Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press

Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press

The Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press is a compound exercise that primarily targets the triceps, but also engages the chest and shoulders to a lesser extent. It is a variation of the traditional bench press, where the hands are positioned closer together on the barbell, typically around shoulder-width apart. This narrower grip places more emphasis on the triceps, making it an effective exercise for building upper body strength and size. When performing the Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press, it is important to maintain proper form and technique. The barbell should be lowered towards the lower chest, just below the nipples, while keeping the elbows tucked close to the body. This position helps maximize tricep activation and minimizes strain on the shoulders. It is crucial to control the weight throughout the movement, avoiding any bouncing or excessive arching of the back. To get the most out of this exercise, it is recommended to incorporate it into a well-rounded strength training routine that targets all major muscle groups. It can be performed using a barbell or dumbbells, depending on personal preference and equipment availability. As with any exercise, start with a weight that allows for proper form and gradually increase the load as strength improves. The Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press can be a valuable addition to your upper body workouts, helping to develop strong and defined triceps. However, it is essential to listen to your body and avoid overexertion or pushing through pain. Adequate rest and recovery are equally important for optimal results, so be sure to include rest days and prioritize sleep and nutrition in your fitness journey.


  • Adjust the bench to a flat position and place it inside or outside the power rack.
  • Lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and your head, upper back, and buttocks in contact with the bench.
  • Grip the barbell with a close grip (hands positioned slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart) using an overhand grip.
  • Unrack the barbell and position it straight above your chest with your arms fully extended.
  • Lower the barbell slowly and under control towards your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Pause briefly when the barbell touches your chest, then push it back up by extending your arms until they are fully locked.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
  • When you are finished, re-rack the barbell safely or have a spotter assist you.

Tips & Tricks

  • The barbell close-grip bench press primarily targets the triceps, so make sure to focus on maintaining proper form and technique to fully activate these muscles.
  • Incorporate progressive overload by gradually increasing the weight on the barbell over time. This will help to stimulate muscle growth and overall strength improvement.
  • Ensure a controlled and slow eccentric phase (lowering the barbell) to maximize muscle engagement and minimize the risk of injury.
  • Maintain a stable and firm grip on the barbell throughout the exercise to enhance control and stability.
  • Consider using a spotter, especially when lifting heavier weights, to ensure your safety and to assist in completing additional reps if needed.
  • Keep your elbows relatively close to your body during the movement to emphasize triceps engagement.
  • Before performing the exercise, warm up properly to increase blood flow to the muscles and prevent injury.
  • Focus on breathing deeply and evenly throughout the exercise, which helps stabilize your core and maintain proper form.
  • Remember to always listen to your body and adjust the weight or intensity according to your fitness level and abilities.
  • To achieve optimal results, it is recommended to include this exercise in a well-rounded strength training routine that targets different muscle groups.
  • Make sure to include adequate rest days between workouts to allow for muscle recovery and growth.


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