Close Grip Bench Press Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Barbell
  • Compound
  • Push
  • Beginner
  • Chest, Shoulders
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Triceps Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The close grip bench press is a good mass builder for the triceps! Set up for the exercise by loading the weight on the bar and adjusting the height of the rack (if adjustable).
  2. Lay back on the bench and position your feet firmly on the floor.
  3. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing your feet) with your hands about 8-12 inches apart. Take the weight off the rack.
  4. Keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides, slowly lower the barbell down to your middle chest until it's about 1 inch from touching.
  5. Contract the triceps and push the barbell back up until your arms are almost fully outstretched.
  6. Don't lock the elbows, and then repeat the movement for desired reps.

Close Grip Bench Press Tips:

  1. Technique is important to make sure that the close grip bench press works the triceps and not the chest/shoulders. Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible during the set.
  2. Don't let the bar touch your chest and don't lock your elbows out at the top of the exercise.
  3. Focus on the stretch and contraction of the triceps throughout the movement. The mind-muscle connection is really important here, and you might want to practice the close grip bench press with no weight until you can engage your triceps as the prime movers for the exercise.
  4. Lowering the weight should generally take about twice as long as raising it.

25 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:57

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Posted Sat, 02/08/2014 - 16:43

This is one of my favorite exercises, and I would strongly recommend it for beginners (I'm a beginner) because it's easy and it works. (Just make sure you have a spotter or a smith machine.) I've found that skull crushers only work the portion of the tricep near my elbow. I'm not strong enough to do dips. Cable pull-downs are OK, but I tend to cheat by leaning on the cable. For me, close grip bench press can't be cheated. You either push up the bar or you don't.

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Posted Fri, 04/17/2015 - 23:43

This is one of my favourites too. I find using a closer grip (about 5 to 6 inches) and elbows in hits the inside head of the tris as do the 'skull crushers', while a slightly wider grip (8 to 10) and elbows out hits the outer tris very effectively, and you can use a lot of for dips...they are tough, so nothing wrong with standing on something to partially assist with the 'up' (positive) part until strong enough to do it alone...I did the same thing with does hurt the ego for a while, but it's the result that counts! I find facing the lat pulldown machine for triceps pressdowns is very effective for the lateral tris.

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Posted Sat, 12/21/2013 - 08:49

I found these very hard but also very rewarding. Will be doing these alongside dips for my Triceps.

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Posted Tue, 12/03/2013 - 06:13

Do some warm up sets then 2 at your max weight for 6-10 reps the go light for a couple of sets untill it feels like burning. This works for me.

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Posted Sat, 10/26/2013 - 19:20

In the programme it says that only 2 sets should be done for this exercise. It seems a little, would it be more appropriate to do 3-4 sets like the other exercises?

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Posted Sun, 09/08/2013 - 15:12

I'm extremely inspired together with your writing abilities as smartly as with the format for your weblog. Is that this a paid topic or did you customize it your self? Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

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Posted Mon, 08/26/2013 - 07:44
Scott P

I plan to start this today - hope it works

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Posted Thu, 08/22/2013 - 02:26
Amit kumar

Close Grip Bench good for fitness and bodybuilding.

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Posted Wed, 08/21/2013 - 07:50
Amit kumar

Hello sir
Your video is not playing

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Posted Mon, 08/26/2013 - 05:48
raj kumar

thn plzzz dnt even try to watch it ad i thnk tht ur t nt intrested in work out.......

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Posted Fri, 08/02/2013 - 06:04

Correct me if I'm wrong but he is locking his elbows in that video????

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Posted Sun, 03/24/2013 - 00:26

The CGBP, with elbows in, as in the video, is great for the ‘long head’ of the tris, (the one closest to your body). The lying ‘skull crusher’ targets the same head. If you want that super flare on the outside of your upper arm in a very short time (lateral head; you know, the one that catches their eye when you shake hands?), you need to do CGBP with elbows out and a slightly wider grip (experiment to find the best pos for you), and use some heavy weight. (Close grip pushups are also great for the outside head; try them ‘super slow’).

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Posted Thu, 01/31/2013 - 17:56

The instructions say "don't let the bar touch your chest and do not lock your elbows." The video shows the opposite. Also noticed that he's using a "suicide" grip on the bar. Anywho its a great workout.

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Posted Thu, 10/18/2012 - 16:44

Can you do this exercise with dumbells?

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Posted Tue, 11/20/2012 - 04:59
Adam Haze
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Posted Tue, 12/04/2012 - 04:34

Thanks AH!

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Posted Mon, 09/03/2012 - 13:14
Dare Ajayi

I started seeing good result with two weeks....awesome workout

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Posted Mon, 08/06/2012 - 04:57

Hi, right now I'm doing these as a superset with skull crushers.... Usually, 8 skull crushers, then 8-10 C.G.B.P. Love the 'burn' I get from it, but I'm just wondering what you guys think?

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Posted Fri, 08/10/2012 - 17:34

I havent tried these yet but I've been doing skull crushers for some time. What other tricep work out do you do with these two?

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Posted Sun, 03/24/2013 - 00:59

Hi Joshua, good on you for hitting the tris as you are doing. As long as you are aware that the two exercises hit the same head of the tris, namely the inner head (near your body). I reckon that it's important to hit each head of the tris, so perhaps you should also think about using an ex for the middle head, (maybe CG dips with elbows in), and one for the outer head (maybe CGBP with elbows out). Keep pumping!

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Posted Tue, 05/08/2012 - 04:25
francis yaw dwira jr

The close grip bench press is a major mass builder for the triceps.

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Posted Wed, 03/21/2012 - 08:54

how this excercise is compared to the skull-crusher in terms of muscle building? I mean which helps building more muscle mass?

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Posted Fri, 03/23/2012 - 22:26

Close grip is better at building mass coz its a compound movement and compound movements are the best 4 building mass..

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Posted Sun, 03/11/2012 - 19:14

Damn these hurt, but there well worth it