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Proper form of Close Grip Bench Press to get Stronger Triceps

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best exercise for triceps

Welcome to the close grip bench press journey. Your triceps are the secret key to strength. Close grip is one of the triceps exercises that helps to build stronger muscles. This exercise not only enhances your muscle strength but also helps you to feel more resilient towards everyday life.  

At the end of this comprehensive guide, you will be able to know about the benefits, variations, how to perform this exercise, advanced training techniques, and tips to maximize the results.

What is the Close Grip Bench Press Exercise?

The Close Grip Bench Press is a weightlifting exercise that involves using a barbell to perform a bench press with a narrower grip than the traditional bench press. This variation shifts the emphasis to the triceps muscles while still engaging the chest and shoulders.

People are a little confused between the close grip and wide grip bench press exercise. There is a slight difference between a close-grip bench press and a wide-grip bench press. Close grip bench press mainly targets the triceps more deeply and promotes the strength and definition of the arm while in contrast wide grip mainly focuses on chest muscles, aiding in overall chest development and width.

Close grip bench press

Importance of Close Grip Bench Press

This exercise plays an important role in developing the upper body strength. It not only targets the triceps but also enhances the pushing power, making it particularly beneficial for athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts.

Muscle Groups Targeted

The primary focus of close grip bench press exercise is the triceps, especially the medial head, it also targets the pectoral muscles, anterior deltoids, and trapezius to provide a well-rounded upper body workout.

Close grip bench press

Benefits of Close Grip Bench Press Exercise

The close-grip bench press or the close-grip dumbbell press is an upper-body compound exercise that targets the triceps muscles. The close-grip bench press offers immense benefits for beginners and athletes alike. Following are the few benefits of a close-grip bench press.

Enhanced Triceps Strength

This exercise provides strength to the triceps and boosts the pushing power and overall upper body strength.

Efficient Muscle Engagement

Close grip bench press involves multiple muscle groups at once, saving time while working on the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Improved Lockout Strength

This exercise boosts the lockout strength which leads to better performance in exercises like push-ups and overhead presses.

Defined Upper Body

This exercise defines and builds the triceps muscles and contributes to a sculpted and well-defined appearance of the upper body.

Functional Fitness

It also strengthens the triceps for everyday tasks, enhances shoulder stability, and reduces the risk of injuries.

Step-by-Step Guide:

Close Grip bench press
Close grip bench press

If you want to unlock the benefits of triceps then it is important for you to master all the techniques of Close Grip Bench Press. Follow these detailed steps for precise execution:

Proper Setup and Starting Position

  • Lie on the flat bench with your back firmly against it.
  • Plant your feet flat on the floor, by creating a stable base.
  • Now, position yourself in a way that your eyes are aligned with the barbell.

Grip Placement

The barbell position in the hands is crucial for proper muscle engagement:

  • Grip the barbell with your hands placed slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
  • Maintain a firm grip while keeping your wrists in a neutral position.
  • Keep in mind your wrists should not be excessively bent backward.

Execution of the Concentric and Eccentric Phases

This is the core movement of the close grip bench press exercise:

  • You have to lower the barbell in an organized manner towards your mid-chest. You have to keep your elbows at an angle of around 45 degrees to your body.
  • Maintain tension in your triceps and chest muscles throughout the exercise.
  • Once the barbell lightly touches your chest, it is time for the concentric phase.
  • Push the barbell back up explosively while focusing on contracting your triceps muscles.

Breathing Techniques During the Exercise

Proper breathing enhances performance and stability:

  • When you lower the barbell towards your chest, inhale. This helps stabilize your core and create intra-abdominal pressure.
  • When you push the barbell away from your chest, exhale forcefully. This exhalation will help in generating the power during the exertion phase.

It is important to maintain proper form throughout the exercise to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of the close-grip bench press. If you are new to weightlifting or have any underlying medical conditions, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor or personal trainer before starting a new exercise routine.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

As we know the close grip bench press helps to add variety to your upper body workout but the chance of mistakes is present everywhere because no one is perfect here. While performing the Triceps close grip bench beginners should avoid the following common mistakes

Improper Hand Placement

Placing hands too close or too wide can hinder triceps engagement.

Neglecting Triceps Activation

Failing to focus on triceps contraction diminishes the exercise’s effectiveness.

Flaring Elbows

Elbows pointing out excessively can strain the shoulders.

Overloading with Weight

Prioritize proper form over heavy weights to prevent injury.

By avoiding these common mistakes, beginners can improve their form and get the most out of the close-grip bench press. As with any exercise, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor or personal trainer if you have any concerns or questions.

Variations and Alternatives:

A. Paused Close Grip Bench Press

How to Perform:

  1. Set up like a regular Bench Press with the proper grip and bench positioning.
  2. Now bring the barbell down towards your chest, but stop for a short moment just before it touches your chest
  3. Maintain tension in your triceps and chest muscles during the pause.
  4. Push the barbell back up quickly to the starting position, focusing on engaging your triceps.
Close grip bench press

B. Close Grip Dumbbell Press

How to Perform:

  1. Lie on the flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other.
  2. Keep your elbows close to your body when you lower the dumbbells towards your chest.
  3. Move the dumbbells back up to the starting position and extend your arms fully.
Close Grip bench press

C. Close Grip Floor Press

How to Perform:

  1. Lie on the floor and make sure your knees are bent and feet are flat.
  2. Now hold the barbell with a close grip, as you do in a close-grip bench press.
  3. Lower the barbell until your triceps touch the floor.
  4. Push the barbell back up explosively to the starting position.
  5. You can take 2 to 3 sets of 10 reps as per your strength. Always take a short break between each set.
Close grip bench press

D. Close Grip Push-Ups

How to Perform:

  1. Take a push-up position with your hands positioned slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Your body must be in a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Now lower your body by bending your elbows, and bringing your chest close to the ground.
  4. Push your body back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
  5. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps and take pauses among each set.
Close grip bench press

These are the few variations of the close grip bench press exercise. Incorporating, one of these exercises into your daily routine can help you to achieve your fitness goals actively. Whatever exercise you choose from these variations it is crucial for you to focus on maintaining proper form and gradually increasing the intensity as you progress

Advanced Training Techniques to Intensify Close Grip Press

Drop Sets

Decrease weight progressively within a set to stimulate muscle exhaustion.

Supersets and Tri-sets

Combine Close Grip Bench Press with other exercises to maximize muscle engagement.

Slow Negatives

This exercise helps to control the lowering phase of the lift to stimulate muscle growth.

Rest-Pause Training

It is important to take short pauses during the set to push muscles to their limit.

Tips to Maximize the Results

Determining Sets, Reps, and Rest Periods

You can take 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with 1-2 minutes of rest.

Frequency and Progression Strategies

Include the exercise 1-2 times per week, gradually increasing weights.

Incorporating Barbell Curls

Enhance overall arm development by adding barbell curls to your routine.

Sample Workout Plans

Tailor your routine to your fitness level and goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does close grip bench press work?The close grip bench press primarily emphasizes the triceps muscles, especially the lateral and medial heads. (StrengthLog; Gunsmith Fitness)
What is the difference between standard and close grip bench press?Standard bench press focuses more on the chest (pectoral muscles), while close grip bench press places more emphasis on the triceps. (Reddit: Fitness)
What does the close-grip bench press focus on?It focuses on enhancing triceps strength and hypertrophy, also improving stability. (BarBend)
Is close grip bench essential?Yes, for those looking to specifically target and strengthen the triceps, and improve upper body stability, it is considered essential.
Is wide grip better for chest?Yes, a wider grip targets the chest muscles more effectively than a close grip, which is better for triceps. (Shape)
What is the most powerful grip for bench?The most powerful grip varies depending on the individual’s goals; close grip for triceps and wider grip for chest. However, the grip that allows you to lift the most weight typically involves a grip width that is slightly wider than shoulder width.


Close grip bench presses can significantly enhance the strength of the triceps and help to develop the overall upper body. By following, the above-given instructions and avoiding mistakes you can achieve impressive results.

With passion, dedication, and consistency, you will unlock a new level of strength and confidence. Now, it is your turn to grab the bar, push your limits, and let your determination redefine your fitness journey.


  1. YouTube – How To: Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press This video tutorial offers a step-by-step guide on the proper technique for performing a close grip bench press, making it a great visual resource for beginners to advanced lifters.
  2. BarBend – How to Close-Grip Bench Press to Build Your Triceps and Chest This article covers the fundamentals of close grip bench pressing, including form tips, benefits for triceps development, and how it compares to other chest exercises.
  3. Reddit Fitness – Close vs Wide Grip Bench Press: Does It Really Matter? A discussion that dives into the differences between close and wide grip bench presses, focusing on muscle engagement, risk of injury, and which might be better depending on your goals.
  4. Bodybuilding.com – Close-grip Bench Press Exercise Videos & Guides Provides detailed instructions and video guides on how to execute a close grip bench press correctly, emphasizing form and safety to maximize triceps engagement.
  5. Verywell Fit – How to Close Grip Bench Press: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes An informative piece that not only instructs on the basic form but also explores common mistakes to avoid and variations to keep your workouts fresh and challenging.

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