T Nation

Wide Grip Bench and Pushup

I was wondering. When trying to focus just on your chest, when benching you should use a wide grip. Does this also apply for pushups? I was planning to use CW’s 100 rep program to focus on my chest a little more and wanted to know if I should use a wide grip pushup instead of a reg. pushup?

Thanks for the input in advance.
Devin

It would theoretically make sense. However, an old Ghost Dog (what happended to that column anyway? It was great!) mentions a study that found total muscle fiber activation was greatest in all working muscle groups when doing close grip pushups.

Waterbury also recommends slide pushups, where you start with a medium to wide grip, go down, and then pull your hands together while pushing up, then walk the hands back to the starting position.

I don’t know of any exercise that just focuses in on the chest. Any variation of a bench press or a dip (which are some of the best chest exercises available) are going to involve the triceps and also the deltoids. Even flyes will not completely isolate the chest, because there will be some stabilizing contractions around the elbow joint as well as some front deltoid activation.

Every form of pushup I know of also uses the delts and the triceps. If you want to build your chest I would stick to heavy, compound, pushing exercises for the upper body: bench presses, dips, and pushups. Realize that pushups are not a “heavy” exercise once you build up some strength and can knock them out easily.

You may need to find ways to increase the resistance such as raising your feet or wearing a weighted vest. Just my 2 cents.

In one of Thib’s articles, I can’t remember which one off hand, he gave a great chest exercise. Decline cable flyes using ankle straps, while holding DB’s in each hand as well. This is one of my favorites for chest, no doubt you’ll see results implementing it.

Hey guys,
I don’t know how familiar you are with CW’s 100 rep program. You do a 100 reps of an exercise every day except the day that you train. It should not be to failure. I would do 4 sets of 25 pushups throughout the day, which is not a problem at all.

I was just lookin for a switch up and I read his program so just wondering if that would focus more on the chest. You are right, no one exercise focus’s mainly on the chest but certain ones to work it more. The reason I said wide grip (esp. on the bench like marcus ruhl), you are taking away a lot of the tricep action and puttin the tension more on the chest.

Just wondering your thoughts and I appreciate all your responses.

My triceps used to be very unbalanced and overpowering in both size and strength because I have longer arms and used a medium width grip on pressing movements for years. After I started using a wide grip (index finger on bar rings) I noticed a major improvement in overall chest development and especially strength. I have tried using an even wider grip ala Markus Ruhl but I find that it only shortens my ROM and has no additional benefits.