T Nation

Bench Press Grip


This may sound pretty stupid, but what is the best way to grip the bar for a bench press?

It seems as if everybody has their hands a different width apart. Personally, I have my hands at right angles to my shoulders, but I see tons of people with much wider grips, and some with much narrower grips.

Could someone explain the benefits of one grip over the others please? I've heard that a narrow grip isolates your chest, yet I've heard the same thing for a wide grip.


A wide grip hits more of the pectoralis while a narrow grip his the triceps -- hence the close-grip bench press


depends on the length of your arms. get comfortable and press away. experiment a bit and see what works for you.


Thank you!


I usually switch it up now and again to work on what's weakest.


A super wide grip is also hard on the shoulders. I think Eric Cressey or Mike Robertson gave a rule of thumb of 1.5 times shoulder width or less. Seems about right. I don't see the benefit of benching as wide as most guys do.


Mostly just a shortened range of motion so you can use heavier weight...I use a very wide grip, it feels comfortable and works for me


You should be gripping the bar where YOU are the strongest. I am strongest using a close grip and that is where I bench.


The typical rule I usually follow is that your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle. My grip is a tad narrower than that. Just play around with it and figure out where you are the strongest.