How to Close Grip Bench Press

About the Close Grip Bench Press

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.

How to perform


  1. Whilst positioned securely on the bench rack, load the barbell with the correct weight and place on the safety collars
  2. Lay flat on the bench, feet planted on the ground
  3. Grasp the barbell with a shoulder width (or less) grip
  4. Dismount the barbell from the rack and position it above your chest, with arms extended


  1. Slowly lower the barbell towards your chest, keeping the upper arms tucked in close to your torso throughout
  2. Stop shy of the chest, and then forcefully extend the arms to press the barbell to the starting position
  3. Do not lock out the elbows at the top of the exercise
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

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