I was trying to fit in some extra exercises at the end of one of my lactic acid training sessions. I sat down to hit a few on my chest since I could use an extra set or two a week. I was doing wide grip bench at 200lb and thought I would try close grip since I never do.
I totally sucked.
Maybe it was because I was tired by the end, perhaps my form. Hands were only about 8" apart from the center. I've started to do skull crushers and have done dips for quite a while...... so its not like its a new muscle group.
So that made me wonder. I've never done close grip and don't know how it compares to normal flat so I wanted to ask about it. Should my close grip be about the same at my flat bench? Or 80% of?
Most pictures I see have hand placements closer than 14. The way I see it though, the closest you can place your hands without inducing wrist injuries is the best. It wouldn't seem to me like 8 inches would really hurt, but then again I haven't done close-grip presses.
A good rule of thumb for close grip bench would be to have your hands on the bar at about the exact width of your torso. It'd minimize unnecessary wrist strain and would insure your triceps would be the primary mover (if you kept your elbows in like you're supposed to).
I'd say if you can comfortably slide your elbows next to your lats on the up and down, you're close grip. Going closer than that can hurt your wrists, and as far as I can tell, will have no added benefit.
Wouldn't that principle also imply that if you neglect to do something, your body will become bad at that? I mean, are you sure that its fair to that your close grip is stronger when it may be more accurate or at least equally accurate to say the your bench has become weaker, relatively?
I would wager that most people who train wide grip and close grip bench presses equally will be able to bench more with a wider grip, not only because of the shorter bar path but because of the larger involvement of the pecs. I know that when I used Westside for about six months almost all of the bench press variations I used were with a close (14") to medium (pinky on rings) grip by my strongest grip was always wide (index finger on the rings). Then again I always sucked at benching either way.
Although it's possible, there are multiple considerations. First, there is more chance of a shoulder injury with wide grip. If you are getting heavy, this becomes more of a concern. Second, look at how powerlifters push. I think that if they thought they could put up bigger numbers using a wide grip, they'd do it. But I don't know of any that lift with a wide grip...
I usually do encorporate a wider press when I do dumbbells, so that I can keep my chest in the equation, but I began lifting close grip barbell press in April, and I must say that I now prefer it (I did wide grip for about 12 years).
I guess I am wondering if my triceps are my weakest link since I did so poorly. Again, since I'm cutting I'm sure that posed negative results. Also being at the end of my work out, that too. But I was wondering what relationship there is to regular flat to narrow.
Can anyone post for me what their 1rm for normal bench versus their 1rm on narrow grip?