Monday, December 14, 2009

What's The Best Bench Press Grip For Building The Chest?

It's Monday again and if you venture into the gym today no doubt you'll see countless guys lined up for their big bench press workout.

We're creatures of habit...
- For most guys Monday is always "Day 1".
- First day in the routine is always a "Chest Workout".
- First exercise for chest is always the "Bench Press".

I don't know why this came to be, but it just is...

For me personally I'd rather train any other bodypart besides chest on a Monday for the simple fact that all the benches are going to have guys lined up waiting to use them, and I hate waiting for equipment.

But if your workout today does happen to be a chest workout with the bench press as your main exercise, then I have a good training tip that you can use...

"What Is The Best Bench Press Grip For Building The Chest?"

Some lifters prefer a wide grip because it reduces the range of motion and generally makes it easier to lift more weight. However, the drawback to a wide grip is that it places more stress on your shoulders and increases your risk of a shoulder / rotator cuff injury.

The best grip for chest training is a medium width grip, with your elbows kept close to the sides of your body. This will place the most workload on your pecs, while minimizing the stress on your shoulder joints.

To prevent injury you should avoid wide grip benching with your upper arms pointed out at 90 degree angles from your body like T shape. Instead move your grip in a bit and keep your upper arms at a 45 degree angle to your torso. And bring the bar down low on your chest, while at the same try to expand your chest up to meet the bar.

To give you an idea of how to do this I recommend gripping the bar with your pinky fingers on the ring markers of the barbell. If you are taller then 6 foot then you may want to move your grip out so that your ring finger or middle finger is on the rings of the bar.

I would never recommend gripping the bar any wider then this, unless you are a powerlifter training with a bench press shirt, and that's a topic for another article entirely.

I especially recommend this medium width bench press grip for guys using my "Blast Your Bench" bench press specialization program at: http://www.BlastYourBench.com/mainpage.htm

One of the fastest ways to increase your bench press strength is to improve your lifting technique. Now granted anytime you change your lifting technique, there is usually a bit of a learning curve and it takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you'll notice the difference in strength and muscle fiber stimulation immediately.

Give this technique a try in your next bench press workout and then leave me a comment below to let me know how it works for you. Chances are you'll feel more of a "burn" in your pecs and less of a strain on your shoulders. And when you do you'll know that you just uncovered a hidden secret to helping you build a stronger, thicker, and more muscular chest!

29 comments:

  1. I thought that placing the arms at 45º or less the triceps were working more than pecs.

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  2. thanks for the tip lee. I like the grip theory. Tom venuto has an exercise where he goes from 60 degree incline to flat using a rest pause technique. That builds some serious muscle

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  3. nice blog, reads well - gym fitness equipment can be found, have a look.

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  4. I have read several items on how to do a bench press. I agree that an video would be very helpful. I also was led to believe that close/med grip works the triceps/arms more than the pecs.

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  5. great tip lee its the same method as the 45° db press you've talk about b4, when i tried that it took me a few sessions to get use to it and now i can lift 5kg more each db. Thank for the advise

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  6. Yes indeed it's a nice post, but we need visuals.

    Have a good day !

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  7. Lee, thanks for the tip. When I 1st began lifting I lifter like this, but because I was just weak and unlearned I wasn't getting far. A guy told me to widen my grip to take some stress off my tri's- like some guys have mentioned. The wide grip did increase my strength, but after I hurt my shoulder I have had to baby my shoulder with light weight. Last week I changed my grip inward and felt more work in my pecs than I used to, so I can attest that the medium grip is better! Thanks again Lee!

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  8. hey Lee, nice tip from you, but more useful if u provide or post video, thanks dear.

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  9. Post a video please, my english is not that good, so i need some pictures to understand all u said :)

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  10. come on guys your getting free tips and you want videos too.Buy the book.It should have every thing that u would need.

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  11. I've used the med. grip for about a year now and have added some serious weight to my bench (over 70lbs) in that time. I signed up for Lee's free e-mail tips and have used them in my workouts, try it, you will not be dissapointed! Thanks again Lee and keep the tips coming brother!

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  12. great post lee! i'm still trying to get the form down to habit, but i can feel a change for the difference even if (for now) the weight is a bit lower. and yeah - what's with the complaints about no vids? lovin the tips no matter the format lee - keep em' coming!

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  13. hey lee im nashon ive bee working out for a couple of months so far i finally develope a chest thank ...but i have a questions i hope u can answer, i am 6'3 so i burn fat pretty easy but its very very hard to gain muscle on my stubborn biceps whats the best workout 4 bicep growth...

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  14. Chest day for me is NEVER monday. In fact, I tend to do Chest on Wed. or Fri., just because I like starting with a problem area like Biceps or Back on day 1. Bench for me is an easy area, one I work for maintenance, not strength increase.

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  15. haha I always do chest on monday and i bench first today i achualy did that closer gripas well lol spot on man

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  16. I've been using this grip for many months now and it does work. I'v even shared this information with a few guys in the gym and they like it. (Yes, I am a female).

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  17. I do this all the time but thanks for discussing it more in depth; would be nice if there was a video though.

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  18. Ok, Ok, Ok... From the comments I think you want to see a video... Am I Right? LOL

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  19. yes video for the visual learner

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  20. Lee- thanks for this tip. I always used a shopulder width grip anyway, since I started natural bodybuilding my sophomore year, in 1972, after school in the weight room at Maine South High School(Park Ridge, IL.). I like how I not only get a great pump on my pecs, but my triceps, with the meduim/shoulder width grip. Natural bodybuilding & adding all-natural muscle mass gives my body a great feeling & confidence, which helps in any goal or hobby I pursue. Your bodybuilding pupil, David "ROCK" Nelson, film maker,actor,comic,former Marine & former boxer.
    www.psychotronic.info/ioam/rock/index.htm

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  21. Unfortunately, my cage is narrow so I have to use a wide-grip, but I am doing more DB work along with close-grip benches for tris.

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  22. hi lee. please send me tips for my stubborn deltoids and biceps. i have tried various techniques for more than 2 years now, without any success.

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  23. hello sir can u post video showing angles more clearative?

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  24. post a video please......

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