Triceps Training – Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is one of the most effective exercises there is to build your triceps muscles.

The close grip bench press shifts the emphasis from the chest, which is focused on when benching with a wider, to the triceps. This multi-joint, compound lift should be the cornerstone of your triceps routine.

Exercise Technique

  • Always use a spotter when performing the close grip bench press; I’ve found that your muscles can fail without warning on this exercise. This can damage your body, and your ego.
  • During the lift, your head, shoulders and buttocks should remain in contact with the weight bench. Your feet should remain flat on the floor.
  • Grip the bar placing your hands at, or just inside shoulder width apart. A narrower grip will place more emphasis on the triceps, but gripping inside shoulder width can place additional strain on your shoulders and elbows. It can also make balancing the bar more difficult.
  • Squeeze the bar tightly. This will help activate your triceps muscles.
  • Control the bar as you bring it down to your chest, the bar should come to a complete stop on your chest before pressing it back up
  • Try to keep your elbows tucked in towards your body, not flared out to the side
  • Bring the bar down between the lower part of your pecs and the base of your sternum
  • Drive the bar off your chest, locking it out completely with your triceps before beginning your next repetition
  • Select a weight that you can perform your repetitions using proper bench press technique described here. On your last 1-2 sets, your last repetitions should be difficult, possibly needing assistance from your spotter, but maintain proper form throughout the exercise.

Additional triceps exercises you may want to try:

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