Close-Grip Reverse Bench Press

Exercise / Chest, Triceps

Close-Grip Reverse Bench Press

The close-grip reverse bench press is a variation of the traditional bench press exercise that targets the triceps muscles to a greater extent while also engaging the chest and shoulders. This exercise involves using a narrower grip on the barbell and reversing the hand position, which places more emphasis on the triceps. Adding this exercise to your routine can provide new stimulation to your triceps compared to traditional press exercises and potentially break plateaus in your progress.

How to do

Here’s how to perform the close-grip reverse bench press:


Barbell Reverse Close-grip Bench Press

  1. Setup:
    • Lie flat on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
    • Position yourself under a barbell rack and adjust the barbell so that it is at a comfortable height and within arm’s reach.
  2. Grip and Hand Placement::
    • Reach up and grip the barbell with both hands using an underhand grip, also known as a supinated grip. This means your palms should be facing towards your head, and your fingers should be wrapped around the bar.
  3. Starting Position:
    • Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it directly over your chest with your arms fully extended.
  4. Execution:
    • Inhale and lower the barbell towards your chest in a controlled manner. Keep your elbows close to your body as you lower the bar.
    • Lower the bar until it touches your chest or comes close to it, while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back.
  5. Pushing Phase:
    • Exhale and push the barbell back up to the starting position by extending your arms. Focus on using your triceps to perform the movement.
  6. Repeat:
    • Perform the desired number of repetitions while maintaining proper form and control.

Tips and Considerations:

  • Use a lighter weight than you would for a regular bench press, especially when you’re new to this exercise, as the close-grip reverse bench press can be more challenging on the triceps.
  • Keep your wrists aligned with your forearms to maintain proper wrist position throughout the movement.
  • Focus on squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement to fully engage and activate the muscles.
  • Maintain a stable and controlled movement throughout the exercise to minimize the risk of injury.
  • As with any exercise, ensure you have proper form before adding heavy weights.


Triceps Emphasis: The reverse close grip bench press places a strong emphasis on the triceps muscles due to the narrow grip and underhand hand position. This can lead to significant triceps muscle development, helping you achieve greater strength and size in the back of your arms.

Variety and Novel Stimulus: Engaging the chest and triceps through horizontal pressing movements is essential for building upper body muscle mass. The reverse grip bench press introduces a unique movement pattern that activates slightly different muscle fibers compared to traditional chest exercises. This variation can help promote more well-rounded muscular development.

Close-Grip Reverse Bench Press – Muscles Worked

Pectoralis Major
Anterior Deltoid
Biceps Brachii
Close Grip Reverse Bench Press muscles worked