Close Grip Bench Press

Exercise / Chest, Triceps

Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is a variation of the traditional bench press exercise where the lifter holds the bar with a narrow grip, usually with the hands placed closer than shoulder-width apart. This exercise primarily targets the triceps, but also engages the chest and shoulders.

How To do: 

Close Grip Bench Press

To perform a close grip bench press:

  1. Lie down on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground and your back in a neutral position.
  2. Grab the bar with a close grip, with your hands placed slightly less than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Unrack the bar and lower it slowly towards your chest while keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body.
  4. Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then press the bar back up to the starting position, squeezing your triceps at the top.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of repetitions.

It’s important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise, especially keeping your elbows close to your body to emphasize the triceps engagement and reduce strain on the shoulders. Additionally, be sure to use an appropriate weight for your fitness level, and always warm up before beginning any weightlifting exercise.

Close-Grip Bench Press – Benefits

  1. Increased triceps strength: The close grip bench press places a greater emphasis on the triceps than the traditional bench press, making it an effective exercise for building triceps strength and size. It is generally used as an auxiliary exercise to increase Lock-Off Strength in powerlifting programs.
  2. Improved bench press performance: Strengthening the triceps through close grip bench pressing can improve overall bench press performance by increasing the lifter’s ability to lock out heavy weights.
  3. Targeting different muscle fibers: The narrow grip used in the close grip bench press targets the inner portion of the chest muscles, as well as the front deltoids, allowing for more comprehensive muscle development.
  4. Reduced stress on the shoulders: The close grip bench press places less strain on the shoulder joint compared to the wider grip bench press, making it a safer exercise option for individuals with shoulder issues.
  5. Increased functional strength: The close grip bench press can improve functional strength, which is the strength necessary for performing everyday activities and movements, such as pushing and pulling.

In general, close-grip bench press is an upper body compound exercise that targets the triceps muscles and is useful for build up your upper and inner chest. One of the main differences between the standard bench press and the close-grip bench press is that it focuses on the inner chest and triceps, rather than working your entire chest.

Close-Grip Bench Press – Muscles Worked

Target - Triceps Brachii
Synergists - Anterior Deltoid
Synergists - Pectoralis Major, Sternal
Synergists - Pectoralis Major, Clavicular
Dynamic Stabilizers - Biceps Brachii
triceps muscle worked