Benefits of The Close Grip Bench Press

While the standard bench press is certainly the main weapon to use in most peoples arsenal, the close grip bench press certainly has its advantages as well. There are 3 main advantages to consider with this exercise, all of which have specific applications and will be relative to different people.

Let’s jump into the article and learn about these different benefits.

Awesome Assistance Exercise:

One of the great benefits that come with the close grip bench press is its ability to emphasize the work to the triceps. In a standard grip bench press, your shoulders and triceps must work together to execute the lift. When you perform this exercise in a close grip fashion, you put the shoulders in a poor position to contribute to lift, and the triceps in an advantageous position to contribute.

You may be asking yourself, why would this be beneficial? Well, when performing a standard bench press, your shoulders are used more at the bottom of the lift, and your triceps for the lockout. If a weak-point of yours is the lockout, then this exercise can be a great way to work on this.

The reason being is it is still a compound and very similar to a standard bench press, therefore, it is highly relative to the main lift and will have great carryover. Secondarily, it can be difficult to find exercises to work on triceps strength effectively. With this movement being a compound with the capability to be trained heavy, you can effectively apply progressive overload through weight used.

Exercise Versatility:

The other thing I love about this exercise is its versatility. You can tailor it to a variety of goals as you can effectively apply different training variables to it. For example, if you wanted to train for power, you could add bands to the movement and perform speed reps.

Exercise versatility is huge as not all exercises are created equal. If we can take awesome exercise and use them effectively for a variety of goals, that is super beneficial for training optimally. The more versatile our main compound movements can be, the more efficiently we can train!

I already mentioned we can use this movement with bands to focus on power training. However, a couple of other training variables to focus on for the goals of strength and hypertrophy would go as follows. For strength, consider training this movement heavy to help overload the triceps. Since this exercise already puts the focus on your triceps, you could lighten the load and work in the higher rep range for hypertrophy. The benefit of training lighter would be less stress on your joints.

Less Stress on Your Shoulders:

Since this movement is similar to a standard bench press, if you have a shoulder that is bothering you, there is a chance this exercise may help you train around that as it focuses the stress on the triceps more. I am not a doctor, so don’t train through any injuries without seeking proper medical advice first. This is simply a general suggestion.

However, since there is less stretch on your shoulder, it could help ease the tension being placed on it.

Be careful trying to train too heavy with this exercise, especially if your triceps and elbows are not used to heavyweights. There will be a lot more force being placed on that region seeing as that is the focus area with this exercise.

Lots of shoulder stretch

Wrapping Up:

All in all, the close grip bench press is an extremely great assistance exercise that can be tailored towards a variety of goals and can be beneficial for specific circumstances. This exercise may be quite beneficial for you, so consider it if you are not already using it!

Do you perform the close grip bench press? Let me know what you think about it in the comment section below if so. Thanks for reading! As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!


Until Next Time,


Kohl Johnson

Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.

Support is much appreciated if you benefited from this:

Kohl Johnson

I am a 16-year-old fitness fanatic! I have learned nothing but quality training and nutrition information from the utmost well-respected individuals in the field. Now, my only focus is to share this knowledge with you for your benefit, in the most honest way possible. We are all in this together! LET'S GO!

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for explaining what the benefits are for the close grip bench press. I have not tried this exercise yet but will add it to my routine based on all the benefits it provides. It will definitely help ease the strain on my shoulders which do suffer from overworking them at times.

    I like also that you can adjust the weights or bands to tailor the exercise over time and really get the triceps a good workout and improve their looks as you build muscle and tone. Likely I will have my trainer watch to make sure that I am performing the repetitions properly.

    How does this exercise play into the bigger picture of a routine? Can it be done on a daily basis or do you recommend that I rotate it as I am doing now with some of the other areas I am working on with my program? Any advice would be helpful and I appreciate your advice…


    • Hi Dave, glad you found the article helpful! If your shoulder is sore, this exercise isn’t guaranteed for it to be fine, so make sure you are aware and paying attention to see if the shoulder still hurts with this exercise. As for your question, it really depends on your goals. Certainly not a daily exercise, however, it could be a primary or secondary exercise done on a weekly basis for example.

  2. It’s good to get information about details of doing bench press workouts. I had no idea that this type of bench press exercise existed. Maybe that’s because I don’t go to gyms, I only do minimal workouts at home and at my taekwondo class. But in saying that, this looks like it would be an excellent exercise to do, as I’m always wanting to strengthen and tone my triceps. I can see how gripping it in this way works different muscles. In your post, you mentioned compound, sorry if this is a silly question, but what does compound mean in this context? 

    • Hi Kat, I am very glad you found the article helpful! To answer your question, a compound movement is one that utilizes more than one joint to execute the exercise. In this case, the close grip bench press uses the shoulder and elbow joint. Compound movements also use more than one muscle group, thus being great for activating a large amount of muscles at once.

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