Narrow grip bench press

The narrow grip bench press is used in bodybuilding and powerlifting to work out triceps. It is also more demanding for the anterior delta, and is not indicated for those who have an active injury to the shoulder joint. Many people squeeze narrow and medium grip even more than wide, 81 cm. This is due to the predominance of triceps. Most female powerlifters gravitate toward a medium grip in the power bench. But few people know that the “narrow” grip, which bodybuilders often talk about, is average for the powerlifter. Any grip at shoulder level, with a shift of 5-9 cm to the chest or side, is considered average. In fitness, all this is called a "narrow" grip. So terminological inaccuracies will accompany this wonderful exercise always.


  • 1 Technique
    • 1.1 Recommendations
    • 1.2 Options
  • 2 What muscles work
  • 3 Secrets of a narrow grip bench press
    • 3.1 Approaches and repetitions
    • 3.2 Contraindications
  • 4 Common Beginner Mistakes
    • 4.1 Breeding Elbows
    • 4.2 Monkey grip
    • 4.3 Workout without warm-up
    • 4.4 Grip too narrow
    • 4.5 Separation of the pelvis and head
    • 4.6 Excessive training

Execution technique

Important: this exercise cannot be performed with substantial weights in the "builder" style. If you take the barbell already shoulders, and direct your elbows to the sides, the weight of the projectile should be 30 percent less than with a press with palms shoulder-width apart and elbows to the sides.

Starting position

  1. The neck at the level of the eyes, buttocks and shoulder blades touch the bench, deflection is performed, if convenient, and so the body is better stabilized on the bench. The "bridge" is not an end in itself in this bench, as in other bench presses;
  2. Feet can stand on toes, or pressed to the floor, this moment depends on the height of the bench and the length of the athlete's legs. The main thing is a stable position of the legs so that they do not move along the "perimeter";
  3. The vulture is taken with a closed grip, usually a little narrower than the shoulders, but this is individual. Triceps also works with an average grip, if you don’t “twist” your elbows to the sides and do not bend your wrists


  1. Technically, the bench is an elbow flexion. You need to bend your elbows and touch your chest with a shell;
  2. Then - stretch your arms at your elbows and squeeze the bar up;
  3. The shoulder blades should be brought down, the buttocks should touch the bench throughout the exercise.


  • A grip in which the fingers touch each other is traumatic for the wrists and shoulders;
  • Pelvic abstraction is not allowed for two reasons - it can lead to spinal injury, and indicates that the weight is quite heavy for a person, and therefore potentially dangerous for the shoulders too;
  • Not allowed and "riding" the body to the bar and from under it to remove the shell. If the racks in the hall are not comfortable, you will need a harness rather than sleight of hand and sliding skills on the bench


  1. No need to try to lose weight on your own if it is not comfortable. Use the help of the insurer;
  2. Do not raise your elbows, this is another exercise on the chest;
  3. The bench press with a wide grip along the trajectory “on the stomach” is not a substitute for this exercise;
  4. For any discomfort in the shoulders, stop the approach and ask the trainer to see the technique;
  5. Do not drop the bar at a lower point on yourself, as the load is removed from the muscles. Hold it on your chest, and the movement will be full


  1. Beginners can do the curved bar exercise. This will allow you to unload the hands, if a person can not hold a regular bar with a correct closed grip and not bend his wrists;
  2. Sometimes the movement is done in the Smith simulator. This is suitable for those who do not experience pain and discomfort in the shoulder joints;
  3. The exercise can also be performed on a bench with a negative slope to increase the amplitude of movement

What muscles work

The main goal of the movement is the development of the triceps muscle of the shoulder - triceps. All three heads of the triceps muscle work here as a mover. How non-target muscles help the movement of the pectoral as well as the front deltas. The back deltas, muscles of the back, legs and body work as stabilizers.

Tight Grip Press Secrets

A common mistake is to take the bar as tightly as possible, and try to squeeze it while lowering it to the middle of the chest. It is believed that this is the only way triceps work, but this is not true. For many people, narrow grip bench presses are generally not anatomically indicated due to poor posture in the thoracic spine. Those who practice it should not experience pain or discomfort at all.

The narrow grip bench press is considered a relatively safe exercise, but this is only true for those grips when the exercise is initially performed without pain. If, when lowering the bar, it breaks your wrists or shoulders, you need to look for your grip.

The inclusion of triceps in exercise depends on the position of the elbows to a greater extent. If the athlete puts them apart, and tries to stretch the bar, the chest ones turn on. It is necessary to carry the forearms along the sides so as not to include excess muscle.

Approaches and Replays

Exercise can be performed both in multi-repetitive and in relatively power mode. It all depends on how a person trains in general, what goal he pursues in his studies, and what he is trying to achieve to a greater extent.

You can engage in power mode for 3-6 repetitions, and in 8-12 repeated mode exclusively for hypertrophy, it depends on preferences.


Do not do exercise if injured elbows, shoulders, wrists.

Common Beginner Mistakes

Errors in this bench press are reminiscent of what are considered errors in the ordinary power bench press, or dumbbell bench press. Usually these are errors of grip, trajectory, tearing of the pelvis from the bench, and extra movements with the forearms and elbows.

Breeding elbows

It is a mistake to assume that it occurs due to a lack of mental concentration. In fact, elbow breeding is due to the weakness of the back and middle deltas, the athlete simply can not keep his forearms pressed. If such an error occurs, in addition to concentration, it is necessary to reduce the working weight so that the shell does not “twist” the athlete’s shoulder joints.

Monkey grip

This term is called open grip. In bench press competitions, it is usually prohibited and for only one reason - an athlete can easily drop the barbell on his chest and be injured. Exercises are performed with a classic closed grip.

Workout without warm up

Shake the empty bar and immediately put the operating weight "> Grip too narrow

Do not confuse the French bench press with a narrow grip on a curved neck and this is an exercise. Too much flattening of the hands on the neck leads to disturbances in the trajectory of movement, and disruption of the shoulder joints. In addition, the athlete may simply drop the bar due to pain in the wrists.

Separation of the pelvis and head

If some bench pressers tear off their heads, this does not mean that in fitness this can also be done. Usually, tearing off the head or pelvis is a “blow” to the thoracic spine, especially if the athlete pushes his feet off the floor. This can lead to injury, especially when the athlete relaxes to push the barbell from his chest.

Over training

The load is considered by the coach, and in advance. If you are doing it yourself, do not do more than 12 sets of 1 muscle group, including chest and triceps. It makes sense for most people to put either a classic bench press or a narrow grip bench press in a workout, and not mix them in one training session.

You should also pay attention to the volume in auxiliary movements such as bending the arms with a rope handle on the triceps, and other exercises. This will help avoid recovery problems and feel better after a workout.

The narrow and medium grip presses not only improve strength indicators, but also help to gain weight. But if an athlete has pain in his elbows or forearms, he should temporarily reduce weight, or completely abandon the exercise. Athletes who perform heavy squats should perform a bench press in the elbows to relieve tension from the ligaments and properly load the muscles.