Strengthens triceps, improves lockout, targets inner chest


The close grip bench press might seem like a minor tweak to the traditional bench press, but it packs a punch when it comes to targeting specific muscle groups and enhancing your overall strength training routine. Let’s delve into why you should consider incorporating this variation into your workouts.

Image credit : Boxrox

How To Do the Close Grip Bench Press

To perform the close grip bench press:

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability.
  2. Grip the barbell with your hands inside shoulder width, palms facing downwards.
  3. Keep your back flexed and chest up throughout the movement.
  4. Lower the barbell to the lower chest area while keeping your elbows tucked in.
  5. Press the barbell upwards using your triceps and chest muscles.
  6. Fully extend your arms, then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Mistakes to Avoid

Common mistakes include incorrect hand positioning, limited range of motion, and using inadequate weight. Ensure your hands are not too narrow or too wide to avoid wrist strain, perform the full range of motion for optimal gains, and choose a weight challenging enough to stimulate muscle growth.

Difference Between Close Grip and Traditional Bench Press

Although the main difference lies in hand positioning, it significantly impacts the movement pattern and muscles targeted. The close grip bench press emphasizes the triceps more than the traditional bench press, making it ideal for arm development.

Muscles Worked

The close grip bench press primarily targets:

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Front deltoids

Reps and Weights

Adjust your lifting weight for the close grip bench press, typically between 10-20% less than your traditional bench press weight. Aim for:

  • 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps for accessory exercises
  • 4-6 sets of 3-5 reps for muscle hypertrophy objectives


Incorporating the close grip bench press into your training regimen adds variety and targets muscles often neglected by traditional bench pressing. Whether you seek increased triceps strength or overall upper body development, this exercise offers significant benefits. So, grab that barbell, adjust your grip, and get ready to elevate your gains with the close grip bench press.

Re-reported the article originally published in Boxrox

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