How to Do Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press Properly

The close grip dumbbell bench press is a variation of the bench press. It is a great upper body strength exercise that targets the chest.

The bench press involves you pressing dumbbells upwards while you are lying on a bench.

It is an important exercise for sports and activities that require the use of your chest and arm muscles.

To do this exercise:

  • Lie with your back flat to the bench.
  • Grip the dumbbells with your hands facing each other and about six inches apart and place them against your chest.
  • Exhale then lift the dumbbells off your chest until your arms are lengthened.
  • Inhale then lower the dumbbells slowly until they are above your chest.
  • Press the dumbbells as though you are pushing your body away from them. Push your arms until they are fully locked out so that you can get a quick rest before the next rep.

WHAT MUSCLES DO CLOSE GRIP DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS WORK

The close grip dumbbell press is a compound exercise. It works on multiple muscles and joints.

It targets muscles in the chest and arms.

1.      PECS

The close grip dumbbell press specifically targets the pectoralis major. These are the largest of the chest muscles.

It is found in the upper chest and fans from the shoulder to the breastbone.

The pecs help control the movement of the arm. They help with lateral, vertical and rotational movement.

2.      BICEPS BRACHII

This is the muscle that controls the movement of the shoulder and elbow.

It is a double-headed muscle with two locations of origin. The short head and the long head. The short head originates from the shoulder blade.

The long head originates just above the shoulder joint. They then join at the elbow.

The close grip dumbbell bench press activates the biceps brachii during liftin

3.      TRICEPS BRACHII

This is the muscle on the outer part of the upper arm.

It runs along the humerus between the shoulder and the elbow. It works with the biceps to enable extension and retraction of the forearm.

The triceps also stabilize your shoulder joint.

When performing the close grip dumbbell chest press, the triceps brachii help keep your shoulder stable and keep your elbow lengthened successfully.

4.      ANTERIOR DELTOID

The deltoid is the shoulder muscle. It is a large triangular muscle that sits over the shoulder.

The anterior deltoid is the front of the delts. It rises from your collar bone and connects to the humerus.

It helps your arm move up forward and to your center. Also, it helps you carry heavy objects away from your body.

It reduces the risk of injury to the humerus when carrying heavy loads.

CLOSE GRIP DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS BENEFITS

1.      HELPS BUILD LEAN MUSCLE MASS

The close grip dumbbell press helps with hypertrophy of the pecs.

It also helps build your biceps, triceps and shoulders.

The bench press allows the greatest load to be carried in weighed exercises. This exercise comes highly recommended if your goal is to build lean muscle mass in your upper body.

Due to the compound nature of the exercise, it helps strengthen your joints and muscles as well.

2.      INCREASED ATHLETIC ABILITY

Getting stronger from doing the close grip dumbbell bench press will also help with other pushing exercises.

You can use this exercise to increase your strength and resistance for other lifting exercises.

It will also help you throw further, push harder, resist forces better. This is a great exercise for swimmers, boxers, tennis players or golfers.

3.      IMPROVE BONE HEALTH

Lifting heavy loads helps your bones get denser and stronger.

Increased bone density reduces the risk of arthritis.

4.      IMPROVE METABOLISM

The close grip dumbbell bench press burns a lot of calories. It is a very taxing exercise, especially when done with control.

The more muscle you build; the more calories you burn even at rest.

This will improve your metabolism.

5.      REDUCE SHOULDER PAIN

Compared to the regular dumbbell bench press, the close grip dumbbell bench press puts less strain on your shoulders.

The close grip makes the exercise friendlier to your shoulders even when you are using a heavier load.

ALTERNATIVES TO CLOSE GRIP DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS

1.      PUSH-UP

This is an exercise that can be performed anywhere and doesn’t require any equipment,

To do this exercise:

  • Assume a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Position your head such that you’re looking ahead. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe.
  • Begin to bend your elbows until they’re at a 45-degree angle. Lower your body until your chest grazes the ground.
  • Push back to start for one rep.
  • Complete three sets of up to 12 reps.

2.      DUMBBELL FLY

You can’t use weights as heavy for a dumbbell fly as you would for the dumbbell press.

To do this exercise:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie with your back flat on a bench.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Extend your arms and bring the dumbbells over the middle of your chest. Ensure they are parallel to your body.
  • Slowly drop your arms to each side, flaring them out sideways in a controlled motion.
  • Stop when the dumbbells are at shoulder level.
  • Engage your chest muscles to bring the dumbbells back to the chest.
  • Complete three sets of up to 12 reps.

3.      CABLE CROSSOVER

  • Position two cables at the top rung.
  • Grab the handles with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body and you facing away from the machine.
  • Stagger your stance and lean forward.
  • Bend your elbows slightly and pull your hands together.
  • Stop when they touch.
  • Loosen the weight and allow your arms to come up past your shoulders then pull them together again.

CLOSE GRIP DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID

When doing the close grip dumbbell bench press, ensure your grip on the dumbbells is tight.

This will enable you to lower the dumbbells in a controlled motion and not just let them drop with gravity.

Ensure that you keep your back, hips, legs and glutes tight. When lowering the dumbbells, drive the force to push them back up through your feet. Don’t bounce the dumbbells off your chest.

Squeeze your shoulder blades even when you reach the top of the press.