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Close-Grip Bench Burdens


SO I have some problems when CG benching. My grip is slightly narrower than shoulder width (so about 12"), and when I have a conventional grip with my thumbs around the bar, my wrists feel like they are going to pop.

The obvious thing to do is to use a thumbless grip, but when I do, it feels like the weight is just pressing my hand far too back, and I'm nearly scared it's going to roll towards my head off my fingers and onto my neck (if that makes sense).

So it's like I nearly can't do this movement. It scares me because I don't have a spot (I train alone). I would very much prefer a thumbless grip but there's the dangers I mentioned (basically it just feels like my hands are bending and the bar is going to fall on my neck).

Any suggestions? Thanks guys.


wrist problem when benching pretty much right? well you could try Wrist Wraps, Inzer makes some good ones I use.


I don't recommend a thumbless grip when benching. Also, you may need to increase the width of your close-grip bench to more than 12" depending on how big you are.

I'm a small guy with narrow shoulders, so I use a close-grip where my hands are on the smooth part of the bar (in the middle) with my pinkie fingers touching the knurling. See the picture above. This works for me but could be too narrow for you.


I bet that you are not bringing the bar down far enough. If you bring the bar down too high your forearms have bend towards your face to get the bar to touch your chest. Really they should remain perpendicular to floor. If they aren't then the weigh gets distributed farther up your hands putting stress your wrists.

Bring the bar down almost below your chest and sort of push the bar towards your feet.


In my school of powerlifting, we always called a thumbless grip the "suicide grip." Nate doggs picture is a pretty good represenation of how to bench with your hands, wrists, and forearms all in aligment. This will decrease the pressure on your wrists, eliminating the "popping" feeling you describe...


move your hands out a bit more