Close-Grip Dumbbell Press

Exercise / Chest, Triceps

Close-Grip Dumbbell Press / Crush Press / Squeeze Press 

The close-grip dumbbell press, also known as the crush press or squeeze press, is a variation of the traditional dumbbell bench press exercise. It primarily targets the triceps and chest muscles while also engaging the shoulders to some extent.

How to do:

crush press

  1. Setup:
    • Lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
    • Position the dumbbells directly over your chest, palms facing each other (neutral grip), and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Execution:
    • Begin the movement by extending your arms fully and pressing the dumbbells directly upwards.
    • As you press, focus on squeezing the dumbbells together forcefully. Imagine you’re trying to crush or squeeze them together throughout the movement.
    • Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the lift, maintaining a close grip.
    • Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, maintaining tension in your triceps.
  3. Lowering Phase:
    • Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position, maintaining control and keeping the squeeze on the dumbbells as much as possible.
  4. Repeat:
    • Perform the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form and control throughout the set.


  • Use an appropriate weight that challenges your triceps without compromising your form.
  • Keep your core engaged and maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
  • Focus on the mind-muscle connection, really feeling the triceps working as you squeeze the dumbbells together.
  • Breathe consistently throughout the movement. Inhale during the lowering phase and exhale during the pressing phase.


You can perform this exercise on an incline bench, decline bench, or even on an exercise ball to change the angle and target the muscles differently.

Close-Grip Dumbbell Press Benefits

The close-grip dumbbell press is a strength training exercise that effectively targets both the triceps and chest muscles. Its unique squeeze and press motion not only build strong and defined triceps but also engage the inner pecs, contributing to a well-rounded upper body.

  • Triceps Emphasis:

The close grip minimizes shoulder involvement, placing a greater load on the triceps. As the name implies, the “squeeze press” entails forcefully bringing the dumbbells together at the peak of the movement. This deliberate action intensifies the contraction in the triceps, fostering enhanced muscle activation and growth potential.

  • Chest Emphasis:

The close-grip press engages the chest muscles as secondary movers, especially the inner pecs. While not as pronounced as wider-grip movements, it contributes to a balanced chest development.

It’s important to incorporate a variety of chest exercises into your routine to achieve comprehensive chest development. If your goal is to specifically target the inner pecs, including a mix of exercises that involve both horizontal and vertical movements can help you achieve a well-rounded and balanced chest development.

Close-Grip Dumbbell Press: Muscles Worked

Target - Pectoralis Major, Sternal
Deltoid, Anterior
Dynamic stabilizer - Biceps Brachii
Bench Press Muscle work