Chest Exercises

Bench Press Seminar 7: Hand Spacing

What’s the best grip for a man-sized bench? Wide or narrow? Science may hold the answer.

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As we said last week, most lifters simply lay back on the bench and get to work, giving little to no thought to proper muscle engagement or using their entire body to complete the lift. It’s easier to just do what’s comfortable and familiar for body positioning, and this includes your grip. But making some simple adjustments in this arena can help you to hoist bar-bending loads in record time.

BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 1: CAT Strength
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 2: Armed for Strength
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 3: Stop Stretching
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 4: More Sets - Fewer Reps
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 5: Dead Bench
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 6: Bar Squeeze

The wider the grip, the less distance you have to push the bar to complete a bench press. This is why many competitive lifters pick a wide grip for the bench press. But lately, some lifters, including the greatest bench presser of all-time, my client Jeremy Hoornstra, have had greater success with a narrower grip. Lifters that espouse narrow grips say this feels better on their shoulders and gives them better drive off the chest. 

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