Smith Close-Grip Bench Press

Smith Close-Grip Bench Press

The Smith Close-Grip Bench Press is a compound exercise that primarily targets the triceps, chest, and shoulders. This variation of the bench press adds variety to your routine and helps in building upper body strength and muscle mass. The Smith machine, which consists of a barbell fixed in a guided track, offers stability and control, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced lifters. When performing the Smith Close-Grip Bench Press, you position yourself on a bench under the Smith machine bar with a narrow grip close to shoulder-width apart. The elbows should be pointing forward, forming a 90-degree angle. This grip places emphasis on the triceps, helping to develop strength and definition in the back of the upper arms. A key benefit of the Smith Close-Grip Bench Press is its ability to isolate the triceps and minimize strain on the shoulders and chest. By focusing on the triceps, this exercise can help improve pressing movements in various sports and activities. It also enhances overall upper body strength and stability. To maximize the effectiveness of this exercise, it's important to maintain proper form throughout the movement. Engage your core, keep your shoulders back, and lower the bar with control until it touches the middle of your chest. Press the bar back up, extending your arms fully without locking out the elbows, to complete one repetition. Incorporating the Smith Close-Grip Bench Press into your workout routine can be an excellent way to target and strengthen your triceps, while also engaging other important upper body muscles. Remember to start with a weight that allows you to maintain proper form, gradually increasing the resistance as you become more comfortable and stronger. Challenge yourself, but always prioritize safety and technique.


  • Start by sitting on a flat bench positioned underneath a Smith machine bar that is set to a height where you can easily reach it.
  • Adjust your grip by placing your hands close together on the bar, with palms facing forward or slightly inward.
  • Using your leg muscles, push the bar up so that it is directly above your chest. This will be your starting position.
  • Inhale and slowly lower the bar down towards your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body.
  • Pause briefly when the bar lightly touches your chest, without bouncing it off.
  • Exhale and push the bar up using your triceps until your arms are fully extended, but without locking your elbows at the top.
  • Repeat the movement for the recommended number of repetitions.
  • Once you have completed the set, carefully place the bar back into the starting position and release your grip.
  • Make sure to maintain proper form throughout the exercise, engaging your core muscles and keeping your back flat against the bench.

Tips & Tricks

  • Use proper form and technique to target the triceps effectively.
  • Increase the weight gradually to challenge your muscles and promote strength gains.
  • Incorporate regular progressive overload by adding weight or increasing repetitions.
  • Ensure your grip is close, narrower than shoulder-width, to emphasize tricep activation.
  • Avoid locking out your elbows completely at the top of the movement to maintain tension on the triceps.
  • Control the descent of the bar to maximize muscle engagement and minimize the risk of injury.
  • Listen to your body and allow for adequate rest and recovery between workouts.
  • Incorporate a variety of tricep exercises into your routine to target the muscles from different angles.
  • Stay hydrated and fuel your body with nutritious foods for optimal performance and recovery.


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