The close grip bench press is a triceps workout to improve your triceps strength with the involvement of the shoulders and chest. It is typically different from the traditional bench press, as the focus is more on strengthening triceps muscles. The elbows and hands are closely placed together during a workout and the triceps becomes the main target.

According to research, sports athletes like footballers, basketball players and weight lifters regularly perform close grip bench press to improve their physical stamina and pushing muscle workouts.

How to do a Close Grip Bench Press

  1. If you are new to this workout, then it is recommended that you do this exercise under the instructions of a fitness trainer.
  2. Do not try this workout at home.
  3. Initially lay down on the seat by keeping your back straight.
  4. Grab the barbell with your hands by keeping shoulder-width distance.
  5. To maintain stability in your body, try to squeeze your shoulder blades.
  6. Bring the barbell down slowly towards your sternum area, exhale and push the bar up straight again.
  7. Avoid arching your back and keep elbows close to your body during the entire workout.
  8. Repeat this movement as per the number of repetitions instructed by the trainer.

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Close Grip Bench Press Variations

Close Grip Dumbbell Press

Close Grip Dumbbell Press

It is a unilateral version of a close grip bench press that involves using dumbbells to improve unbalanced muscles.

Guide :

  1. Start by lying down on the bench. Grab the dumbbells with a tight grip.
  2. Pull the dumbbell down to the sides of your chest. Your shoulders should be away from your face.
  3. Press the weights straight up at their starting position by keeping elbows untouched to the sides.

Close Grip Floor Press

Close Grip Floor Press

This variation improves muscular hypertrophy and lockout strength.

Guide :

  1. The initial position of lying down is the same as that of bench press except you have to lie down on the floor. People normally find floor press easier than on the seat.
  2. Legs can be bent or straight but your back and hips should touch the floor.
  3. Pull the barbell down close to your sternum slightly near the sternum area and elbows should be around a 45-degree angle near the torso.
  4. You can slightly pause once the barbell is near your sternum to improve stability and strength and then push it straight up and repeat the movements.

Close Grip Push-Ups

Close Grip Push-Ups

This is the best workout for new sports athletes to begin before mastering their bench press workouts.

Guide :

  1. It is similar to a normal push-up workout. The position of hands on the floor should be of should-width apart.
  2. Once you get hold of the grip, the main goal is targeting the triceps. Start the push-ups by pressing the floor and squeezing the pecs.
  3. Return to your initial position. You can do around 20-30 push-ups.

Common Mistakes while doing Close Grip Bench Press

  1. Loose grip during bench press will lead to dropping the bar and causing serious injury. Make sure you have a comfortable strong grip on the bar with fingers curled properly around the barbells.
  2. People often lift their hips during a close bench press. This often indicated that you are lifting heavyweights. Start your bench press by lifting light weights that suit your body
  3. Many people often make mistakes during breathing while doing an intense workout like a bench press. When you are pulling the barbell down towards your ribcage, breathe in. While pushing up the bar, breathe out. Always make sure you are following correct breathing techniques.

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Targeted Muscles


These muscles are located on the front chest walls connected to the bones of the shoulder and upper arm. The workout usually increases flexibility and increases muscle mass around the pecs.



Triceps is the prime target of this exercise. Increasing strength around the triceps helps to get a fit muscular and toned body and also improves muscular hypertrophy.

Safety Measures and Precautions

  1. Always do this workout in presence of a spotter with a smith machine. Avoid doing it alone if you are a beginner.
  2. To avoid the injury risk, proper hand placement on bars is needed to activate the muscles of the triceps.
  3. Try pulling down the bar towards your upper rib cage than the chest, this will help you gain benefit on strengthening your tricep muscles. 
  4. Make sure that your forearms are in a perpendicular position to the ground while pushing the barbell up.


  1. The major benefit one could gain while emphasizing pressing strength is building tricep and upper body strength.
  2. This workout also has an impact on the secondary muscles like the shoulder and chest which in turn helps to have great posture.
  3. By doing a close grip bench press, there will be an increase in tensile strength which further helps elbow extension and improves joint health.
  4. It is a huge benefit and perfect choice for gymnasts and weight lifters since it helps to recover from shoulder injuries and increase shoulder extension and flexibility.

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