Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

The close-grip barbell bench press is an upper-body pressing drill that emphasizes building strength in the triceps as well as the chest. This exercises also increases upper body pushing strength. By placing your hands closer than shoulder-width apart, you force your triceps to do more of the work, thus making this an effective arm-building exercise. If you experience shoulder pain, a slight incline is preferred or dumbbells are suggested.


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    Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip 6 to 12 inches apart and hold it above your sternum with arms completely straight.
  2. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
    Slowly lower the bar down to your chest. Make sure you keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides, your upper arms forming a 45-degree angle to your body. Pause, and then press the bar in a straight line back up to the starting position.

Trainer’s Tips

  • Do not place the hands too close. Hands should be at least 6 inches apart.
  • Make sure to wrap your thumbs around the bar to ensure safety.
  • Do not bounce the bar off of the chest. Move the bar in a controlled fashion.
  • Keep your hips on the bench throughout the entire movement.