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The Best Alternatives to the Close Grip Bench Press

The close grip bench press is a staple in many weightlifting routines. However, there are a number of great alternatives that can help you build muscle in the same way without having access to the same equipment. In this article, we will discuss the best close grip bench press alternative exercises and how to perform them properly. We’ll also focus on the exercise variations and common mistakes people make with these exercises. So if you’re looking for an effective way to add some size and strength, read on!

The Benefit of Close Grip Bench Press Alternative Exercises

One of the main benefits of close grip bench press alternative exercises is that they can help you build muscle in the same way without having access to the same equipment. Another benefit is that these exercises can be performed with a variety of different weights, making them ideal for both beginners and experienced lifters alike. Additionally, close grip bench press alternative exercises are relatively easy to learn and perform, meaning you won’t have to spend hours in the gym perfecting your technique.

How to Perform the Close Grip Bench Press

Before performing the close grip bench press it is important to warm up thoroughly. A good way to warm up is by performing some light cardio and dynamic stretching. Once you are warmed up, adjust the safety bars on the weight bench so that they are in line with your chest. Next, lie down on the bench and grasp the barbell with your hands placed close together. From here, slowly lower the barbell to your chest and then press it back up to the starting position. Remember to keep your elbows close to your sides throughout the entire movement and exhale as you press the barbell up.

When performing the close grip bench press, it is important to use a weight that challenges you but does not compromise your form. If you are using too much weight, you will likely sacrifice your form in order to lift the barbell. This can lead to injury and is not an effective way to build muscle. It is also important to focus on quality over quantity when performing this exercise. Rather than trying to lift as much weight as possible, focus on using a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with perfect form.

Variations of the Close Grip Bench Press

There are a number of close grip bench press variations that you can perform in order to target different muscle groups.

Exercise #1: Diamond Push-Ups

The diamond push-up is a close grip bench press variation that targets the triceps. This movement is similar to a standard push-up, but your hands are placed close together in a diamond shape.

To perform this exercise:

  • Start in a standard push-up position with your hands close together in a diamond shape.

  • Lower yourself down to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides.

  • Once your chest touches the ground, press back up to the starting position and repeat for reps.

It is possible to add weight to this exercise by wearing a weighted vest or holding a weight plate close to your chest.

Diamond Push-Up Common Mistakes

When performing the diamond push-up, it is important to keep your elbows close to your sides. Many people make the mistake of allowing their elbows to flare out, which takes the focus off of the triceps and puts unnecessary stress on the shoulders. Additionally, be sure to lower yourself all the way down to the ground and press back up with control. Do not allow your body to sag in the middle or rock back and forth.

Exercise #2: Dips

Dips are another great close grip bench press variation that targets the triceps. This exercise can be performed with or without weight, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced lifters alike.

To perform this exercise:

  • Start by holding onto a dip bar with your hands close together.

  • From here, lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.

  • Once your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, press back up to the starting position and repeat for reps.

If you want to add weight to this exercise, you can do so by wearing a weighted vest or holding a dumbbell between your feet.

Dip Common Mistakes

When performing dips, it is important to keep a tall posture and avoid rounding your shoulders. Additionally, be sure to not lean too far forward or backward. Doing so will put unnecessary stress on your shoulders and could lead to injury. Finally, be sure to lower yourself down under control and press back up with control. Do not allow your body to swing back and forth.

Exercise #3: Dumbbell Close Grip Floor Press

The close grip floor press is a variant of the close grip bench press that focuses on the triceps. This exercise is similar to the standard close grip bench press, but it is performed on the ground instead of on a weight bench.

To perform this exercise:

  • Start by lying on the ground with dumbbells close to your chest.

  • From here, press the dumbbells up until your arms are extended.

  • Once your arms are extended, lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat for reps.

Close Grip Floor Press Common Mistakes

When performing the close grip floor press, it is important to keep your elbows close to your sides. Many people make the mistake of allowing their elbows to flare out, which takes the focus off of the triceps and puts unnecessary stress on the shoulders. Additionally, be sure to lower the dumbbells all the way down to your chest and press them back up with control.

Exercise #4: Skull Crushers

Skull crushers are a close grip bench press variation that targets the triceps. This exercise is performed with dumbbells or an EZ bar.

To perform this exercise:

  • Start by lying on a weight bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

  • From here, hold a dumbbell in each hand or an EZ bar above your chest with your elbows extended.

  • Lower the weight down to your forehead, maintaining a close grip.

  • Once the weight reaches your forehead, press it back up to the starting position and repeat for reps.

Skull Crusher Common Mistakes

When performing skull crushers, it is important to keep your elbows close to your sides. Many people make the mistake of allowing their elbows to flare out, which takes the focus off of the triceps and puts unnecessary stress on the shoulders. Additionally, be sure to lower the weight all the way down to your forehead and press it back up with control.

Exercise #5: Triceps Kickbacks

Triceps kickbacks are a close grip bench press variation that targets the triceps. This exercise is performed with dumbbells.

To perform this exercise:

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.

  • From here, bend forward at the waist and keep your back straight.

  • Once you are in position, extend your arms back until they are parallel to the ground.

  • From here, flex your triceps and return your arms to the starting position.

Triceps Kickback Common Mistakes

When performing triceps kickbacks, it is important to keep a tall posture and avoid rounding your back. Additionally, be sure to keep your elbows close to your sides and do not allow them to flare out. Doing so will take the focus off of the triceps and put unnecessary stress on the shoulders. Finally, be sure to extend your arms all the way back and flex your triceps at the top of the movement.

Summary

In conclusion, the close grip bench press is a great exercise for building muscle in the triceps. However, there are several close grip bench press alternative exercises that you can use to target the triceps. These exercises include dips, the close grip floor press, skull crushers, and triceps kickbacks. When performing these exercises, be sure to keep your elbows close to your sides and avoid flaring them out. Avoid this by keeping your elbows pointing straight up throughout the entire lift. This will allow your triceps to receive maximum priority while also minimizing shoulder strain.

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