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 Push Ups –
Compound Exercise, Push Movement
Fingers going forward with palms on the floor, slightly narrower than shoulder width and directly underneath the shoulders, toes on floor and with your body balanced in this way, lower your body until the chest nearly touches the floor (or your hands) and then push yourself back up again until arms are nearly locked.
Tips and Techniques:
The body moves as one unit, a straight line from the shoulders to the heels. The head can be in line (looking down) or you can look a little forward (at about a 45 degree angle at most).
Your arms are tucked in close to the body to keep the triceps doing most of the work (keeping the arms tucked is a key to taking the pectorals out of position to do substantial work and keeping the exercise’s focus on the triceps).
This is a great exercise for increasing the size of the triceps especially if you can add resistance (with the help of a partner or a backpack apparatus).
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
10-12 the majority of the time, adding resistance and/or slowing the tempo to increase difficulty.
- Standard Push Ups
- Incline Close-Grip Push Up – Done with the legs inclined (on a chair, Swiss ball or other object). This changes the secondary muscles hit from the lower to the upper pectorals as well changing the stress placed on the triceps.
- Triangle Push Ups – This is done by touching your thumbs and forefingers together on the ground (forming a triangle). The narrower hand placement can increase difficulty but can also cause wrist pain for some.
The best substitute would be your Close-Grip Bench Press, which is the Close-Grip Push Up turned over. Bench Dips and Triceps Dips (like Bar Dips but the body is kept upright, grip is narrower and arms kept in) are other bodyweight exercises that target the triceps to consider.
Push Up Handles (optional)
Couple more articles you may like…
Weight Training Programs That Build Muscle
(Main Page) Learn about the important parts to solid programs and how to put them together into a mass gain training program.
Tracking Your Bodybuilding Training Program
(Main Page) An overview of how to track and the things you need to track – from body composition to your diet and training journals.