Close Grip Bench Press – How to perform the exercise

The bench press is a really common and popular exercise which can help you increase your strength and muscle mass. The close grip version works mostly on your triceps.

How to perform it

Use a flat bench and lie down on it. Put your hands on the bar with a close grip (this means that your hands should be spaced at a shoulder width). Then lift the bar and, with your arms locked, keep it straight over yourself.

Then breathe in and start slowly and steadily lowering the bar down. Continue until you feel it touch the middle portion of your chest. Keep your elbows near your torso during the whole exercise (this maximizes the involvement of the triceps).

Pause in the lowest position for a second and start bringing back the bar to starting position while breathing out.

When you reach the top position pause for a second with your arms locked and start lowering the bar again.
Repeat. After you finish, ensure that you’ve put the bar securely back on the rack.

Mistakes to avoid

Don’t use too narrow grip or you not only decrease the range of motion and the stability of the bar but you risk to get injured, as well. Your hands should be placed at a shoulder-width.

Avoid using momentum to lift the weights. Don’t bounce the bar off your chest. If you can’t lift the weight without using momentum or bouncing them up, you should lower the weight.

One common mistake is to flare out your elbows. This way the shoulders experience too much
stress which can injure them.
And also don’t bend your wrists.
Remember to always, always wrap your thumb around the bar in order to avoid the bar falling over you.

Some people also make the mistake of not using their feet to provide themselves a stable base.
Place your feet on the ground, keep your but on the bench (don’t lift it up) all the time.
And don’t lift your neck and face while you are lifting up.

More advises

The downward motion should be twice as long as the upward motion.

Use a spotter, especially if you don’t have much experience with the exercise. If not possible to use a spotter, use a light weight.
Don’t let the bar go too forward, it should go straight down towards your middle chest.

The most important thing in this exercise is to use the right technique and to make sure you are safe. Thus, as we already stated (but it’s really important to emphasize on it) use a spotter, don’t put too much weight and learn how to do the bench press properly.

Position the bar low on your palm (as low as possible) to ensure you maintain straight position of the wrists but don’t ever forget to wrap your thumb around the bar or your risk dropping it on yourself.

And after we’ve discussed the main points of this exercise, we’ll show you a video on how to perform it:

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