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Close Grip Bench Press With Dumbbell : Proper Technique

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It is an excellent exercise that enhance hypertrophy, lockout performance, help to reduce tension on the shoulders and close grip bench press dumbbell also effective for triceps.

Strength and fitness athletes can integrate this exercise within strength and hypertrophy programs to promote performance in lifts like bench press, snatch, jerk, log press, handstand push-ups etc.

So, in this article, we’ll provide you a total guide on close grip bench press with dumbbell, including other variations and alternatives of close grip bench press with dumbbell.

However, before learn about close grip bench press with dumbbell it is important to know about the benefits of close grip bench press.

Close Grip Bench Press Benefits.

This exercise offers equally excessive benefits for beginners and athletes. Out of these, three benefits are given below;

1. Triceps Strength and Mass.

Close grip bench press is an exercise that can build mass and develop the strength of triceps. Like bench press, military press and push press, close grip bench press can be used to enhance the strength of the chest and triceps.

When include with other exercises of triceps, close grip bench press can complete a balance triceps program that targets shoulders, chest and triceps.

2. Better Elbow Expansion/Detail Lockout Demonstration.

The elbow sits in high amounts of stress in the game of strength and fitness. All movements such as jerks, bench pressing, gymnastics and overhead movement require strong triceps and elbow stability.

Close grip bench press can be used to enhance the tensile strength and performance of triceps, muscle responsible for elbow expansion and lockout performance.

By enhancing the strength of triceps and the lockout performance, it can also reduce the amount of stress applied on the ligaments and tendons around the elbow joint, improve joint health and assist in quick healing of injury.

Read Now: 6 Best Compound Exercises with Weight for Lean Muscle Mass

3. Reduces Tension on Shoulders While Benching.

Some people may feel that pressing the bench with a wide grip causes shoulder pain. The close grip bench press reduces the expansion of the shoulder, which can often be contradictory to weightlifters limiting previous shoulder injuries, obstacles, or overall shoulder joint stress.

Sports athletes, such as throwers (baseball, football, etc.) and overhead lifters (weightlifters, strongmen, etc.) find that close grip bench press allows them to develop triceps, chest strength and lockout performance, while reducing extra stress of shoulder joint.

Close Grip Bench Press Muscles Worked.

It is an upper body pressing movement. In general, short hand grip applied on the barbell, triceps are mostly involved in this press.

Individual differences can be seen using a wide variety of grip placements, so trainers and athletes should determine which width engage maximum triceps and reduce stress on wrist and shoulder joints. It is mainly focus on;

Who Should Press The Close Grip Bench?

Below are some groups of athletes who can add close grip bench presses in their training programs.


Improving the strength of triceps and performance of lockouts is an important aspect for sports athletes. Bench press, jerks and other overhead lifts such as movement of triceps depends on strength and the elbow stability.

Powerlifters and Strongman Athletes.

Bench press, log press, and other vertical and horizontal pressing exercises are depends on triceps and chest. Integrating close grip bench presses within training programs can increase overall strength, mass and lockout performance.

Olympic Weightlifters.

It is a good supportive exercise to increase the muscle of upper body, triceps, and the lockout strength required for snatch and jerk.

Although this movement is not carried out in vertical aircraft, it can still be used to increase overall body mass and strength by reducing excess tension on the shoulders.

It can be especially beneficial for initial weightlifters, who prefer upper body strength and muscles, to withstand progressively increased weights.

Read Now: Curtsy Lunges Exercise: Benefits, Steps and Precaution

Competitive Crossfits and Fitness Athletes.

Competitive crossfits and fitness athletes can use close grip bench press within training programs to increase upper body strength and muscles, especially triceps. Strong triceps play a key role in all overhead pressing and stability movement (overhead squats, Olympic lifts) as well as handstand walks, handstand push-ups, wall balls and much more.

It is important to note that, initial weightlifters and women have less muscle mass in their upper body (speaking physically than trained men). Performing more concentrated upper body strength function can improve performance in many of the above mentioned exercises.


In addition to the benefits discussed above, the close grip bench press could potentially effective in some sports movements. Sports such as wrestling, American soccer, basketball, rugby, boxing and martial arts. This exercise can enable athletes to take the force forward into an opponent.

For general fitness purposes, close grip bench can be pressed to increase the strength of the chest and triceps while reducing shoulder stress as it limits the amount of horizontal shoulder expansion.

A person with shoulder problems, surgery or injury may cause negative effects on shoulder health. So, always focus on pressure movement during training to avoid negative effects.

It can be trained in various types of repetition categories when the target is hypertrophy. Some weightlifters find some representative plans and training versions more effective than others.

It is suggested that weightlifters experiment with various recurrence plans and loadings to determine which is the best job for their body.

Sets and reps: 4-5 sets of 8-12 or 15-20 repetitions with medium to heavy loads.

*Note:  Speed, pause and partial portion can be done during the range of motion to induce additional muscle damage and overgrowth.

To build normal pressure and triceps strength with close grip bench press, standard strength programming sets, reps and intensity can be used. In general, moderate to low duplication, moderate training volume and heavy load power will be beneficial.

In addition, these can be done as an assistant to power programmes. Using a more moderate hypertrophy range after heavy pressure movements can further stimulate the development of triceps and chest.

Set and reps: 4-6 sets of 3-5 repetitions with very challenging loads.

*Note: Close grip bench press can also be accompanied by a variety of special bars and adjust resistance to further increase the growth and strength.

Read Now: 8 Types of Warm Up Exercise With Advantages

Close Grip Bench Press With Dumbbell.

Decline Dumbbell Presses

Close grip bench press with dumbbell is a unilateral variation of close grip barbell bench press. Using dumbbells, you can remove any asymmetry and muscle imbalance often happened with barbell.

It can also allow weightlifters to adapt some of the combined angles of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, if the predetermined barbell condition is found to be uncomfortable or stressful for the joints.

How To Do Close Grip Bench Press With Dumbbell?

At first start with light weight before trying to lift heavy and practice regularly to became perfect in close grip bench press with dumbbell. Follow these steps;

Step 1.

Sit on a bench with dumbbells in each hand. Put the dumbbells together and press using neutral grip. Pull your shoulders down and back, and tighten your stomach.

Step 2.

Thereafter, lie down straight on the bench and hold the dumbbells on your chest. Press the weight inward as much as possible and tap your upper arms.

Step 3.

Push the weight over your chest until your arms are straight but not locked. Maintain stress on your pecs by pressing the weight together.

Step 4.

Slowly bring the dumbbell at the bottom to your chest and repeat. Do not rest on inward pressure, keep pushing the dumbbell together for the entire duration of your set.

Alternatives of Close Grip Bench Press With Dumbbell.

  • Barbell Close Grip Bench Press.
  • Smith Machine Close Grip Bench Press.
  • Diamond Press-Up.
  • Close-Grip Push-Up.
  • Push Press.
  • Pin Bench Press.
  • Board Press.

Barbell Close Grip Bench Press.

Like other bench press movements, it establish a strong base in which feet are placed on the floor, buttocks are contacted, and the upper back/shoulder should placed on the bench.

Make sure to repel the shoulder blade to consider a strong bench set up, do not move up the shoulders from the bench.

Tip: Hold the floor with your feet. Then, hold the bench with your buttocks and upper back.

Close Grip Bench Press
Barbell Close

How To Do Barbell Close Grip Bench Press.

  1. Keeping the hands inside the shoulder width, hold the barbell and make sure the bar is resting in the middle of your palm. The back should be folded upwards from the chest due to thoracic expansion.
  2. As you reduce the load, make sure to direct the elbows inward towards the body so that the triceps can withstand most of the freak loads. Barbell should make contact on the lower chest/sternum.
  3. Keep the barbell under control and make sure that the tension of the upper back does not subside, let the elbows out, or let the shoulders upwards from the bench.
  4. When contacting the sternum, hold the barbell firmly with the body using triceps and chest muscles. The legs, buttocks and back muscles should be contracted as they provide a stable base to press.
  5. Press your elbow inside, ensuring that triceps and chest tension are maintained.
  6. Think about pressing yourself deeply into the bench while pressing the weight upwards. It will often help weightlifters to maintain stiffness and stress in the back of the body.
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Smith Machine Close Grip Bench Press.

smith machine bench press
Smith Machine
  1. Place a bench in the middle of the smith machine and set the backrest angle to the flat.
  2. Lie down on the bench so that the bar suits your upper abs.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blade together and take back your scapula and then bend your lower back a little.
  4. Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip and tap your elbows on your sides.
  5. Rotate your wrist to open the bar and then lower the bar until it touches your upper abs.
  6. Punch your fists towards the roof and press the bar up and down.
  7. Lock your elbow and repeat for 3-4 sets of 6-1o reps.

Diamond Push Up.

It is a good alternative exercise of close grip bench press with dumbbell. Moving your hands together under your body creates a press up variation that mimics close grip bench presses more closely and achieves the same effect by targeting similar muscles.

Diamond Press-Up
Diamond Press-Up

To do this, place your hands under your chest and touch the thumb and index finger of each hand to form a diamond outline. Bend your elbows and rest your chest on the floor, make sure you don’t pull your elbows out too much.

Stop at the bottom during the movement, then push back to the top position powerfully. Diamond push up changes the thrust of exercise from your chest to your triceps, making it a big helpful move if you are facing difficulty doing close grip bench presses.

Read Now: What is Foam Rolling Exercise: Steps, Advantages and Types

Close Grip Push Up.

Close Grip
Close Grip Push Up

Close grip push up is another effective alternative of close grip bench press with dumbbell. This movement can be considered as effective for new athletes working to improve their form on the bench.

Close grip push up is a great option if you are looking for light volumes of weights for triceps, which is similar to close grip bench presses.

Push Press.

push press Close Grip Bench Press with Dumbbell
Push Press

Push press is an excellent overhead pressing movement that emphasizes triceps and shoulders. Similar to close grip bench press, push press is highly dependent on triceps lockout strength.

Pin Bench Press.

Pinch Press Close Grip Bench Press with Dumbbell
Pin Bench Press

Pin Press is a bench press variation that can be done to enhance strength of triceps. By setting the pins at predetermined height, usually 1-3 inches off from the chest at the bottom of the bench press, the lifter should rely on triceps and concentrated strength of the chest muscles to lift the load from the pin.

Board Press.

board press
Board Press Image Source: Board Presses

Board Press Motion is a partial category of press that separates triceps and chests similar to close grip bench presses. By pressing a close grip bench to a board (placed on the chest), the speed limit reduces the thickness of the board. This in turn restricts the horizontal expansion of the shoulder, resulting in high demand on triceps to increase the elbow.

Bottom Line.

The above mentioned exercise is effective to improve the strength of chest and triceps. It also enhance muscle growth and lockdown performance. Regular practice with proper form is most important factor in this exercise. However, you must strict to your diet to get the ultimate benefits from this exercise.

+2 Sources

Freaktofit has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, educational research institutes, and medical organizations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.

  2. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Pectoral Muscles;

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