T Nation

Reverse Grip Bench Press


#1

Was thinking about giving these a try. I have done them before, although kind of sporadically. My intent is to do them for tri's primarily, although I have seen some do them on bench day. I remember that powerlifter Anthony Clark used to use a reverse grip when setting records, unbelievable.

For those that do them how wide is your grip? I'm guessing I shouldn't go too wide if focusing on tri's. Then lower to sternum and just press straight up. I never take a liftoff on bench, but I guess you would need one for these, at least until you get used to them.


#2

criticalbench.com/reverse-grip-bench-press.htm

Hmm, having second thoughts now, based on this article. Although this is more from a powerlifting perspective…


#3

I have been doing these for a little while now as a triceps exercise and am a fan so here are my suggestions:

  1. Do them in a smith. If your smith is on an angle, face the bar in the way that when you press you are pushing towards your feet.

  2. I use a pretty wide grip myself and still find it hits my triceps. I place my hands on the outside of the rings on the bar.

  3. I recommend gloves as you go up in weight as I have found that my hands start to slip.

  4. Use a thumbless grip.


#4

My thoughts are… Since you mentioned reverse grip record benching… From what i have read, reverse grip benching came in favor very quicly because a few were able to set records by reverse benching more than anyone could traditionaly bench. This is because if you take a wide grip your range of motion is less than a traditonal bench. But powerlifting banned it in competition because there were a lot of injuries. Wide grip reverse benching caused injury after injury. But… from also what I have read if you keep a more shoulder with grip its a great tricep exercise.


#5

[quote]namor wrote:
I have been doing these for a little while now as a triceps exercise and am a fan so here are my suggestions:

  1. Do them in a smith. If your smith is on an angle, face the bar in the way that when you press you are pushing towards your feet.

  2. I use a pretty wide grip myself and still find it hits my triceps. I place my hands on the outside of the rings on the bar.

  3. I recommend gloves as you go up in weight as I have found that my hands start to slip.

  4. Use a thumbless grip.[/quote]

I implemented reverse wide-grip Smith presses 3 weeks ago as one of my triceps staples, and I’m loving them. My set up is actually the exact same as the above, except I don’t use gloves and I use my thumbs.

I think these do a better job hitting the tris than close-grip bench presses. One reason might be that when I start getting tired on the CGBPs, my elbows start to flare out, and I begin to use my pecs more. When you’re doing the reverse wide-grip presses, it’s tough to use much chest because your elbows are tucked in big time.


#6

When doing this exercise I find it pulls in a lot of use from the front delts as well.
I use a narrow, thumbless grip.
Feel them a great deal more than regular close grip bench


#7

I use a narrow, thumbless grip. I find it brings a lot of use from the front delts as well as the medial head of the tri.
Works well with my program.


#8

[quote]MHRhabdo wrote:
I use a narrow, thumbless grip. I find it brings a lot of use from the front delts as well as the medial head of the tri.
Works well with my program.[/quote]

In my experience, the closer the bar is to your head, the more your front delts will be activated. I’ve noticed that when I bring the bar down to around the middle of my sternum, I can really feel it in my front delts (in addition to my triceps), but if I bring the bar down to my upper abs, I hardly get any delt activation.

However, like you mentioned, it all depends on what muscle group(s) you’re trying to hit.


#9

I do the DC SRGBP (Smith reverse grip bench press) because of my shoulder problems flaring up right now. I find it is a suitable replacement for lockouts I normally prefer, although I use more weight with lockouts.


#10

For bodybuilding purposes:

  • in the smith
  • wide to very wide grip
  • only grip the bar with thumb and index finger(perhaps middle finger too, if you want), the other fingers just sort of hang around.
  • Let the bar lie in the crease that the flesh of your hand makes.
  • Wrist wraps help.
  • Scapulae retracted etc, the whole standard setup, though DC trainees like to alter that a little by placing the bench so that only the shoulders/upper back and the low back are on the bench, not the butt.
  • Think of it as squeezing the bar up (albeit rather fast) instead of just pushing or lifting the weight.

IMPORTANT: Instead of just pressing upwards, press towards your feet (try to) against the smith’s rails as well as up. Helps take the strain off the delts and involves the long-head more.