Selen Dar

Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Hey, guys. Sean Nalewanyj here at
in this video here I’m going to be giving you 5 key mistakes that most lifters make
when it comes to their close grip bench press form. The close grip bench is a good basic
compound exercise to hit all three heads of the triceps. It also hits the pecs to a certain
degrees as well. But if your form is off, not only is that going to reduce the overload
on your triceps but even more importantly it’s going o hugely increase your chances
for risk and shoulder injuries as well. So, the first big mistake is using too narrow
of a grip. It is called the close grip bench press, however what you’ll often see is
guys grabbing on to the bar really closely like you see here. With their hands maybe
only five or six inches apart, and the main problem with this, is that it places a lot
of stress on your wrist as you lower the bar down. Your goal during the close grip bench
should be to have your elbows directly underneath your wrists. And when you go too narrow it
forces your wrists inward and it puts them in an awkward position where they end up taking
on a good portion of the load. And on top of that the overly narrow grip also reduces
the amount of weight that you can lift, it decreases the stability of the bar and also
reduces you range of motion. So, the simple solution here is to grip the bar using a shoulder
width grip instead. It might look wider than what you might imagine when you think of a
close grip bench, but a shoulder width grip is narrow enough. It will still shift the
majority of the stress on to your triceps and it will also allow you to keep your elbows
directly underneath your wrist where they should be. The second mistake is lowering
the bar too high up on your chest. If you lower the bar to your mid-chest or even to
your upper-chest, then your elbows and wrists are not going to fall into the right position.
Your elbows are either going to flare out excessively or you will be able to keep them
tucked in but your wrist will be further back and won’t be stuck on top of your elbows.
So what you want to do is lower the bar beneath your chest, basically you’re right below
your nipple area like you see here. Again, that’s going to allow you to keep your elbows
tucked in and keep your wrists and your elbows inline with each other. Mistake number three
is failing to retract the scapula. So just like with the normal barbell press or even
a dumbbell press, on the close grip bench press you want to squeeze your shoulder blades
together and keep them that way throughout the entire lift. And a good cue for this is
to think about putting your shoulder blades into your back pocket. Now, what this does
is it allows you to stabilize your shoulder joint against the bench. When your scapula
is flat and it’s not retracted, it’s going to place a lot more stress on your shoulder
joint since it has to take on a lot more of the load, because it has nothing to drive
against. So before you clear the bar make sure to retract your scapula, keep a small
arc in your lower back, press your glutes into the bench and also press your feet into
the floor. And ideally you want, specifically on the close grip bench, to have someone give
you a lift off and help you clear the bar. Because that’s going to help you maintain
that scapula retraction. If you try to clear the bar yourself, it’s a lot easier to lose
that position. Mistake number four is tucking the elbows in too close to the body. You’ll
see a lot of people performing the close grip bench by bringing their elbows down directly
at their side as close as possible. But you actually want to flare them out just slightly,
maybe around a 30o angle. And that’s because if your elbows are tucked right in at your
sides, you’ll tend to lose that scapula retraction that we talked about. Your upper
body will roll forward and you’ll lose that proper shoulder positioning. And the final
close grip bench press form mistake is focusing on pressing the bar away from your body. Now,
that might sound kind of weird, obviously the bar is being pressed away but what you
want to focus on instead, when you’re performing the exercise, is that you’re pushing yourself
away from the bar rather than pressing the bar away from your chest. And again this just
another way to make sure that your shoulder stayed back and in the proper position. So,
thanks for watching guys. If you found this advise helpful and you want to get all the
tools you need to gain muscle and lose fat as effectively as possible, the workouts,
the meal plans, the supplement guides and one-on-one coaching then you can download
my Body Transformation Blueprint by clicking here or by heading over to
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and I’ll talk to you guys again soon.

41 thoughts on “Close Grip Bench Press Form: 5 Key Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Been bodybuilding for 3 years and STILL trying to get the close grip bench down to a fine art. Cheers buddy, appreciate it. Can never stop learning!

  2. Thanks for this video, I'm not completely sure about the 5th one, but I know for sure I was going to make each of the first 4 mistakes before watching this.

  3. Great video Sean.
    Nr.1 and 4 were of most use for me.

    Is this a good exercise to replace the skull/elbow crusher?

  4. Sean, I think one thing you might be neglecting with point #4 is that proper scapular positioning on a bench press is about more than just retraction. It's also about depression, and a lower touch of the bar on the torso will result in more depression and less retraction naturally. Exaggerated retraction works against you in any case.

  5. "You actually want to flair them out so slightly."

    THANK YOU for this. God. I tried doing close grips with my elbows right by my side and FUDGE that hurt. But when I allowed my arms to flair, not only did it not hurt, but I felt more of a burn in my triceps.

    Thanks, man!

  6. I really wish I'd watched this before attempting a new PR on these. I ended up REALLY hurting my inner elbows/biceps by doing these really wonky. I later found out my entire bench press form has been incorrect. Ugh. Now I have to start over.

    Don't be me!

  7. I've watched a couple of your videos and didn't like them too much, but I give you credit here. Almost everyone does this wrong, especially the ridiculously narrow grips I see, and you are spot on in this video

  8. Thank YOU Boss! Exactly what I needed to know. Starting more intermediate workouts and close-grip BP is part of my new plan, started yesterday. The in-app instructions for this exercise were pitiful. I must have looked like a complete noob and could have injured myself. The app said the tips of my thumbs should be able to touch which really limited the stability of the bar, exactly like you mentioned. Looking forward to attacking my triceps with these pointers in mind.

  9. idont understan nothing of u or anyone else ,isee alot of pros doing it with elbows out with wide grib and sometimes show others doing it with narrow grip with elbows beside which one is correct and i really know two both kill ur wriest we just need the proper grip

  10. When I try and push myself away from the bar, my hamstrings start cramping and my form goes haywire. Any tips for that part?

  11. My grip was way too close. And I was not retracting my scapula enough. Think this is what has fucked up one of my shoulders. Damn.

  12. Just when I thought I was starting to get this lift with decent form, I realize I still have it disgusting.

    Does anyone else get a pain in the outside part of their elbow during this lift?

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