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Triceps Dominant on Bench Press


I have found that I am triceps dominant on the bench press and no matter how wide my grip is I can’t seem to activate my chest. What am I doing wrong?


Try a light weight and try squeezing your pectorals at the top of each rep. Focus on the muscle, not the actual movement. Also why does it matter? I can’t think of anyway being tricep dominant is bad.


What’s wrong with being tricep dominant?


Id actually prefer this, do some hammer strenght stuff or dumbells if you want to feel it in your chest so bad, your shoulders will thank you in a couple years


I would also be interested in the answer to this.


@fleming13 make sure you’ve covered all the basics: your back is flat against the bench and your elbows are not sticking out too much when you press. Try to keep your elbows as close to the torso as possible throughout the movement. Also make sure you are not bending your wrists sideways. Other than that I agree with @bigmanfootball67, try pressing with dumbbells. more muscles come into play this way and you are bound to feel it in the chest. Damn, I wouldn’t mind being triceps dominant either… xD


Depending on your arm length, a good place to start is on the descent, the bar should touch the bottom of the sternum. The idea is for the elbow and wrist to be straight up and down( wrist not forward or behind the elbow). You don’t want your elbows out, you want your arms to to
follow down the side of your ribs so-to-speak. Keep your arms closer to your body rather than flaring out to the sides. (This will cause injury over time)

Also, do the reps for a partial range of motion - from the chest to half way up. Don’t go to full lockout on each rep.

If you don’t feel the pecs after this…I don’t know what else to tell you.


Most times depending how new you are to lfting you will bench more with a narrower grip ( more tricep) until you eventually build your chest up


Well nothing is really “wrong” with it unless you’re trying to build your chest. I’m just trying to develop my chest more. I know the barbell bench press isn’t the best exercise for chest development but I’ve seen it do more for other guys than it’s done for me so I was wondering if it may be my technique.


I guessed your main goal is to build a stronger bench,since we are in the powerlifting section


Well yes. I realize the bench press is a compound movement but if my form is correct then the amount of work done should be distributed between the tris and chest correct? Not just the triceps.


Basically I’m trying to involve my chest in the bench press more to increase my bench press.


Get bigger pecs. Triceps finish the movement, pecs start the movement. My training partner last night did close grip 3 board 315 4x5 but his best bench ever is 320. What do you think his weakness is?

Back and pecs. If he can get the weight to the triceps he’s going to smash the lockout.

Ultimately you likely just need more muscle and possibly some technique changes. Also leg drive, if you don’t have leg drive it’s great way to get another 10-20lbs.


Wrong forum for this question really…but, I would say try using dumbells instead.


x3 its a good thing, run with it.



pre-exhaust with crossover or peckdeck or some other kind of “hugging” motion. That’s like the best way to feel something.


This is why before bench days we all hug each other in the gym, activation… or something


You know how for powerlifting you pull apart the bar to bring in the triceps? For feeling your chest, you do the opposite, squeeze the bar in.


I don’t know if “squeezing the bar in” would be a good idea. Seems like it would lead to a similar outcome as letting your knees drift in on a squat/deadlift.

I found a pause at the bottom works pretty well. I usually held it for a 2 or 3 count, but whatever works for you. Another quick and easy way to activate your chest more would be an isometric squeeze before your set. Bring your hands together in center line and flush to your chest like your praying, push the heels of your palms against each other as hard as you can for just a few seconds. Should help


Not really, it is the exact same thing as pulling the bar out, except with a different muscle group. I’ve done it before when trying to focus on my chest, and I’ve literally never been injured from benching aside from a pulled pec four years ago (unrelated to this, it was from pin pressing which is known to blow out pecs).