Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Exercise technique:

You are lying on a bench with your feet firmly fixed. With the lower back slightly arched, the bar grip will be done with the hands in an overhand grip, spaced slightly less than those of the shoulders. Do not start with outstretched arms, you will need to flex your elbows a little. You will flex your elbows to bring the bar in contact with your pecs. Then push the bar (extension of the arms) on the return phase.

It is good to note that as with all exercises where the pecs work, your rib cage should be “out”. You should never find yourself flat.

Muscles worked:

Main: triceps, pectorals, shoulders (anterior bundle)
Secondary: latissimus dorsi, teres major, trapezius, biceps (short head)

It is above all the fact of tightening your hands that makes the bench press in tight grip an exercise preferentially for the triceps.

As you descend higher or lower on the pectorals, the exercise will localize the work differently to the different bundles of the triceps.

Thus, while descending on the top of the pectorals, with the elbows open in the axis of the shoulders, the exercise will preferably seek the vastus lateralis.

Conversely, when going down to the lower pectorals, there is a good chance that the exercise will localize the work on the long portion of the triceps.

Benefits of the tight grip bench press:

The tight grip bench press is one of the basic exercises for the triceps.

It allows you to fully exploit the tension / length relationship at the level of the triceps, just as tight grip dips do.

Variants of the bench press taken tight:

The exercise can be done with the Smith machine, in order to make the exercise safer, but which forces you to have a fixed trajectory with its advantages and disadvantages.

It can also be performed with an EZ bar for wrist comfort:

Danger / contraindication to tight grip bench press:

Be careful not to transform the exercise into a tight-grip decline press while lifting the buttocks. Your lower back might not appreciate the extreme arch this causes.

Also, pay attention to your wrists. By taking a too tight grip, there is a good chance that these will “bend”. So do not hesitate to take a little wider if necessary so as not to hurt yourself.

Stretching exercises