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Neutral Grip Chest Press?


Just as the title says, anybody ever tried neutral grip chest press on a machine? When i say neutral grip i meant palms facing each other, instead of the usual facing towards your legs. My gym's machine had 2 grips and i tried the neutral one and it seems to activate less shoulders on these.

Just my thoughts. Any other people here tried these?


oh a better way to visualize it would be, bench press with a log bar


I use a neutral grip when I do low decline dumbell pressing. I find (Cordova discussed this a while ago at a seminar), that it gives me a much better contraction, and is just more 'natural' feeling. Jim actually pointed out that the only reason we usually keep our hands pronated when pressing is because that's how you would grasp a barbell, not for any other reason.



I was always under the impression that the neutral grip presses activated triceps more during the movement. When you do declines with neutral grip, it seems like that is sort of like doing a dip, but on your back.

Do you feel more triceps that way?

I throw in DB floor presses which I do neutral grip for no other reason than it's more comfortable.


I actually don't feel my triceps taking the majority of the weight, in fact, I find that I get a hell of a lot more chest 'focus' out of the movement (most likely due to the low decline angle).

I've never been able to do dips for my chest, and as such always felt that I was missing out on a lot of the great pec development that you see in old school (50's and 60's) bodybuilders who relied very heavily on this movement. This sort of solved the problem for me.



Glad this came up, I was debating this as well. It seems to me that it would be a good chest exercise and not triceps, bc it is similar to dips with a forward lean.


Whenever I do bench flys I always bring my pinkies together at the top to get a good contraction, feels like it anyway. Could this work for DB presses as well for the reasons you mentioned? Normal grip to start, halfway up start to twist, then at the top twist till my pinkies are together so to speak.


Does anyone know of an actual anatomic reason why the hand position would matter on a bench press?


I can't provide a reason, but I can provide an authority.

Nick Evans, who is supposed to be 'an expert in musculoskeletal anatomy' says that a pronated grip will provide a better pectoral stretch, whereas a neutral grip will afford a better contraction at the lockout position: Evans (2007) Bodybuilding Anatomy.

However, the assertion is not supported by any research or reasoning.


I think in general hand position affects elbow and bar position, both, obviously, affecting anatomical strengths.