T Nation

Bench Width Grip

O.k, I’m benching with a medium grip and have never tried wide. Would this change equate a bigger bench in the long run? Which grip do you use?

It depends if you compete.

The wider your grip is on the bar the less the bar has to travel. There also is a declining point where you are too wide and don’t have the strength to push up as much weight.

I do some exercises by having a narrow grip set then have a medium grip set and then a wide grip set going through the reps like that until I’m done.

Also, wider grips are more taxing on the shoulder joint. So if you have a history of shoulder problems, you should avoid a wide grip.

My main grip is medium, relative to my own width.

Wide and narrow grips are(for me) secondary, and used to place emphasis on either tris or pects.

In very general terms, if you are having trouble off of the bottom, work more chest, trouble at the top, work more tricep.

I have gradually brought my grip out to the max over the years. It puts strain on my wrists over a period of time which is better with a closer grip. I train with a close-grip on a slight decline and with only a slight arch now most of the time-about 2 out of 3 “cycles”.

[quote]big balls wrote:
O.k, I’m benching with a medium grip and have never tried wide. Would this change equate a bigger bench in the long run? Which grip do you use?[/quote]

I like my pinkys on the rings on a standard bar. Anything wider than my ring fingers and I lose strength. Most people are the opposite, just depends on how you’re structured I guess. Good luck in your efforts.

[quote]big balls wrote:
O.k, I’m benching with a medium grip and have never tried wide. Would this change equate a bigger bench in the long run? Which grip do you use?[/quote]

grip width is dependent on the size of the lifter. my rule of thumb for optimum power is to have the lower arms perpendicular to the floor throughout the range of motion.

if your upper arms are angling in or out during the set, it’s my opinion that the lifter won’t be able to exert optimum power.

meat

I like to do all my warm up sets with medium/close grip (pinky 1 in inside the ring) to really warm up my tri’s. The widest grip I take even with a shirt is middle finger on ring because of my short arms. Like what was said before, its all about the size of the lifter.

Because I’m a heavy tricep presser I always had a proportionally close grip. In high school when I first BP’d 300 I had my pinky’s inside the rings. As the years have gone by however my grip width has widened. I’ve found the shorter my ROM the wider my grip can be and the more weight I can actually move.

I will concur with the above statement that a wider grip is tougher on the wrists. In my case I wrap my wrists starting at 315. Nowadays all my max lifts are done with index fingers on the rings. Unless you’re less than 5’6" or have super short arms I believe most people should be out this far. 10 years ago I wouldn’t have believe it.

But a big bench really is about shortening your ROM. As my arching improved over the years my grip widened. The combo has proved very rewarding in terms of poundage.

I actually measured my bench stroke yesterday.

15" = close grip (index almost on smooth)
12" = competition grip (index past ring)

You can take inches off by widening the grip. Especially helpful when it comes to the shirted press.