How To Do Neutral Grip Bench Press Properly

The neutral grip bench press is an upper body exercise that will place more emphasis on your chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles.

The neutral grip emphasized on this routine will facilitate the concentration of work on the triceps muscles and chest while on the other hand reducing the strain placed on the shoulder joints.

This exercise is a variation of the classic bench press and will see your palms facing each other rather than facing forward in the conventional bench press.

This article will look at the neutral grip bench press and some of the interesting topics under it such as its benefits, muscles hit, and alternative exercises among others.

WHY NEUTRAL GRIP?

The neutral grip that is focused on in the neutral grip bench press is responsible for putting your elbows closer to the sides, hence putting more work on the triceps and chest muscles.

One of the outstanding attributes of the bench press exercise is its versatility. Its ability to propagate into multiple types for effectivity purposes.

When it comes to these variations, some lifters limit themselves to versions such as inclined and declined bench presses.

You are part of this group whereby, you have tried changing the sets and reps and even resistance of your bench press in order to break the common exercise plateau that comes with redundancy.

Amidst all these, you may have overlooked one small and simple tweak- using a neutral grip that will see you go over this plateau.

Below are more detailed reasons why you should go for the neutral grip.

LIMITED SHOULDER DISCOMFORTS

One of the main reasons prompting lifters to go for the neutral grip is the minimal shoulder pains associated with it compared to the conventional bench presses.

If you are a lifter and would want to go on with your training despite the shoulder injuries you have, this type of grip is suitable for you as it will not put much stress on your injured or sore shoulders.

BETTER SPORTS PERFORMANCE

Although this will depend on the type of sports you are practicing. But generally, the neutral grip will help to avoid potential negative impact on your shoulder hence improving your overall performance.

FOCUS ON THE TRICEPS

Compared to the level of activation on the triceps in the close grip press, the triceps will be more activated in the neutral grip press.

HOW TO DO NEUTRAL GRIP BENCH PRESS PROPERLY

Here, you will be required to use dumbbells as your resistance because they are more suitable. Since you will need your palms to face each other, using weights like a barbell might make this impossible.

Below is an instruction manual on how to get this variation of bench press correct.

Grab two dumbbells, one in each hand, and lie back on to a flat bench. Ensure that your feet are flat on the ground and your shoulders are retracted.

Set your palms into a neutral grip position, that is, facing each other, and be sure to maintain this position throughout the exercise.

Start with your hands extended directly above you and perpendicular to the floor. This is your starting position.

Start the movement by flexing both your elbows and lowering your upper arms to the sides. Lower them until the dumbbells are at your torso’s level.

Pause for a count or to and extend the elbows back to the starting position. This is one rep. Continue for the desired number of reps.

COMMON NEUTRAL GRIP BENCH PRESS MISTAKES TO AVOID

Avoid flaring your elbows as this will divert the focus of the exercise from the targeted muscles.

Avoid hyperextending your neck as this will cause injuries. To achieve this, consider maintaining a neutral spine all through.

WHAT MUSCLES DO THE NEUTRAL GRIP BENCH PRESS WORK?

The neutral grip bench press is an exercise that primarily targets the pectoralis major of the chest, the anterior deltoids of the shoulders and the triceps brachii located on your upper arms.

PECTORALIS MAJOR

This is a large muscle located in your upper chest. It fans across your chest from your shoulder to your breast bone.

These two muscles commonly referred to as pecs are responsible for creating the bulk of the chest which when worked during the neutral grip bench press increases in size.

ANTERIOR DELTOID

The deltoid muscle is located on the outer part of your shoulder and can be recognized by its triangular shape.

This muscle allows for all the arm rotation and enables a person to keep the carried objects at a safer distance away from the body, as in lifting the dumbbells in the neutral grip bench press.

TRICEPS BRACHII

This is a major component of your upper arm and runs along the humerus and elbows.

It allows for the extension of the elbows and retraction of the arm, as in during pressing while performing this routine.

NEUTRAL GRIP BENCH PRESS BENEFITS

Useful in sports: As mentioned before, this exercise helps to protect your shoulder hence increasing your sports performance.

Can lift heavier weights: This exercise is actually friendly to heavier weights, compared to the weight limitations in the traditional bench press.

Growth of triceps and chest muscles: Since this exercise mainly targets these two muscles, it will enhance their growth hence an increase in their size.

Improved mind-muscle connection: This exercise is a great way to focus on stretching your pecs and at the same time paying attention to the mind-muscle connection of the movement (maintaining the neutral grip).

NEUTRAL GRIP BENCH PRESS ALTERNATIVES

ALTERNATING DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS

This alternative builds strength throughout the body, specifically targeting your chest.

ALTERNATING NEUTRAL GRIP DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS

This alternative works the same muscles as the neutral grip bench press. These include pecs, triceps brachii, and delts.

TAKE AWAY

The neutral grip bench press is a great exercise. However, just like any other exercise, it has its time in the workout. It is most suitable when working around shoulder issues.