The close grip bench press is an exercise that consists of multiple muscles, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This version of the bench press has a grip closer to the shoulder than the standard bench press grip. It is also an excellent mass builder for the arms and core. This exercise can be performed with dumbbells or a weight bench, depending on the gym-goer’s preference.
Muscles worked during the exercise with a Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press.
The muscles used when performing the Close Grip Bench Press include the chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles.
- The chest muscles are worked when you press the arms together.
- The shoulder muscles are engaged when the weights are lifted.
- The triceps muscles are engaged when the elbows are close to the body.
How to Perform the Exercise With Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press?
The close grip dumbbell bench press is good for targeting the triceps muscles. It can also help increase strength and muscle mass in the chest muscles. Here is how to perform the exercise step by step:
- Lie down on a bench, with your back against the surface and your legs together.
- Hold two dumbbells with your palms facing each other, then press the weights together close to your chest. Lower the weights down to your chest and fully extend your arms.
- Pause briefly, and press the weights back up to the starting position.
- Proceed to the next repetition while following the same procedure as above.
Benefits of the Exercise With Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
The Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press offers many benefits, which we will discuss below. These benefits are likely to be of great assistance to you.
Builds Strong Triceps
The close grip dumbbell bench press is an excellent exercise for developing strong triceps. This exercise can also be very effective for chest development when done correctly. The closer the hands are together on the bench, the greater emphasis is on the triceps muscles. You can perform the close grip dumbbell bench press on either a flat or incline bench. It is important to keep the elbows close to the body and tuck them in during the exercise. It will ensure that the triceps muscles do most of the work.
Improves Bench Press Lockout
The close grip bench press is an exercise that can help improve your bench lockout. When you perform the close grip bench press, you work the muscles that stabilize your shoulder and arm during the lift. These muscles typically include the triceps, anterior deltoids, and pectorals.
You can improve the bench press through the targeted strengthening of the muscles that control lockout strength. The close grip dumbbell bench press is an excellent exercise for increasing muscle mass in the triceps.
If you want to increase your bench press lockout strength and improve muscle mass in the triceps, then the close grip dumbbell bench press is an excellent exercise choice.
Reduce Elbow Flaring
When performing bench presses, it is important to keep the elbows close to the body, as this will help minimize stress on the shoulder joint and reduce the risk of injury. Keeping the elbows close to the body during this exercise will help reduce stress on the shoulder and increase stability throughout the exercise.
The close grip bench press is an excellent exercise for reducing elbow flaring. It is a variation of the standard bench press that specifically targets the triceps muscles.
Place your hands on the barbell and slowly lower it down to your chest. Pause, then press it back up to the starting position.
Reduces Stress on the Shoulders
The close grip dumbbell bench press effectively reduces stress on your shoulders while still getting an excellent chest workout. This bench press variation targets your chest muscles more intensely than the standard bench press while placing minimal stress on your shoulders. To perform the close grip dumbbell bench press:
- To execute this exercise, lie flat on your back on a weight bench and hold a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing each other.
- Lower the weights to your chest, then press them back to the starting position. Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.
More Upper Chest Activation
It is common to grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart when bench pressing. This positioning will activate the chest muscles, triceps, and front deltoid muscles. Moving the hands closer together (a close grip) increases the activation of the upper chest muscles. You can do it with a barbell or dumbbells. The close grip bench press is an effective way to target the upper chest muscles.
When performing this exercise, you will want to keep your hands close together and your elbows tucked in. It will help increase the activation of the upper chest muscles. The close grip bench press is an excellent way to build size and definition in the upper chest muscles and improve bench press strength. Give this exercise a try and see how it works for you.
Some Alternatives and Variations
The close grip dumbbell press is a highly effective exercise for developing the upper chest and triceps muscles. However, it can be difficult for some people to perform because of the shoulder angle. Here are a few alternatives and variations of the close grip dumbbell bench press that can be useful to target these same muscles.
- The first alternative is to use a barbell instead of dumbbells! A barbell will allow you to lift more weight and challenge your muscles differently.
- Another alternative is to do incline-close grip bench presses. This variation will place more emphasis on your upper pectoral muscles. You can also decline close grip bench presses to target your lower chest muscles.
- If you wish to make the exercise more difficult, you can try adding weight by using a weighted vest or chains. You can also increase the range of motion by doing push ups in a decline or incline position.
- It is also possible to try performing explosive reps or plyometric push ups as an alternative to the Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press.