Posted in Article on July 25, 2012
A Close Grip Bench Press is when the lifter brings their hands in closer together than in a traditional grip which is wider apart. The benefits of this grip allow you to concentrate on developing the power and size of your triceps whilst allowing you to work on your strength and ability to bench press bigger and higher weights. The same traditional muscles are exercised in both the standard and Close Grip Bench Press moves; Front Delts, Chest and Triceps. The difference is where you place your hands, how you grip, and where your arms and elbows are in relative to the floor change which shifts the concentration on which muscle groups are used. You are no longer concentrating on your chest when you lift, the power comes from your Triceps as you lift which is backed up by your Front Delts.
To perform a Close Grip Bench Press you need to at first follow the same procedure as a normal Bench Press which involves using a buddy system for your own safety and a bench with variable weights. When you are deciding what weights you want to place on the bar it is always better to start low and work your way up as this enables you to put more weight on as you go minimizing the risk of damage to your arms and muscles. Everyone wants to look good at the gym in front of their peers and their egos often drive them to put on more than they can handle but concentrating on your own safety and not looking stupid if your try and lift too much which will mean that your buddy has to step in, is a better way, not only are you looking after your muscles to ensure they stay in tip-top condition but you are also showing your peers that you are responsible and not a silly risk taker.
Once you have chosen your buddy, picked out a safe weight amount and got onto the bench, make sure that you lie down with your feet square and flat on the floor. Your hands need to grip the bar above your shoulders, not any closer or further apart as this will re-engage the chest muscles as the major muscle worked and bring your chest back into play. When you take the bar off the rack you need to make sure that you tuck your elbows and arms into your ribs before holding your stomach muscles, and then raise the bar. As you Close Grip Bench Press keep your upper arms close to the center of your body and your elbows remaining tucked in; this protects your wrists.
This way of bench pressing is not easy and will take a while for you to build up so always make sure you start off with a lower weight amount. You may see other people in the gym holding their grip closer than yourself but do not be fooled as they are not doing it correctly, regardless of what they say or try to convince you.