, management, and achieve a deeper understanding on methods to develop and keep pressure and power throughout the complete raise.


Lock Out, Prep for Subsequent Rep

After you have returned to the highest of the movement, repeat for the prescribed repetitions, rest, and repeat.

Be certain that to not over protract at the prime when finishing a rep, as this could throw your positioning and base out of line.

3. Close-Grip Push-Up

The close-grip push-up is another helpful variation of the close-grip bench press. This movement might be thought-about a regression and could possibly be a helpful variation for newer athletes working to enhance their type on the bench.

When you find that you really want further lighter volume for the triceps with a motion that is very similar to the close-grip bench press, then close-grip push-ups are a terrific choice.

Methods to Perform Close-Grip Push-Ups


Set up Hand Placement

Assume a traditional push-up place and place the hand narrower than your normal grip. An excellent rule of thumb is to go shoulder width or narrower and base hand placement on what’s most snug.

Coach’s Tip: Using a diamond push-up setup works positive, but typically occasions, this grip may be uncomfortable.

Once you’ve established your grip and push-up position, start the descent by gripping the floor and maintaining the elbows tucked.

Keep in mind that the objective is to target the pecs and triceps, so think about loading these areas probably the most in the course of the eccentric.

After you’ve hit the complete eccentric, squeeze the pecs and triceps and press by means of the floor to return to your beginning place.

Coach’s Tip: Keep in mind to persistently grip the ground and be aware of where you’re shifting drive to!

3 Close-Grip Bench Press Options

Under are three (3) close-grip bench press options that can be utilized to enhance chest and triceps power, muscle hypertrophy, and lockout efficiency.

1. Board Press

The board press is a partial range of movement bench press that isolates the triceps and chest, just like the close-grip bench press. By performing a close-grip bench press to a board (placed on the chest), the vary of movement is decreased the thickness of the board. This in flip limits shoulder horizontal extension, resulting in greater demands positioned upon the tricep to increase the elbows.

2. Pin Bench Press

The pin press is a bench press variation that can be executed to isolate weaknesses in lockout power and triceps efficiency. By setting the pins at a predetermined peak, often 1-Three inches off the chest within the backside of the bench press, the lifter should depend on concentric power of the triceps and chest muscular tissues to raise the load from the pins. This can be carried out to attack specific ranges of movement within the bench press that could be poor.

3. Push Press

The push press is a superb overhead urgent movement that stresses the triceps and shoulders. Just like the close-grip bench press, the push press is very depending on triceps lockout power.

Moreover, this exercise could be carried out to overload the triceps to strengthen elbow extension and lockout efficiency.

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