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How to Do a Close Grip Barbell Bench Press for Arm Workout

Learn how to do a close grip barbell bench press from personal trainer Brett Azar in this Howcast home arm workout for men video.


Okay. So today, we're going to go over a close grip barbell bench press.
A lot of guys perform this in the bench press rack. That would be the
normal way to do it on the standard Olympic straight bar, the 45 pound
straight bar.
Your grip for this doesn't have to be too close. A lot of guys put their
arms with their hands together, when that could really do damage to your
shoulder. I like to stay at least thumb, if not more. I have my clients
go shoulder width apart for this exercise. I'm going to be performing this
with an easy bar on this bench. Generally, you'd have someone spot you.
Because it's a press, you can go heavier that most exercises. It's a
compound movement, meaning you’re working a lot of muscles at the same time.

Rep guys, if you're looking for size, you want to shoot for 10 to 15 reps.
If you're looking for strength, the rep range is, kind of, lower, shoot 4
to 6. If you want power, which is speed, it's 1 to 2 really fast reps.
So, a lot of athletes you'll see use1 to 2 low reps. Whereas, a body
builder would use a heavy weight, but still get his 12 reps in because
that's best for hypotrophy, which is muscle growth.

So to do this, again, any time you do a line exercise, the 6 points of
contact; left foot, right foot, butt, shoulder blade, shoulder blade, and
hip. Now this, again, thumb distance apart at least, you want to keep your
elbows by your side. You don't want to flare them out because you won't be
working your triceps as much. You keep the concentration on your triceps, if
you keep your elbows in close to your body.

Now, again, this is an exercise that you can go fairly heavy with. And
when you see guys going to heavy, you see their butts coming up, you see
them moving back and forth, completely unnecessary. You want to make sure
that you have a weight that you can control all the times.
Now with this, again, breathing is very important. Any time you work
against gravity, breathe out. So as I'm pushing, working against gravity,
squeeze that triceps. Don't walk it out because that will do damage.
Always keep a nice soft bend, and the hurt, actually release the hand with
that. It's a lighter weight.

So, again, come down. You don't necessarily have to touch your chest, as
long as you keep tension on that triceps. And really try to get that mind
muscle connection where just using your triceps to push this bar up. If
there's a big tendency in using your chest and your shoulders to muscle it
up. But if you concentrate, you can really keep it in the triceps. Come
down. Stretch it right there. Push. Squeeze. Very controlled. All 6
points are touching. Feet are on the ground. Butts on the mat. Shoulder
and head, all well placed. And that's your line close grip bench press.

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