Muscles Used • Exercise Type • Form Instruction • Tips and Techniques • Recommended Reps • Common Variations • Substitutions • Equipment Needed
See all the exercises at the:
Weight Training Exercises Database
– Close-Grip Bench Press –
AKA: Narrow-Grip Bench Press or Triceps Bench Press
Compound Exercise, Push Movement
Lying face up on bench, grab bar from rack with a slightly narrower than shoulder width grip, lower bar to lower or middle of chest and then raise until arms are nearly locked.
Tips and Techniques:
Where with the standard bench press you want to keep the upper arms at a 45 to 90 degree angle to the torso (at the bottom of the exercise) to keep the focus on the pectorals, with the close-grip bench press you want to keep the elbows in to keep the focus on the exercise’s main target: The Triceps. The upper arm should be 45 degrees from the body or closer.
Going narrower than “slightly less than shoulder width” on the grip is sometimes advised. There is no great benefit to this and it can create wrist strain in many. For most, “slightly less than shoulder width” means the hands are about 6″-12″ apart. If you still feel wrist discomfort, try using an ez-curl bar which can lessen strain.
Typically you will use a little less weight with the close-grip as opposed to the standard. Strengthening your triceps will have the additional benefit of likely increasing the load you handle for your standard bench press.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Incline Close-Grip Bench Press – Same basic motion as above on an incline bench but the barbell is brought down higher on the chest. The main target remains the triceps but the secondary target is shifted from the lower to the upper pectorals.
- Decline Close-Grip Bench Press – Same motion as above but on a decline bench.
- Standard Bench Press
- Machine-Based Close-Grip Bench Press – Cable, lever and Smith machines all give you ways to perform a variation of the close-grip bench press.
Bench Dips and Triceps Dips (same as Bar Dips but with a narrower width between the bars) are compound exercises that target the triceps.
Bench with rack, barbell, weights
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