How To Do Close Grip Bench Press

The bench press with a tight grip is a complex exercise that is usually done with a barbell. The close grip version, unlike the regular bench press, necessitates a thinner grip. With minimal deltoid stimulation, this grip emphasizes triceps and chest development.

This exercise is excellent for strengthening the chest, especially for people who suffer from shoulder problems. The arms are less abducted due to the smaller grasp position, which puts the shoulders in a less favourable position to contract, resulting in reduced stress on the shoulder joint. Please see the list of advantages below.

How To Do Close Grip Bench Press

The following muscles were used:


The Triceps are the biggest arm muscles, consisting of three heads (lateral, medial & long head). They work together to stretch the elbow (bring the elbows from a bent position to a straightened position).

The triceps will be worked through a full range of motion during the close grip benchpress, with the heaviest effort occurring immediately before the elbow is locked out.

Pectoral muscles

The pec major and pec minor are the two pec muscles that make up the chest. The pec major is divided into two heads: the clavicular head (upper chest) and the sternal head (lower chest) that both originate from the clavicle (collar bone).

The pecs are responsible for adducting the upper arm (moving it across the body) and internally rotating the shoulder joint.

How to do a bench press with a tight grip

You complete the exercise correctly, make sure to read this technique guide and follow all of the stages. The guidelines below will assist you in performing this exercise correctly in order to maximize muscular growth.

For this exercise, use a flat stationary bench press or a squat rack with a bench.

Place the bar at a comfortable height for you, one that allows you to reach and raise it without help.

Lie flat on the bench and take a shoulder-width hold on the bar. NOTE: At the bottom of the action, you want your hand to be able to sit just outside your ribs.

  • Allow the spotter to assist you in lifting the bar off the rack and holding the weight over your head with straight arms.
  • Inhale deeply as you gently drop the bar to your chest, keeping your arms tight to your sides the entire time.
  • Exhale and raise the bar with your triceps to force the weight higher.
  • Rep until you reach your goal number of repetitions, then rack the bar.

Close grip bench press advantages

This is a wonderful exercise to include in your training if you want to increase the strength and size of your triceps. The triceps take the brunt of the effort with the shallow grip.

Superior in terms of toughness

This exercise is preferable than others because it is a compound exercise, which means your body must work exceptionally hard to simultaneously move and stabilize the bar while also synchronizing intramuscular control (utilise multiple muscles together). Which is better for muscle building, according to scientific evidence?

To isolate the triceps, you could do a tricep extension on a cable machine, which is still a wonderful workout – don’t get me wrong.

However, the benefit of doing a close grip bench press is that it forces your body to work considerably harder to do the exercise correctly, increasing the demands on your body and generating more muscular growth.

Effective use of time

Compound exercises, like as the close grip bench press, are a great way to maximize your workout time. Because more muscles are used in this exercise, you will be able to train more muscles and gain greater strength in less time.


Because this complex exercise uses multiple muscles, it will exhaust not just the muscles but also the neurological system, requiring the entire body to respond in order to overcome the stimulus. This not only improves your recuperation ability, but it will also help you with other gym activities.


The bench press with a tight grip improves athletic performance. As it relates to their sports requirements, professional athletes will undertake compound workouts such as the tight grip bench press on a regular basis. In rugby or wrestling, for example, you will frequently be required to push large opponents away from you. This demands your entire body to be able to create and demonstrate force, which is precisely what the tight grip bench press teaches you.

Muscle building with exercise variety

In terms of muscular building, variety is quite beneficial. When you do an activity on a regular basis, your body adjusts to make it easier each time, resulting in slower muscle growth. As a result, when you do a new workout that your body hasn’t seen before, you’ll find it tougher, and your body will need to create more muscle to respond.

One of the most common reasons people miss out on potential muscle mass development is because they do not incorporate enough diversity of activities into their routines.

When doing the tight grip bench press, there are a few common blunders to avoid.

Neither a spotter nor support bars are used.

A spotter is suggested for beginners. You might feel more confidence when lifting if you have someone to spot you or if you have something that can carry the weight of the bar. If you don’t have one of them when executing the exercise, you won’t be able to completely commit to each set, preventing you from gaining muscle. You want to push yourself to the brink of failure while remaining certain that you will not injure yourself. As an alternative, you can do this exercise on a Smith Machine, which is detailed further below.

Using a grip that is too thin

People sometimes make the mistake of grasping very narrowly while setting up the grip; this is reasonable given the name of the exercise; nevertheless, narrow in this context is defined as “shoulder-width.” A shoulder-width grip provides for a full range of motion, complete muscle contraction, and less joint stress.

Bouncing the bar off your chest is a fun way to work up a sweat.

Essentially, all you’re doing here is cheating the weight up using momentum. This raises the risk of joint damage and limits the amount of stimulation applied to the muscles. The tight grip bench press should ideally be performed with proper technique and control. This permits the triceps muscle to be activated to its maximum potential and additional muscle to be created.

Bench press options with a close grip

skull crusher with dumbbells

The skull crusher is a wonderful workout for highlighting the triceps, and may perhaps be the finest triceps exercise you can do. Dumbbells provide increased mobility and freedom of movement, which is beneficial to muscle activation and range of motion. You’ll have to work a little more to maintain the elbow in place.

Skull crusher with a barbell

When you’ve mastered dumbbell skull crushers, switching to a barbell is a terrific next step. This properly prepares you for the close grip bench press.

Bench press with a tight grip Smith machine

If locating a spotter or obtaining support bars is problematic, the smith machine tight grip bench press is the best option.

This exercise is very comparable in terms of execution; however, the bar will only move up and down on its fixed frame, eliminating the stability component. This makes the activity more enjoyable and hence minimizes muscular tension, resulting in less muscle development.

You may still consider this a compound workout, but if you want to execute the close grip bench press with a free moving barbell, you’ll need to lower the weight by 15% to account for the smith machine’s assistance.

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