When bodybuilders think about tricep training, they want a BIG compound lift that maximally taxes the tricep both concentrically and eccentrically. This means during the up and down portion of the lift. The close grip bench press achieves just that. By altering your hand position from a traditional bench press, you will place more emphasis on your triceps than the traditional bench press.
Performing the Close Grip Bench Press
Start the close grip bench press by setting up a traditional bench like you normally would. Load the bar with weight and lay back onto the bench. Looking up at the bar, place your hands one to two-hand widths inside your shoulders shoulder.
Pushup on the barbell lifting it off of the rack while keeping your arms straight. Center the barbell across the nipple line of your chest. Lower the weight toward your chest by bending your elbows AND allowing your elbows to stay tight to your body INSTEAD of moving outward and away from your body. If you allow your elbows to move outward, it will be more like the traditional bench.
Tap the barbell on your chest and then forcefully push up until your arms are straight.
Muscles Worked During the Close Grip Bench Press
The goal is to target your triceps; however, other muscles must also assist when performing the close grip bench press. Since it is a bench press, by nature, your pectoral muscles will have to help as well. Deltoid muscles are also activated during this lift to assist with stabilization.
Why Use the Close Grip Bench Press for Bodybuilding
Since your pectorals are involved during the close grip bench press, you can enhance the focus on your triceps by using a pre-fatiguing exercise. Performing a set of chest flies or wide pushups prior to the close grip bench press will wear out your chest. When you follow up with the close grip bench press your triceps will have to carry even more of the load.
Another reason bodybuilders should use the close grip bench press is for the negative aspect of the lift (lowering it toward your chest). This negative aspect produces more muscle damage in the triceps and will ultimately cause your triceps to grow at an accelerated rate. This idea has been proven by research repeatedly. Simply put, more muscular damage and growth occurs during the negative portion of a lift.
(TFSupplements is not responsible for any health complications stemming from this workout. Always consult an doctor before starting / changing a workout routine)