Understanding Close Grip Bench Press
The traditional bench press works the chest, deltoids, and triceps. The close grip bench press on the other hand can have benefits in all three regions, but it is the primary method by which bodybuilding increase muscle mass of the triceps in particular. It is an exercise that allows you to build strength and eventually mass in the triceps. When you utilize the close grip bench press, you focus the workout on your triceps. By bringing your hands closer together, nearer to the center of the weight and your body center, you limit the workout of the chest and deltoid muscles and focus the strain on your triceps. By doing so, you give your triceps one of the most hefty and strenuous workouts possible.
These presses are not for the fledgling bodybuilder. You need to have a high level of general fitness in order to perform these presses. In fact, doing so without the appropriate conditioning can result in serious injury. Many of those who are not yet up to the challenge of these presses will find that they are simply incapable of physically performing the move. If you find this to be the case, take it as a sign that you have more work to do before you are at the level where these presses will be beneficial to your long term goals. To perform the close grip style of bench presses, you'll need to ensure you are tucking your elbows in prior to pressing. This helps balance the weight and focus the workout on your triceps. There is significant muscle mass gain to be had by performing these presses correctly.
Performing the lift correctly means keeping your elbows tucked, but it also means you need to keep your upper arms close to your body as well. By limiting the involvement of your upper arms, you shift the majority of the stress of lifting to your triceps. You should begin your close grip bench press workouts with lighter weights, building your strength and abilities over time. Starting with too heavy of a weight can cause you to perform the presses incorrectly. This can result in injury but can also defeat the purpose of the press by requiring you to use other muscle groups to compensate for limited tricep fortitude.
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