The bench press with a close grip is considered the main basic exercise with a barbell, most successfully affecting the strength and mass of all 3 parts of triceps. In addition to the triceps muscle of the shoulder, when it is performed, large pectoral muscles and anterior bundles of deltas are tangibly involved in the work.
The benefits of a close-grip lying tricep press
- It allows you to increase the muscle mass of the triceps.
- You can do it with any level of fitness:
- when working on strength (1/5 repetitions, heavy weights);
- in a set for muscle mass (8/12 repetitions);
- when performing two of the above exercises at once (5/8 repetitions).
- With a correctly designed training program, it helps to achieve good performance in the chest bench press by strengthening the triceps, which plays an important role in all bench exercises.
The classic technique of performing a lying tricep press with a close grip
- Lying on a horizontal bench, place the bar on parallel racks not “above”, but near your head (it is more convenient to remove the weight from the racks).
- Place the palms on the neck slightly narrower than the width of the shoulders, remove the weight from the uprights and, holding it on straight arms, bring it to the middle of the chest (slightly forward).
- Take a deep breath and slowly lower the weight to the middle of the chest (until it touches it lightly).
- Take a pause (not putting the barbell on the chest, but by holding it on triceps) and with a concentrated exhalation squeeze the weight up, returning it to its original position.
- Take a breath and repeat.
An important point
If your goal is to increase the mass of the long (inner) triceps head, which gives it a powerful (horseshoe-shaped) look and, physiologically, is maximally activated only in the very last stage of movement,
then at the final point you need to straighten your arms to the end and pause.
However, if you have problems with your elbows or you are already working with impressive weights, then you should not straighten your arms as much as possible with any presses.
So you turn the minus (weak or injured elbows) into a plus – protect the elbow joints from injuries and constantly keep the triceps in tension, which will allow them to work out with maximum intensity.
Tips for making a close-grip bench press a really effective exercise using lying tricep extensions
- No need to take a too close grip. The fact that triceps is better loaded is a delusion. Such a grip, on the contrary, removes part of the weight and transfers it to the elbow and wrist joints. In this case, the distance between the hands on the neck varies from 20 to 40 cm.
Many athletes, to relieve excess pressure from their wrists and for the most comfortable bench press, press the EZ bar.
Also, if you exercise in the gym, you can work triceps with this exercise in Smith machine.
- This simulator suits particularly well for beginners. In the machine the bar will move in the desired trajectory of the projectile excluding slacking.
- Some do a close bench press on an inclined bench (at an angle of 30 degrees). For triceps, this is not the best option, because with such a press, most of the weight falls to the front deltas and large pectoral muscles. Therefore, the best option for you is a bench press with a close grip, is lying on the reverse slope.
With this bench press, the deltas and the chest work the lightest and the triceps work the hardest.
- With detailed work on triceps, you can try to firmly press the body to the bench and put your legs on it. So you will lose the help of your legs and get rid of the body-stealing weight movements. In this case, the weight of the rod is squeezed mainly due to the muscles of the hands. The projectile goes down two times slower than it goes up.
- When performing a bench press with a close grip, the bar should not move and change the trajectory of the correct movement. Throughout the movement, the elbows should be close to the body (the closer – the better).
- For beginners, it is ideal to perform a close bench press in the Smith machine.
In the smith machine, the bar will move strictly along the trajectory you need, excluding the loosening of the projectile.
That’s all for a close grip bench press for now. Thank you for your attention!