Triceps - Close Bench Press

Triceps - Close Bench Press
This variation of the bench press really works the triceps. It’s also a good way to build wrist strength, as you have to keep it balanced for the whole rep. Main muscle targeted – Triceps and Helper muscles – Pectorals


  • Compound exercise
  • Main muscle targeted – Triceps
  • Helper muscles – Pectorals

Male | Female


As with regular bench press, get a spotter. It can be harder to control the downward portion of the rep than you might think. Better to have someone ready to take the weight than drop it on your chest. Lay on the bench with your heels on the ground, hips and shoulders in the bench. Grip the bar in the rack about shoulder width apart, with your palms facing towards your feet. While flexing from your legs to your shoulders, take the weight off the rack. Press the weight up, keeping it level with your shoulder line. It shouldn’t arc upwards to your eyes, or downward to your belly at all. When pressing, keep your feet planted firmly and actively drive them downward during the lift. A tight lower body will give you more control over the lift, meaning you can lift higher and heavier. When returning the weight to your chest, don’t just let it drop. Pull it down and control it. It should not touch your chest at all, but come to a stop just a fraction before that. Keep your elbows close to your body.

Why it’s good:

Besides the triceps, your forearms and wrists get a decent workout here too. These are often neglected, but strengthening them means you’ll be much more likely to avoid injury in other exercises.

What to watch out for:

Be sure your spotter understands you. If you’re in danger of losing control, they should step in and take the weight. They should understand when you’re pushing yourself, and when you need their help. If in doubt, they should step in. You can always do one more rep later, but being crushed under a bar is not helping your fitness goals.

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