How To Do Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press differs from the traditional bench press in that it holds the press tighter. This position emphasizes building strength and size in the triceps muscles and the chest.
Running closed-loop grippers is a great way to add variety to your upper body and stimulate muscle training. According to research, athletes who use close-thrust actions, such as football, basketball, or rugby, primarily benefit from these types of specific sports exercises.
Narrow gripper presses also benefit lifters with shoulder injuries unable to perform traditional bench presses. If the grip width is reduced, there is less shoulder abduction, which would limit the strain on the shoulder joint.
Maybe you are new to weightlifting or an experienced weight lifter who wants to improve your upper body routine. Adding the closed-grip bench press to your program would be a superior move that can be easily adapted to any fitness level.
Seeking guidance from a qualified personal trainer may be a good idea until you are comfortable with the exercise.
Mistakes Of Close-Grip Bench Press
The closed grip bench press is an excellent technique to add quality to your upper body workout, but there are some general illusions to avoid.
Mistakes are following here:
1. Do not use a Smith machine
If you are new to weight lifting and this exercise, it is recommended to use an observer or Smith machine for safety. Once you are comfortable with the exercise and an observer is not available, stay conservative as weight loads continue to work in good shape and technique.
2. Do Not Retract The Shoulder Blade
When you perform the exercise with the “flat” shoulder blades against the bench, the load on the shoulder joints increases significantly.
This is because the shoulders lose their firm contact with the bench and have nothing to trip over.
Therefore, just like a standard weight bench press or weight bar, always be sure to retract the shoulder blade and hold it throughout the exercise.
This will help stabilize the shoulder joint and prevent injury.
An excellent example of this is thinking about squeezing your shoulder blades and “stuffing them in your back pocket.”
It also helps maintain a small arch in the lower back.
Ideally, to make sure you don’t lose that scapular retraction during takeoff, you want an observer to clear the bar. If you press up to lift the bar yourself, the scapula can flatten during the process.
3. Doesn’t Use the Right Grip
Keep your thumb and standard grip around the bar during exercise. There is an increased risk of dropping the bar and injuring yourself with a false grip (fingers and thumb on the same side of the bar).
4. Lower The Bar To The Middle Or Upper Ches
When you lower the bar too high over your body, your wrists and elbows will automatically fall into a misaligned position.
Your elbows will end up getting too full, or if you can keep them tucked in, your wrists will be misaligned.
To maintain a proper exercise position, focus on lowering the bar below your chest to a point below your nipple.
5. Inadequate Breathing Technique
Breathing correctly is an essential part of effective weight lifting. Many people hold their breath during the most challenging part of the movement that causes internal body pressure.
Stay in tune with your body and your breathing during exercise. Slowly inhale as you lower the bar to your chest and exhale during the push up to begin the position.
6. You Are Using Too Tight a Grip
Yes, this is a “close grip” bench press, but getting too close is a critical mistake that will end up doing you much more damage than good in the long run.
Most weightlifters take the name of this exercise too literally and generally hold the bar with their hands together, often no more than 5 or 6 inches apart.
When you grip the bar too tightly, you end up putting a lot of extra stress on your wrists as they are forced into an awkward and hyperducted position.
This increases the chances of wrist and elbow injuries and limits the stimulation of the triceps by reducing the total amount of weight you can lift, decreasing bar stability, and reducing a range of motion.
When it comes to the proper form of closed grip bench press, your goal should always be to keep your wrists and elbows aligned so that they are directly “stacked” on the peak of all other as you lift and lower the bar. To do this, you’ll want to hold the bar with a shoulder-height grip.
The shoulders’ width is narrow enough to maximize stress on your triceps effectively, but it is also wide enough to protect your wrists and elbows at the same time.
7. Bounce Bar Off Your Chest
Bouncing the chest bar is an attempt to push a hefty weight with momentum. This raises the risk of injury to the sternum and decreases the effectiveness of the workout.
The closed grip press should operate slowly and with control from start to finish using the appropriate weight resistance. This ensures proper shape and activation of the triceps muscles.
This will allow you to keep your elbows bent while keeping your wrists stacked directly above where they should be.
8. The Elbows Are Too Close Together
While most lifters think that the elbows should be directed to the sides of their bodies at all times, this will cause the shoulder blade to flatten while doing the exercise.
Instead, bend your elbows slightly at an angle of about 30 degrees.
This prevents the upper body from rolling forward as the bar is lowered and keeps the shoulder blade and shoulders in the correct position during exercise.
9. Lifting The Hips Off The Bench
Support proper body spot on the bench for reliable and efficient execution of movement. Lifting the hips off the bench during pressure can be an indicator that the weight is too heavy. Reduce weight as needed and pay attention to proper body mechanics.
10. Concentrate On Pressing The Bar Away From The Body
This may sound like a strange “mistake” because the bar has to be pushed out of your body to complete each repetition.
While this is true, stay away from the bar as you perform each repetition.
This is another way to ensure that your shoulders stay back and in the correct position.
So while pushing the bar up, you should also remember to push your body back on the bench at the same time.
Instructions For The Close-Grip Bench Press
Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and grasp the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. They may be a little closer but don’t move them too close to each other, or the setup will become unstable, and you risk injuring your wrists.
Squeeze your core and squeeze your shoulder blades to stabilize your body. Slowly lower the bar and push up firmly. Then lower the bar down to your sternum. Keep your elbows close to your body to emphasize your triceps and not bend your back.
This is an exercise that should be done with a practical observer, especially if you are new to the movement, but if you are flying alone, be sure to use a significantly lighter weight.
Some basic precautions are following here.
- Use the recommended machine during this exercise.
- Keep your elbows close to your body during movement to get the proper shape and technique.
- Keep your hips on the bench during exercise.
- Perform the exercise with the correct weight resistance for your fitness level. Lifting too many increases the risk of injury and does not allow you to complete the movement in good shape.
- Use a full standard grip on the bar (thumb and fingers around the bar) to prevent the bar from falling during exercise.
A good close grip bench press is a popular exercise targeting the triceps and chest. The main difference between this exercise and the standard bench presses is that the hands and elbows are placed closer together, emphasizing the triceps.
The close grip bench press is often used as an accessory movement for the traditional bench press, or as a tricep generator for arms training.
As with bench presses, you can train with low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle endurance or strength.