T Nation

Hand Placement, Close Grip Bench Press

What is the correct placement for close grip bench press to effectively target the triceps? I currently place my hands just to the edge of the center knurl on a standard 7 foot olympic bar. I can press 155 for 3 sets of 8. Is this effective?

Bullpup

Whats up bro. I am not sure if there is such a thing as correct placement on these bad boys. I used to keep my hands fairly close together but found that was giving me shoulder and wrist problem.

Now I keep my hands a little less than shoulder width apart which will allow for my elbows to drop straight down on both sides of my chest without my elbows having to flare out to clear my chest…if that makes sense. This is usually the first excersise of the tri routine for me. I get a great tri work out from these alone. I consciosuly try to take my chest out of it if there is such a thing and focus on telling my triceps to work on every rep.

I know there is some hating on the smith press but I like doing them on there b/c I train alone currently and can use the studs when I fail. Last week I got a new PR on those, I did 3 45’s and one 35 on each side for 5 reps, so 340 lbs worth of weight I guess.

Later,
AA

[quote]bullpup wrote:
What is the correct placement for close grip bench press to effectively target the triceps? I currently place my hands just to the edge of the center knurl on a standard 7 foot olympic bar. I can press 155 for 3 sets of 8. Is this effective?

Bullpup[/quote]

Hey bullpup

I put my hands right at the inner edge of the outer knurling. Any closer and it hurts my wrists. I have worked out with people who can hold their hands together, though.

I saw an article somwhere that you stop increasing the amount of stress on the triceps somewhere about 12" apart. Closer doesn’t make much difference. I can’t remember where I saw it, and I can’t give you a reference.

Pretty much, use the position that allows you to use the most weight, without pain, while still using your triceps as a primary mover. You can also use boards or pins to remove the lower several inches of travel. This will increase the amount of weight you can use, while still targeting the tri’s.

Hope this helps

-folly

[quote]bullpup wrote:
What is the correct placement for close grip bench press to effectively target the triceps? I currently place my hands just to the edge of the center knurl on a standard 7 foot olympic bar. I can press 155 for 3 sets of 8. Is this effective?

Bullpup[/quote]

[quote]folly wrote:
Pretty much, use the position that allows you to use the most weight, without pain, while still using your triceps as a primary mover. You can also use boards or pins to remove the lower several inches of travel. This will increase the amount of weight you can use, while still targeting the tri’s.[/quote]

Yep. You have to find what is most comfortable to you. I can do them with my hands on the outside of the middle knurling. But now I do them about 6-8 inches apart.

Hey good idea with the board, that should allow for a clsoer grip without too much stress on your wrists right? Does that still give you enough range of motion?

What do you think about my positiong, I think I maybe wider than 12 inches but it seems to be working well for me.

[quote]folly wrote:
Hey bullpup

I put my hands right at the inner edge of the outer knurling. Any closer and it hurts my wrists. I have worked out with people who can hold their hands together, though.

I saw an article somwhere that you stop increasing the amount of stress on the triceps somewhere about 12" apart. Closer doesn’t make much difference. I can’t remember where I saw it, and I can’t give you a reference.

Pretty much, use the position that allows you to use the most weight, without pain, while still using your triceps as a primary mover. You can also use boards or pins to remove the lower several inches of travel. This will increase the amount of weight you can use, while still targeting the tri’s.

Hope this helps

-folly

bullpup wrote:
What is the correct placement for close grip bench press to effectively target the triceps? I currently place my hands just to the edge of the center knurl on a standard 7 foot olympic bar. I can press 155 for 3 sets of 8. Is this effective?

Bullpup

[/quote]

With my athletes we use a 14inch grip like Poliquin suggests, that way we have a controlled environment and can keep track of numbers.

I’ve tried to put my hands as close as possible, but I found my shoulders were getting sore in the joint. I think my shoulders are too wide and my arms are too short. I just started doing close grip presses about two weeks ago. It’s my first exercise for the tri’s and then I follow up with cable pull downs, and then skull crushers. It seems to work good for me. I just want to get the most bang for the effort.

Bullup

I am a little wider than 12" as well. I don’t think it’s such a big deal. The reason that I don’t like really close is that my wrists don’t bend that way very far, and the closer I get to my chest, the more stress it puts on my wrists. This reduces the weight I use.

The closer my hands are, the more likely I am to flare my elbows low in the lift. Not what I want.

I look at close grip meaning: closer than your normal bench grip, and you feel it in your tri’s more than your chest. The wider your back and chest, the wider your grip will be. You said you keep your elbows close to your sides, and that’s perfect.

Oh, and I use 225 for 5x5 on close grip.

-folly

[quote]Amsterdam Animal wrote:
Hey good idea with the board, that should allow for a clsoer grip without too much stress on your wrists right? Does that still give you enough range of motion?

What do you think about my positiong, I think I maybe wider than 12 inches but it seems to be working well for me.

[/quote]

Yeah I think you are well on your way. I do the same ones in one of my tri routines. I suggest you also do some light cable push downs to warm up your triceps before jumping on the close grip.

[quote]bullpup wrote:
I’ve tried to put my hands as close as possible, but I found my shoulders were getting sore in the joint. I think my shoulders are too wide and my arms are too short. I just started doing close grip presses about two weeks ago. It’s my first exercise for the tri’s and then I follow up with cable pull downs, and then skull crushers. It seems to work good for me. I just want to get the most bang for the effort.

Bullup[/quote]

Cool, thanks man. That confirms what I have been doing.
Later,
A

[quote]folly wrote:
I am a little wider than 12" as well. I don’t think it’s such a big deal. The reason that I don’t like really close is that my wrists don’t bend that way very far, and the closer I get to my chest, the more stress it puts on my wrists. This reduces the weight I use.

The closer my hands are, the more likely I am to flare my elbows low in the lift. Not what I want.

I look at close grip meaning: closer than your normal bench grip, and you feel it in your tri’s more than your chest. The wider your back and chest, the wider your grip will be. You said you keep your elbows close to your sides, and that’s perfect.

Oh, and I use 225 for 5x5 on close grip.

-folly

Amsterdam Animal wrote:
Hey good idea with the board, that should allow for a clsoer grip without too much stress on your wrists right? Does that still give you enough range of motion?

What do you think about my positiong, I think I maybe wider than 12 inches but it seems to be working well for me.

[/quote]

I place my hands about a foot apart. Each index finger is on the smooth section of the bar and the other fingers are on the knurling.

I now center my hands between the smooth and the ring. I used to put my index fingers right next to the smooth, but it ended up making things a bit too awkward. I would look to go off of anatomical cues more so than specific numbers. Our guys (powerlifters) range from 5’6" and 150lbs to 6’6" and 425lbs. To require them all to use the same grip width would be ridiculous.

Anywhere between index finger on the smooth and pinky on the ring.

It depends on the size of the lifter and how long you have been working a particular grip.

I switch between thumbs length from the smooth and pinky on.