This means that the barbell tends to come down lower on our torso, changing the dynamics of the lift and causing different muscles to be emphasized. That means really screwing in your arms hard. This will do two things: It'll turn on your lats to help you lower the weight correctly (more on that below), and it'll also start to turn on your triceps. 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? Our product picks are editor-tested, expert-approved. Many of you are performing close grip bench presses wrong.. Heck of a way to start an article, I know, but hear me out. This narrower grip shifts emphasis away from your chest and onto your upper chest, shoulders, and triceps. 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. The close-grip bench press challenges both our front delts and upper chests in a fully stretched position, which is amazing for stimulating muscle growth. Now, what does this have to do with the close-grip bench press? That will allow you to generate upward force primarily with your triceps. That can be a good lift for emphasizing the triceps, but it’s not what we’re talking about here. You'll often see people grip the bar with their hands nearly touching each other, but you don't need to go nearly that narrow. (It's also biasing your shoulders into external rotation, another plus!) Once you set up with the bar, focus on rotating your elbows so they face downward, toward your legs. Secondly, reverse grip benching also activates upper pecs quite hard. This makes the close-grip bench press one of the very best lifts for building bigger shoulders. His specialty is helping people build muscle to improve their strength and general health, with clients including college, professional, and Olympic athletes. 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. So, when and why should you do the close-grip bench press? Would like your views on it in comparison to a inclined bench and close grip flat bench. Discover which close grip bench press benefits are most desirable to you. 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. Maybe a triceps press or a JM press. The close grip bench press – also called the triceps bench press – is the best overall triceps exercise there is. We use the shorter heads instead. Eventually, it'll limit your ability to really add weight to the move. 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. 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? Brett Williams, an associate 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. For instance, you’ll notice that the barbell needs to come down lower on your torso. 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. This makes it a poorer variation for gaining overall pec size and strength. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, How to Do the Kettlebell Front Rack the Right Way, How to Use Drop Sets to Build More Muscle. The close-grip bench press isn’t exactly an advanced version of the barbell bench press, but it’s certainly a more specialized variation. One reason might be that our triceps aren’t brought close enough to failure, and that’s surely part of it. When performing the close grip bench press your wrists should be directly above your elbows. 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. The close grip bench press differs from the traditional bench press in that it holds the press tighter. 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. First, it’s more demanding on our triceps, which should make it a great lift for bulking up the short heads of our triceps. But it still involves pushing the weight forward, meaning we can’t fully engage the long heads of our triceps. The reverse-grip bench is good for the upper chest for sure, and muscle growth in general. The 60 Best Black Friday Deals to Check Out Now, My Secret to Navigating COVID-19 Mental Health, 8 Reasons to Quit Your Phone This Holiday Season, No, Vitamin C Supplements Will Not Save Us All, The Hypervolt GO Is the Mini Massage Gun You Need, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. That’s where the close-grip bench press comes in. The Hypertrophy Rep Range: How Many Reps to Build Muscle? Or, if you’re still skinny, try our Bony to Beastly (men’s) program or Bony to Bombshell (women’s) program. 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.