'The exercise is performed lying prone on a weight bench, using a weighted barbell to provide resistance. But we also see that using a narrower grip means lowering the barbell lower down on your torso, which increases the moment arms for your shoulders and upper chest (which attaches to your collarbone). Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS. The close-grip bench is perhaps the most common assistance exercise for the bench press – an assistance exercise being defined as a variation of the basic exercise. Close grip bench press strength standards help you to compare your one-rep max lift with other lifters at your bodyweight. It becomes less of a fly, you could say. Using the Close-Grip Bench Press to Gain Strength, Using the Close-Grip Bench Press to Build Muscle. Marco Walker-Ng is the co-founder and strength coach of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell, and is a certified trainer (PTS) with a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences (BHSc) from the University of Ottawa. ; Plant feet flat on the floor, spaced comfortably apart. PROSECUTION. He's personally gained 65 pounds at 11% body fat and has ten years of experience helping over 10,000 skinny people bulk up. For this basic gym necessity, you shouldn't settle for anything other than perfect form—especially because it's such a simple, essential movement that should serve as one of the centerpieces of your training plan. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and grip the barbell with your hands around shoulder-width apart. The close-grip bench press is a popular exercise targeting the triceps and chest. The close grip offers the most range of motion of any Bench Press grip. Read everything there is to know about performing picture perfect close-grip bench presses. This makes the close-grip bench press one of the very best lifts for building bigger shoulders. Dumbbell Close Grip Bench Press Variations. This is our newsletter for women who are interested in getting bigger, stronger, fitter, and better looking. It doesn’t target the heads of our triceps equally, it’s just as good for bulking up our shoulders, and it’s one of the best exercises for our upper chests. Would like your views on it in comparison to a inclined bench and close grip flat bench. That means that if we want to increase our maximal bench press strength, it can really help to use assistance lifts that target the front delts and shorter heads of the triceps. We use the shorter heads instead. This exercises also increases upper body pushing strength. Perhaps most of all, it’s one of the very best assistance lifts for powerlifters who are trying to increase their bench press 1-rep max. A recent EMG study found that as we delve into lower rep ranges, our shoulders and triceps become more and more dominant in the bench press. Once you set up with the bar, focus on rotating your elbows so they face downward, toward your legs. The close grip bench press differs from the traditional bench press in that it holds the press tighter. It Will Be Harder To Keep Your Lats Tight. You will be able to keep your lats tighter in a standard grip … I don’t know if we can conclude that the close-grip bench press is better than the incline bench press for the upper chest and front delts, but we can certainly guess that it’s better. Watch most videos of the lift and you can see the forearms forming a … Thanx. Close-Grip Bench Press Mistake #1. Pause at the bottom of each repetition of your close grip bench press for 1 second before powering the barbell back up to the starting position. That means that when doing a set of 10 repetitions, that bench press is often a chest-dominant lift, best for building bigger pecs. The close-grip bench press is a great bench press variation that increases triceps strength and hypertrophy, lockout performance, and can help minimize stress on the shoulders. The close grip bench press helps build big triceps and is good assistance exercise for competition power lifting. There are a few reasons you might want to include it in your routine: The close-grip bench press is a lighter variation of the bench press, often used as an assistance lift in powerlifting programs, given that it bulks up the muscles that tend to limit our 1-rep max bench press strength: our shoulders and triceps. Of course, even though we say it is one of the best triceps workouts, you do not need to restrict yourself to it alone. Close Grip Bench Press Instructions. Most lifters perform close grip benches with their wrists well inside their elbows, generally about 6-8 inches apart. You're also staying in a position that forces your triceps to drive the motion. Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. A close-grip bench press is any grip that is shoulder-width or closer. For instance, you’ll notice that the barbell needs to come down lower on your torso. The Hypertrophy Rep Range: How Many Reps to Build Muscle? But if you’re trying to build bigger triceps, use skull crushers instead—it also works the long heads of the triceps, which are not only quite a bit bigger, but also the area of your triceps that’s mostly likely to be lagging behind. Think about lowering the weight so your arms form an "L" at the bottom. In conclusion, the narrow-grip bench press works best for strengthening the upper arms while producing less strain on the shoulders than other grip variations. We may earn a commission through links on our site. But it still involves pushing the weight forward, meaning we can’t fully engage the long heads of our triceps. Now, what does this have to do with the close-grip bench press? Eb says: The most misunderstood thing about the close-grip press is the closeness of the grip. It uses a deeper range of motion than the incline bench press, which should, in theory, make it better for building the front delts and upper chest. Note: Pictures coming soon! Or click here to join our newsletter for women. Maybe a triceps press or a JM press. That means really screwing in your arms hard. ; Choose between a regular or false grip style (jump to: grip tips). What Muscles Does the Close-Grip Bench Press Work? Http://GetFitThisYear.comHow to Do Close Grip Bench Press with Dumbbells. The close grip bench press is a core training staple that can build size and strength in your triceps and chest—but are you sure you're even doing the exercise correctly? The Close-Grip Bench Press is one of the best Bench Press variations available. Before you slide onto the bench, grip the bar close, and get ready to press, take note that it's extremely important to pay attention to the subtleties of the movement here. This makes the close-grip bench press a great lift for people with lagging upper chests. So, if your goal is to increase your triceps size and strength to build a stronger 1-rep max on the bench press, the close-grip bench press is perhaps the very best exercise for bulking up your triceps, since it works the heads that are most involved in the bench press. It is also a good way for you to “power level” your bench press. How to do Close Grip Dumbbell Press Start the exercise by picking up a pair of dumbbells (weighing about 25 lbs) off the ground, holding them with a neutral grip. I’d still bet on the close-grip bench press, but I’m not sure. Hypertrophy Training Volume: How Many Sets to Build Muscle? The narrow grip bench press is not a plyometric movement, if you want to work on speed-strength you should use close grip push-ups and some plyo-boxes. Our close grip bench press standards are based on 85,000 lifts by Strength Level users. There are a few lifts that work the shoulders and triceps, ranging from push-ups to the overhead press, and those can certainly help, but when our goal is to improve our strength on a specific lift, the most efficient way to do that is often to choose a fairly similarly variation. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, You're Probably Doing Dumbbell Rows Wrong, How to Do the Kettlebell Front Rack the Right Way, How to Use Drop Sets to Build More Muscle. Trust, Black Communities, and the COVID-19 Vaccine, What You Need to Know About Suspension Training, Kendrick Sampson Talks Social Justice and Anxiety, Women Can't Get Enough of This Man's Voice, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. So adhere to all good bench press rules for body position. But another reason is that the long heads of our triceps cross both the elbow and shoulder joints. The Fix: The simplest way to fix close-grip bench press grip width is to bring the hands above the shoulder joint when in a rack position with the barbell. That’s where the close-grip bench press comes in. Pause reps on the bench press are fantastic … You'll miss out on the potential back gains if you're not focused on your hand position and the bar path—and there's more to the press than you might think. That’s my guess, anyway, at least for the front delts. Assume a lying position on the flat bench and keep the dumbbells close to the chest, while crushing or squeezing the weights together. It kicks off with a 5-part series about how to build muscle more leanly, gain strength faster, and improve your appearance. 1. The close-grip bench press isn’t exactly an advanced version of the barbell bench press, but it’s certainly a more specialized variation. For all I know, the incline bench press does a better job of activating it, and that’s why it’s so famous as an upper-chest lift. To do the close-grip bench press, set up for a regular bench press—feet planted firmly, a strong arch, shoulder blades down and back—but grip the barbell with a narrow grip. Hi Shane, can we conclude that we can replace inclined benching with close grip flat benching if goal is to focus on upper chest and front delts? That means heels flat on the floor, glutes and abs squeezed, and elbows driving into the bench— and never bounce the weight off your torso. The close grip bench press is an excellent way to strengthen and improve the muscle mass of your triceps. all good bench press rules for body position, 5 Tiny Tweaks That Will Help You Bench Press More Weight. Most bodybuilders use a very- close grip (about six inches apart). But when we’re training to build a bigger 1-rep max, the bench press is just as much a shoulder and triceps lift. By placing your hands closer than shoulder-width apart, you force your triceps to do more of the work, thus making this an effective arm-building exercise.… After all, the triceps play a major role in the traditional bench press exercise. Don't. Common close grip bench press mistakes you need to avoid. The close-grip bench press is another old-school triceps mass builder not only used by bodybuilders but other strength and sports athletes as well. Used for building mass and facilitating other lifts, the close-grip bench press is true a staple in any program. To get an idea of why that is, we can look at how our leverage changes as we bring our grip in closer: What we’re seeing here is that as you bring your grip in narrower, the moment arm between your hands and your sternum shrinks, reducing the demands on the bigger “squeezing” muscles of your chest. It’s not a complete triceps exercise. These are the muscles that often limit our strength when we’re benching in lower rep ranges, and so it’s a great lift for helping you build a bigger bench press 1-rep max. Using Too Narrow Of A Grip. Yes, this is a “close grip” bench press, but going too close is actually a critical mistake that will end up doing you a lot more harm than good over the long run. That's going to prevent you from focusing on your triceps. The exercise is very easy to do and you will perform it perfectly if you adhere to the instructions on doing the … The close-grip bench press is a compound upper body pushing lift that’s often used as an assistance lift for the barbell bench press or overhead press. These form keys are the secret to better reps for a stronger chest and triceps. If you try to lower to your chest, you'll place unnecessary mechanical stress on your elbows and wrists. It will also help you increase your bench press and maximize strength gains. Your chest and shoulders will invariably assist in close-grip pressing, but you're doing this primarily for tris, so keep the focus on them. and associate fitness editor Brett Williams guide you through the move's subtleties, saving you from the bad habits that are keeping you from unlocking your fitness potential. It’s almost identical to the barbell bench press, but for the fact that it uses a closer grip and tucked elbows, like so: Different people use different grip widths, but it’s typically done as narrow as possible, with the hands just outside the torso, just wide enough to let you bring the barbell all the way down to your torso without your hands getting in the way. Going with a shoulder-width grip is as close as you need to go to blast the triceps with heavy weight and stimulate real growth. The reverse-grip bench is good for the upper chest for sure, and muscle growth in general. As a result, the close-grip bench press is typically used as a lighter assistance lift that helps us gain size in our front delts, upper chest, and shorter heads of our triceps. That will allow you to generate upward force primarily with your triceps. Secondly, reverse grip benching also activates upper pecs quite hard. A close grip bench press is a strength training exercise that targets the triceps brachii, commonly known as the 'triceps. The close grip bench press should really be called the close grip tricep press. In fact, it might be even better than the incline bench press and overhead press for bulking up our front delts. Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. When performing the close grip bench press your wrists should be directly above your elbows. Are 3-Day Push/Pull/Legs Split Routines Good for Building Muscle. As the name implies, you bring your hands closer together when compared to the traditional bench press, with your index fingers right at the smooth part of the bar. What’s interesting is that the close-grip bench press challenges your upper chest and shoulders at long muscle lengths—in a fully stretched position—which is ideal for stimulating muscle growth. Do your best to keep applying this pressure throughout each set. Eb says: You want to eliminate as much shoulder rotation from this move as possible, both to really attack your triceps and to protect your shoulders. Close-Grip Bench Press Benefits & Risks Adjusting the placement of the hands to just slightly less than shoulder-width apart (often called narrow-grip or close-grip) shifts the emphasis from the larger muscles of the torso to the smaller muscles of the arms, specifically the triceps and forearms. One reason might be that our triceps aren’t brought close enough to failure, and that’s surely part of it. If you want a customizable workout program (and full guide) that builds these principles in, check out our Outlift Intermediate Bulking Program. Or, if you’re still skinny, try our Bony to Beastly (men’s) program or Bony to Bombshell (women’s) program. Instead, think about lowering the bar to your upper ribcage. Which actually encompasses all of the distinct muscles in your triceps. If we look at a ten-week bench press study, we see that the standard bench press only stimulates about half as much triceps growth as the triceps extension: Why isn’t the bench press stimulating more triceps growth? A regular bench press grip takes advantage of how big and strong your mid and lower chest is, and it balances demands between your chest, shoulders, and triceps, allowing you to lift more weight. Running closed-loop grippers is a great way to add variety to your upper body and stimulate muscle training. Eb says: Your arms are executing a different motion than a standard bench press, but your lower body is not. This narrower grip shifts emphasis away from your chest and onto your upper chest, shoulders, and triceps. 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