A variation of the barbell bench press, the close grip bench press is performed in a manner which shifts the emphasis away from the chest muscles onto the triceps.
Taking a narrower grip on the barbell compared to the traditional bench press allows the athlete to tuck their upper arms closer to the torso when performing the press, which takes stimulation away from the chest and places it more on the muscles responsible for the extension of the arm – the triceps.
An excessively narrow grip is not required with the close grip bench press; instead the athlete should take a grip which they feel most comfortable executing. As we aforementioned, the important point is to tuck the upper arms close to the body throughout the movement. A shoulder width grip, or slightly less, is usually a good starting point.