Close Grip Bench Press: How To Do, Variations, Benefits, And Mistakes

Close Grip Bench Press: How To Do, Variations, Benefits, And Mistakes

Close Grip Bench Press is a great exercise to build big triceps. This gives you the freedom to do more oppression on the triceps. Of all the free weight exercises of the triceps, you can put the heaviest weight in the close grip bench press.  

Although the effect of this exercise is also on the chest, it is limited, the maximum pressure goes to the triceps. This exercise is to increase the size. The slight problem with this exercise is that here your angle changed and the pressure of the weight went on the chest and shoulder.

How to do Close Grip Bench Press? 

Close Grip Bench Press

  • Make a position by lying on a flat bench.
  • Hold the barbell with a gap of at most one foot, if you are comfortable even less than that, then you can reduce the gap a little more, but do not overdo it, otherwise, it will be difficult to apply heavyweight.
  • Bring the rod down with full control and touch it to the chest.
  • You have to try that your elbows should be inwards and not outwards. Try to keep the elbows as straight as possible.
  • When the rod touches around your lower chest, your arms will touch the body lightly.
  • Do not try to force the elbows to touch the body, otherwise, they will not be able to handle the weight. Just keep them close.
  • When the weight is down, then full attention should be on that you are doing this exercise for the triceps, then give full pressure and full attention to it.
  • Move the weight back up at a slightly faster pace. If it takes you two seconds to bring the weight down, then take a second or a half to move it up. The whole point of this workout is to bring the weight down.
  • After moving the weight up, you do not necessarily have to straighten the arms completely. After straightening the hands from 80 to 85 percent, bring the weight back down. When the weight is very heavy then it becomes even more necessary to do this. This is called locking the elbows. If the weight is heavy, then locking it can break your hand in another way. So be careful.
  • When the rod comes down, you will inhale and if it goes up, you will release it.


If you apply a heavyweight, then take someone’s help to take the rod off the bench, it is a little difficult to remove the rod with a closed grip.  

While applying heavyweight, it will be good if you tie a hot bandage or a fine type of tight band on the wrists. Don’t be shy in taking help, but the help should be in moving the weight up and not in bringing it down. While bringing it down, focus on the triceps.

You may not know that in our arms, about 70 percent of the part is triceps and 30 parts of the biceps. That’s why we always advise our readers to focus on triceps instead of biceps. If you’ve got big and full triceps, your arms will look really cool. 

You can put about 80 percent of the weight you put in the chest in the close grip bench press. There is a lot of stress on the wrist while doing this exercise, so it would be better if you wear a wristband.

Also Read: Preacher Curl Workout: How To Do, Variations, Benefits, and Mistakes


The close grip bench press is an exercise for the upper body that works the triceps. There are also muscles in your chest and shoulders that play a role in this process. When you want to build up your upper body strength, you can use a narrow grip instead.

In this way, the close grip press can be used to lift heavier weights and build the most strength. Together with how you’re positioned on the bench, the movement can be done safely with more and more weight added.

To build as much muscle as possible, use a small grip. Many athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters want to build up their muscles.

In general, when you do the close grip bench press, you keep your muscles in balance because your strength and gains keep going up at the same rate. This has been shown to help lifters improve their muscle function and symmetry, which is another common goal for people who do that.

With the traditional press, if you have pain in your shoulder, you might want to move your hands closer together. A narrow grip has been shown to help lifters bench a heavier load by reducing shoulder strain and making it easier for them to do so. There is still some movement in your chest and shoulders even though your triceps do most of the work.

Common Mistakes

When you do the close grip bench press, there are a few things you should avoid doing that could hurt your upper body.

Not Using a Smith Machine or Spotter

If you’re new to weightlifting and this exercise, you should use a spotter or smith machine to keep you safe.

A spotter isn’t available when you are comfortable with the exercise and you want to keep the weights low. You should still keep working on your form and technique.

Bouncing Bar Off Your Chest

You can try to push the very heavyweight up by swinging the bar off your chest. This makes it more likely that the sternum will get hurt and makes the exercise less effective.

The close grip press should be done slowly and with control from start to finish with the right amount of weight resistance. When you do this, you make sure that your triceps muscles work properly.

Not Using Proper Grip

Keep your thumb and fingers wrapped around the bar during the exercise to keep your grip stable. People who use false grips are more likely to drop the bar or get hurt (fingers and thumb on the same side of the bar).

Lifting Hips Off the Bench

Keep your body in the correct position on the bench for a safe and effective move. In a press, if you raise your hips off the bench, that could mean that the weight is too heavy. Keep your body in good shape by reducing the weight as needed and paying attention to how you move.

Improper Breathing Technique

It is very important to breathe properly when you are safely lifting weights. Many people hold their breath during the hardest part of the movement, which causes their bodies to be under a lot of stress.

It’s important to keep your body and breathing in mind as you work out. Air out as you lower the bar to your chest and inhale as you push it back up to start.

Also Read: How To Do Floor Press: Benefits, Variations, Alternative


There are many ways to do the close grip bench press, so you can do it no matter how fit you are. Please keep in mind that a spotter or smith machine is always a good idea for this exercise for your own safety.

Need a Modification?

If you’re just starting to work out with weights, you might want to make a few changes to the close grip bench press.

  • If gripping the barbell makes your wrists hurt, use an EZ Bar to do the exercise.
  • Use dumbbells instead of a barbell when you don’t have one. As you hold the weights, your palms will be facing each other.

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