Close Grip Bench Press for Tricep Workout

Close grip bench press is to be considered part of the compound exercises because it's just like a classic chest bench press with a closer grip that emphasize the work on the triceps instead of chest muscles.

The closer the grip the more you focus on triceps, the wider the grip the more you focus on chest.

Of course the work on your triceps is somehow helped by your chest muscles that take a big part in the push.

If your workout program is not too long I would recommend an isolation tricep exercise after the close grip bench press, even though this by itself already covers what you need.

Close Grip Bench Press Details



EQUIPMENT: Flat Bench, Barbell

TYPE: Compound


INITIAL POSITION: Lie on a flat bench and hold the barbell with hands shoulder width or even less and arms straight up. Keep your feet flat on the ground.

MOVEMENT: Lower the barbell to your chest keeping your elbows close to the body, then push up extending your arms and focusing on triceps contraction.

BREATHING: Exhale when you push and inhale when you lower the bar.

TIPS and ERRORS: Even though the closer the grip the more you work your triceps, you can't narrow the grip too much because the range of motion decreases considerably. It could also hurt your wrist joint and decrease the balance of the bar. Whenever I do bench press or close grip bench press I like to raise and cross my legs to keep my back flat on the bench. Do not arch your back when doing any type of bench press. It's a good practice to lower the bar without touching your chest.

Keep also in mind that from a side view you should see the barbell moving up and down on a vertical line.


A similar exercise that you can also do at home is the close grip push up. It's exactly the same, you just use your triceps to lift your own body weight.

Of course you can't apply a lot of weight, unless you find a way to wear something like a backpack full of heavy books or if you have kids...just offer them a ride!

I do this exercise only when the classic bench press is not in my workout routine because I don't want to do a redundant exercise since they are very similar.

Plus, they are compound exercises and it would be like doing the same one twice.

An example of workout session that includes the tricep bench press in combination with chest exercises could be:

I suggest to do this exercise with the help of a spotter, at least to lift the bar from the rack and reposition it.

You shouldn't need a spotter to help you with the reps (that would mean you're using too heavy weights), but for lifting the bar and put it back I definitely recommend it.


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