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Abstract

THE CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS HAS RECEIVED LIMITED ANALYSIS IN THE PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE. THEREFORE, THIS ARTICLE WILL REVIEW THE EXISTING LITERATURE THAT DOCUMENTS THE TECHNIQUE, MUSCLE ACTIVATION CHANGES THAT OCCUR WHEN PERFORMING THIS EXERCISE, AND THE RESULTING IMPLICATIONS. THIS RELATES TO POTENTIAL HYPERTROPHY AND STRENGTH ADAPTATIONS THAT MAY RESULT FOR MUSCLES INVOLVED IN ELBOW EXTENSION (E.G., TRICEPS BRACHII) AND ARM FLEXION (E.G., PECTORALIS MAJOR), AS WELL AS SPORT-SPECIFIC POWER ADAPTATIONS. THE BENEFITS OF USING A CLOSER GRIP DURING THE BENCH PRESS FOR CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED. LAST, THE EXECUTION OF THIS EXERCISE (STARTING POSITION, BAR DESCENT, AND BAR ASCENT) WILL BE DETAILED.
The Close-Grip Bench
Press
Robert G. Lockie, PhD
1
and Matthew R. Moreno, BSc
2
1
Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California; and
2
Department of Kinesiology,
California State University, Northridge, Northridge, California
ABSTRACT
THE CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS
HAS RECEIVED LIMITED ANALYSIS
IN THE PROFESSIONAL LITERA-
TURE. THEREFORE, THIS ARTICLE
WILL REVIEW THE EXISTING LIT-
ERATURE THAT DOCUMENTS THE
TECHNIQUE, MUSCLE ACTIVATION
CHANGES THAT OCCUR WHEN
PERFORMING THIS EXERCISE,
AND THE RESULTING IMPLICA-
TIONS. THIS RELATES TO POTEN-
TIAL HYPERTROPHY AND
STRENGTH ADAPTATIONS THAT
MAY RESULT FOR MUSCLES
INVOLVED IN ELBOW EXTENSION
(E.G., TRICEPS BRACHII) AND ARM
FLEXION (E.G., PECTORALIS
MAJOR), AS WELL AS SPORT-
SPECIFIC POWER ADAPTATIONS.
THE BENEFITS OF USING A
CLOSER GRIP DURING THE
BENCH PRESS FOR CERTAIN IN-
DIVIDUALS WILL BE ACKNOWL-
EDGED. LAST, THE EXECUTION OF
THIS EXERCISE (STARTING POSI-
TION, BAR DESCENT, AND BAR
ASCENT) WILL BE DETAILED.
INTRODUCTION
The bench press is one of the
foundational exercises used to
develop upper-body pushing
strength in athletes (1,18,28) and is also
used to encourage muscle hypertrophy
in the upper body (25). The exercise is
relatively easy to perform and can be
taught to most individuals. In the
traditional bench press, the individual
selects a grip width that provides the
ideal mechanical advantage, and thus
allows them to generate the greatest
force and power relative to their
anthropometry and strength. The grip
width will likely fall within a range of
165–200% of biacromial distance (39).
Biacromial distance is typically mea-
sured as the breadth between the most
lateral points on the acromion pro-
cesses (40). Although typically per-
formed with a barbell, the bench
press exercise can be performed with
dumbbells (19), a machine (15), and on
incline or decline benches (17,32). The
traditional bench press performed on
a flat bench can also be modified by
altering the width of the grip on
the bar.
The close-grip bench press is a varia-
tion of the traditional bench press
exercise (5,9,28,39), which could be
used for both hypertrophy and
strength purposes. This version of the
bench press is performed with a nar-
rower grip, typically with the hands
positioned on the bar a distance equiv-
alent to 95–100% of biacromial dis-
tance (5,9,28,39). The hand position
for the close-grip bench press, versus
that for the traditional bench press, can
be seen in Figure 1. Lehman (28) noted
that the close-grip bench press is pop-
ular, as it was anecdotally thought that
greater emphasis would be placed on
the triceps brachii, which could poten-
tially lead to increases in size of these
muscles. As will be discussed, there are
changes to the degree of activations for
the prime movers within the bench
press that provide credence to this
belief (5,9,28). In addition to this, there
could be application to sports perfor-
mance when using the close-grip
bench press for strength development.
Many sports require explosive flexion
of the shoulders and extension of the
elbows to drive the hands forward
from a position that starts with the
elbow being kept close to the frame
of the torso (10,11,24,34,41,42). Some
examples of this include blocking by
offensive linemen in football (34),
fending in rugby (41,42), and passing
the ball in basketball and netball
(10,11,24). Given the potential applica-
tion of the close-grip bench press for
both general and athletic populations,
it is important for the strength and con-
ditioning professional to understand
this exercise and its applications.
Greater understanding of the close-
grip bench press relates to the technical
changes that may occur in this exercise
when compared with a traditional
bench press, and the differences in
muscle activation patterns.
CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS
TECHNIQUE
The general movement patterns
between the traditional and close-grip
bench press are relatively similar (14).
However, there are certain technical
changes that should be noted. These
changes can influence the load lifted,
with a close-grip bench press usually
resulting in lighter maximal loads when
Address correspondence to Dr. Robert G.
Lockie, rlockie@fullerton.edu.
KEY WORDS:
biacromial distance; grip width; pec-
torals; triceps brachii; upper-body
power
Copyright National Strength and Conditioning Association Strength and Conditioning Journal | www.nsca-scj.com 1
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
compared with bench presses using
wider grip widths (18,39). Gomo and
van den Tillaar (18) conducted a 3-
dimensional motion analyses of wide,
medium, and narrow (i.e., close) grip
maximal bench presses to investigate
the sticking region of these exercises
in male powerlifters. The sticking
region is the section of the lift where
the upward velocity of the bar is
momentarily decreased (30) and has
been described as the duration from
peak barbell velocity until the first
local minimum velocity (12,29,35).
This is the point within a lift where
an individual may have trouble in mov-
ing the bar and may require assistance
from a spotter and is typically mea-
sured as the height of the bar relative
to the chest (37,38). The wide,
medium, and narrow grip widths were
defined with mean distances of 74.54 6
9.75 centimeters (cm), 56.79 66.04
cm, and 39.17 63.51 cm, respectively.
The bench press with the narrow grip
featured greater shoulder flexion at the
start of bar ascent, first peak velocity,
and the first local minimum velocity.
Shoulder abduction was also lower at
the start of bar ascent and at first peak
velocity. Gomo and van den Tillaar
(18) found the lightest load was lifted
with the narrow grip, which was
related to reductions in the moment
arms of the elbow and shoulder joints
during the bench press. This would
likely result in lower torque generation
at each joint, which in turn can reduce
the force that can be generated against
the bar. However, perhaps because
of the lighter load, Gomo and van den
Tillaar (18) also noted that the bench
press performed with the narrow grip
had a greater peak velocity when com-
pared with the other 2 bench press ex-
ercises. This could have implications for
the use of the close-grip bench press as
amorepower-basedorspeed-based
resistance exercise.
The location of the sticking region
within the bench press can also be
influenced by the grip width. Gomo
and van den Tillaar (18) found that
the peak velocity, and local minimum
velocity, occurred higher above the
chest for a maximal bench press per-
formed with a narrow grip by male
powerlifters. This is important, as spot-
ters should be aware of when the stick-
ing region may occur for an individual
within the close-grip bench press. Nev-
ertheless, despite these technical varia-
tions, there is still application for the
close-grip bench press in hypertrophy
or strength training programs. This is
further emphasized when considering
which muscles are most active within
the close-grip bench press.
CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS AND
MUSCLE ACTIVATION
As stated previously, the close-grip
bench press was often used with the
belief that the triceps would be targeted
more within this exercise than the tradi-
tional bench press (28). Several studies
have indicated that this is indeed the case
(5,9,28). Barnett et al. (5) compared the
muscle activity of the sternocostal and
clavicular head of the pectoralis major,
anterior deltoid, and long head of the
triceps brachii using the bench press
with a narrow (100% of biacromial dis-
tance) or wide (200% of biacromial dis-
tance) grip lifting 80% of one-repetition
maximum in weight-trained men. The
narrow grip led to reduced activity of
the anterior deltoid when compared
with the wide grip, but no effect on
the sternocostal head of the pectoralis
major. Interestingly, both the clavicular
head of the pectoralis major and long
head of the triceps brachii experienced
greater activity during the bench press
with the narrow grip. Barnett et al. (5)
stated that the greater activation of the
triceps brachii was likely because of
a greater range of elbow motion in the
bench press with the narrow grip, which
demanded a greater recruitment of
motor units for this muscle.
Clemons and Aaron (9) measured the
activity of the pectoralis major, anterior
deltoid, triceps brachii, and biceps bra-
chii during the bench press across
a range of grip widths (100, 130, 165,
and 190% of biacromial distance) in
strength-trained men. As for Barnett
et al. (5), 80% of one-repetition maxi-
mum was used for the bench press ex-
ercises. The collective activity of each
Figure 1. The hand position and grip width for the close-grip (A) and traditional (B) bench press.
Close-Grip Bench Press
VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017
2
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
of these muscles was lowest in the
bench press with the narrowest grip
width (100% of biacromial distance).
However, there were no significant dif-
ferences between individual muscles
across the different grip widths, and
the triceps brachii were highly active
in all bench press conditions. Lehman
(28) compared the activity of the cla-
vicular and sternoclavicular portions of
the pectoralis major, in addition to the
lateral head of the triceps brachii, in
weight-trained men completing a bench
press with a grip width of 100%,
approximately 150% (the midpoint
between the 100 and 200% biacromial
distance grip widths), and 200% of bia-
cromial distance. The subjects selected
a load that they could complete 12 rep-
etitions, and the same load was used for
all grip conditions. The results from
Lehman (28) indicated that there
was no effect of grip width for the
activity of the clavicular portion of
the pectoralis major. Although activity
of the sternoclavicular portion of the
pectoralis major tended to decrease
with reduced grip width, the activity
of the lateral head of the triceps bra-
chii significantly increased. Lehman
(28) noted that this result followed
conventional wisdom that a narrower
grip resulted in increased activation of
the triceps brachii.
Collectively considering the results of
these studies (5,9,28), it can be
observed that even though there may
be greater contributions from the tri-
ceps brachii, the pectoralis major is still
highly active in the close-grip bench
press. Furthermore, Lehman (28) rec-
ommended that the choice of grip
width for the bench press should be
guided by the requirements of the ath-
lete’s sport. This has implications for
individuals involved in sports, which
involve forceful flexion of the shoulders
and extension of the elbows during the
performance of certain skills, as well as
those who may have restrictions in
performing the traditional bench press.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS FOR USING
THE CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS
The potential benefits and adaptations
that could result from the regular use of
the close-grip bench will occur within
the context of the technique (18) and
muscle activation (5,9,28) that occur
during this lift. For example, and as pre-
viously noted, the close-grip bench
press has often been used as an exercise
to encourage hypertrophy of the triceps
brachii (28). However, the pectoralis
major is still highly active in the
close-grip bench press (5,28). Thus, if
the loading, sets, and repetition ranges
are appropriate, regular use of the
close-grip bench press should contrib-
ute to hypertrophy of those muscles
(i.e., the triceps brachii and pectoralis
major, and to a lesser extent the ante-
rior deltoids) involved in flexing the
shoulders and extending the elbows.
Gomo and van den Tillaar (18) noted
that the close-grip bench features
reduced shoulder abduction, which
means the arms are kept close to the
frameofthetorsobeforetheyare
extended. This movement is like
many of the pushing actions required
in sports. For example, the chest pass
in basketball and netball uses this type
of arm action from a standing position
(10,11,24). In addition to this, the
medicine ball chest pass, which is
used as a test of upper-body power,
hasanactionliketheclose-gripbench
press, as the hands are positioned
closer to the frame of the body to hold
the medicine ball (10,22,36). The
close-grip bench press could be used
to develop the strength foundation
required for the upper-body power
demands required in court sports such
as basketball and netball.
Contact and invasion sports also
require force development from
a hand position close to the frame of
the body. An excellent example of this
is for offensive linemen in American
football. Blocking requires linemen
to drive their hands into an opponent
in the chest region to knock them off-
balanceormovetheminacertain
direction (34). If the hands are posi-
tioned too wide, the block will be
ineffective. Fending, or “throwing
a stiff-arm,” is also a necessary skill
in American football and sports such
as rugby league and rugby union
(41,42). Although this is a unilateral
action, the fend or stiff-arm is often
initiated from a position where the
shoulder is adducted and held closer
to the body, before the forearm is then
forcefully extended into the opponent.
The close-grip bench press could be
used as a supplemental exercise for
strength development within the ac-
tions that are required for invasion
sports.
Bench pressing with a closer grip may
also be beneficial for those individuals
who find pressing with a wider grip
uncomfortable. The use of a wider grip
($1.5 times biacromial distance) can
place undue stress on the shoulder joint
for some individuals because of the
shoulder horizontal abduction that oc-
curs during bar descent (13,21,23). This
can be exacerbated if the arms are low-
ered below the torso (26), which can
occur during a bench press with a wider
grip (18). As a result, Haupt (23) rec-
ommended using a narrower grip for
those individuals who experience
shoulder discomfort when performing
the traditional bench press. The results
from Barnett et al. (5) and Lehman (28)
indicate that even with the close grip,
the pectoralis major is highly active in
the close-grip bench press, and could
still experience hypertrophy and
strength adaptations with long-term
use of this exercise.
It should be emphasized that this
review does not to suggest that the tra-
ditional bench press be eliminated from
hypertrophy or strength training re-
gimes. Rather, this information high-
lights that the close-grip bench press
would be an appropriate upper-body
strength exercise variation for many
members of the general population,
and athletes as well. In addition to this,
individuals who want to limit excessive
shoulder horizontal abduction during
the bench press could use the close-
grip variation (13,21,23,26). Strength
and conditioning professionals who
decide to use the close-grip bench press
in programs for their athletes or clients
should use the typical guidelines for
resistance training. Kuntz et al. (27)
summarized the general load, volume,
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Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
and intensity guidelines provided by the
National Strength and Conditioning
Association, and these are adapted
here and shown in the Table. This
table documents how the strength
and conditioning professional could
program the close-grip bench press
to encourage hypertrophy, maximal
strength, and peak power. If the
strength and conditioning profes-
sional is using the close-grip bench
press to maximize power, it is recom-
mended that a load equaling approx-
imately 30–50% of one-repetition
maximum is used (3,8,33,43). The
actual load used depends on the
strength level of the athlete, as stron-
ger athletes may generate peak power
at a heavier load when compared with
weaker athletes (3,4). This will ensure
that the bar is moved with a higher
velocity, which should engender a more
optimal crossover to the power-based
actions required in different sports
(10,11,24,34,41,42).
EXERCISE EXECUTION
The execution of the traditional bench
press has been described previously
(1,2,14,16,19,20,31). Nevertheless, the
execution of the close-grip bench press
exercise will be illustrated here, and
this description is adapted from Gra-
ham (20). Fry (14) briefly described the
close-grip bench press, and noted that
the execution of the close-grip bench
press is basically the same as that for
the barbell bench press, save for the
positioning of the hands. This exercise
description will involve the use of a flat
bench. Figure 2A displays the starting
position for the close-grip bench press.
Figure 2B shows the bottom position
for this lift.
STARTING POSITION
The barbell should be positioned
on 2 equal standards or back stops
at a height where the individual can
unrack the bar relatively comfort-
ably (the elbows should be slightly
bent when grasping the bar in this
position). The narrower grip could
change where the bar is positioned
in the back stops compared with
the traditional bench press. Fry
(14) has recommended the use of
a higher standard or back-stop
position for the bar.
The individual should lie supine
on the flat bench, with the head,
shoulders, upper-back, and buttocks
Tab l e
General resistance training guidelines for hypertrophy, maximal strength,
and peak power that can be used for the close-grip bench press
Hypertrophy Maximal strength Peak power
Load 67–85% $85% 30–50%
Sets 3–6 2–6 3–5
Repetitions 6–12 #6#6
Rest ½–1½ min 2–5 min 2–5 min
The load is presented as a percentage of one-repetition maximum. Adapted from Kuntz et al.
(27). The loads for peak power are based on findings and recommendations previous research
(3,8,33,43).
Figure 2. The start and finish (A) and bottom (B) position for the close-grip bench press.
Close-Grip Bench Press
VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017
4
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
contacting the bench. The feet
should be placed firmly on the floor.
If the bench is too high for the indi-
vidual to do this, then aerobic steps
or another bench can be used to pro-
vide this support. In this position, the
head should be positioned under-
neath the barbell.
The hands should be positioned on
the bar at approximately the bia-
cromial distance for the individual,
or slightly less than this (i.e.,
between 95 and 100% of biacromial
distance). A closed, pronated grip
should be used. Because of this
hand position, and depending on
the height of the standards or back
stops, a spotter may be required to
assist with lift-off.
The barbell should then be pressed
from this position (with assistance if
required), such that the elbows are
fully extended (Figure 2A). This is
the starting position.
BAR DESCENT—ECCENTRIC
PHASE
The individual should inhale dur-
ing the eccentric phase of the lift.
The bar should be lowered in
a slow and controlled fashion
toward the chest. Throughout the
eccentric phase of the close-grip
bench press, the head, shoulders,
upper-back, and buttocks should
remain in contact with the bench,
whereas the feet should also
remain in contact with the floor
(or other supportive equipment
such as a step or bench).
The elbows should be tucked toward
the sides of the body and not al-
lowed to flare out. As noted by Gra-
ham (20), the wrists should be kept
firm and rigid so that the bar does
not slip into the distal portion of the
hand and remains above the longitu-
dinal axis of the ulna.
The forearms should be relatively
parallel to one another and perpen-
dicular to the floor, such that the bar
can be lowered to the level of the
xiphoid process of the sternum
(Figure 2B). As long as the individual
has no physical restrictions, the bar
should slightly contact the chest to
ensure a full range of motion (7). The
bar should not be bounced off
the chest. Depending on whether
the grip width was 100% of biacro-
mial width or slightly less, the hands
may also contact the chest.
BAR ASCENT—CONCENTRIC
PHASE
The individual should exhale during
the concentric phase of the lift. If the
focus of the exercise is on strength or
power development, the bar should
be driven from the chest as quickly
as possible. Even though a heavier
load will result in a relatively slower
bar velocity, the intent to move a load
is important for the improvement of
power (6).
Throughout the concentric phase of
the close-grip bench press, the head,
shoulders, upper-back, and buttocks
should remain in contact with the
bench, whereas the feet should also
remain in contact with the floor (or
other supportive equipment such as
a step or bench). The pelvis should
not be lifted from the bench, and the
natural lordosis of the spine should
be maintained.
The wrists should remain rigid and
the forearms relatively parallel to
each other and perpendicular to
the floor. The elbows should not
be allowed to flare out and should
be kept close to the side of the body.
The barbell should be pressed until
the elbows are fully extended, but
not forcefully locked out (20). When
the close-grip bench press is com-
pleted, the bar should be in line with
the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints
(Figure 2A).
When the set is completed, the bar
should be returned to the standards
or back stops. Again, because of the
narrow grip width, the spotter may
need to assist the individual in re-
turning the bar. The grip should
not be released until the bar is safely
in the standards or back stops (the
spotter can communicate this to the
lifter as well).
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding:
The authors report no conflicts of interest
and no source of funding.
Robert Lockie
is an Assistant
Professor in
Strength and
Conditioning at
the Department
of Kinesiology
within Califor-
nia State Uni-
versity, Fullerton,
and conducts research into speed and
agility, strength and conditioning, post-
activation potentiation, team sport
analysis, and analysis of law enforcement
and tactical populations.
Matthew
Moreno is
a Bachelor of
Kinesiology grad-
uate from Cali-
fornia State
University,
Northridge, will
be commencing
a Masters in
Strength and Conditioning at California
State University, Fullerton, and has
conducted research into strength and
conditioning, team sport analysis, and
analysis of law enforcement and tactical
populations.
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Close-Grip Bench Press
VOLUME 0 | NUMBER 0 | MONTH 2017
6
Copyright ªNational Strength and Conditioning Association. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
... The close-grip bench press (CGBP) is a variation of the TBP which is often used to emphasize the triceps over prime movers such as the pectoralis major (Barnett, Kippers, & Turner, 1995;Lehman, 2005;Lockie & Moreno, 2017). There is less shoulder abduction during this exercise which keeps the hands closer to the torso (Gomo & Van Den Tillaar, 2016), and this exercise can feature grip widths of 95-100% of BAD (Clemons & Aaron, 1997;Lehman, 2005;Lockie et al., 2017a;Lockie et al., 2017b;Lockie & Moreno, 2017;Wagner et al., 1992). ...
... The close-grip bench press (CGBP) is a variation of the TBP which is often used to emphasize the triceps over prime movers such as the pectoralis major (Barnett, Kippers, & Turner, 1995;Lehman, 2005;Lockie & Moreno, 2017). There is less shoulder abduction during this exercise which keeps the hands closer to the torso (Gomo & Van Den Tillaar, 2016), and this exercise can feature grip widths of 95-100% of BAD (Clemons & Aaron, 1997;Lehman, 2005;Lockie et al., 2017a;Lockie et al., 2017b;Lockie & Moreno, 2017;Wagner et al., 1992). In addition to changing the muscle activation patterns, Lockie et al. (2017a) suggested that the CGBP could be more specific to actions required in different sporting activities, including: fending in rugby union or league (Wheeler & Sayers, 2009;Wheeler & Sayers, 2011); blocking in American football (Stokes, Luiselli, Reed, & Fleming, 2010); and performing a chest pass in basketball and netball (Cronin & Owen, 2004;Delextrat & Cohen, 2009). ...
... More importantly, what this data suggests is that greater or lesser AS may not effect on the generation of power, velocity, and force in the TBP and CGBP, and the potential adaptations that could result from using these exercises in training. This is useful information, as the TBP commonly features in resistance training programs (Baker, 2001;Coutts, Murphy, & Dascombe, 2004;Crewther, Heke, & Keogh, 2013;Drinkwater et al., 2005;Marston et al., 2017), and the CGBP could be used to specifically target sport-specific actions (Lockie et al., 2017a;Lockie et al., 2017b;Lockie & Moreno, 2017). Regardless of an individual's AS, they could use the TBP and CGBP to potentially enhance upper-body power, velocity, and force and during pushing movements. ...
Article
Full-text available
The traditional bench press (TBP), performed with a grip width that maximizes strength, is a popular exercise for developing the upper-body. The close-grip bench press (CGBP) is a variation of the TBP often used to emphasize the triceps brachii over prime movers such as the pectoralis major. An individual’s arm span (AS; distance between the middle fingers of each hand while the arms are outstretched) could affect the mechanics of each exercise, which may be exacerbated by the change in grip. This study investigated relationships between AS and TBP and CGBP mechanics in resistance-trained men. Twenty-one participants completed a one-repetition maximum (1RM) TBP and CGBP. The TBP was performed with the preferred grip (measured relative to biacromial distance [BAD]), and the CGBP with a grip width of 95% BAD. A linear position transducer measured: lift distance; peak and mean power, velocity, and force; the distance and time when peak power occurred; and work. Pearson’s correlations (r; p < 0.05) computed relationships between AS and TBP and CGBP mechanics. There were significant positive relationships between AS and TBP lift distance and work (r = 0.46 and 0.51, respectively). For the CGBP, there was a significant positive relationship between AS and work (r = 0.48). There were no other significant correlations between AS and lift mechanics. Resistance-trained men with a longer AS may move the bar further and perform more work in the 1RM TBP and CGBP. This could influence how coaches measure training volume, and intensity for individuals with different AS.
... The development of upper limb strength is one of the key factors in recreation and competitive sports training, where the bench press (BP) is often used as the training or testing tool [1][2][3][4]. Maximum strength development requires exercise stimuli at high intensity such as 1-4 repetition maximum (RM) in a training session [5], while these repetition executions are typically performed with short deceleration in the concentric phase called the sticking region (SR) [6][7][8][9]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The intrathoracic pressure and breathing strategy on bench press (BP) performance is highly discussed in strength competition practice. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze whether different breathing techniques can influence the time and track characteristics of the sticking region (SR) during the 1RM BP exercise. 24 healthy, male adults (age 23 ± 2.4 yrs., body mass 85 ± 9.2 kg, height 181 ± 5.4 cm) performed a 1 repetition BP using the breathing technique of Valsalva maneuver (VM), hold breath, lung packing (PAC), and reverse breathing (REVB), while maximum lifted load and concentric phase kinematics were recorded. The results of ANOVA showed that the REVB breathing decreased absolute (p < 0.04) and relative lifted load (p < 0.01). The VM showed lower (p = 0.01) concentric time of the lift than the other breathing techniques. The VM and PAC showed lower SR time than other breathing techniques, where PAC showed a lower SR time than VM (p = 0.02). The PAC techniques resulted in shorter SR and pre-SR track than other breathing techniques and the REVB showed longer SR track than the other considered breathing techniques (p = 0.04). Thus, PAC or VM should be used for 1RM BP lifting according to preferences, experiences and lifting comfort of an athlete. The hold breath technique does not seem to excessively decrease the lifting load, but this method will increase the lifting time and the time spend in the sticking region, therefore its use does not provide any lifting benefit. The authors suggest that the REVB should not be used during 1 RM lifts.
... Concordantly, Wagner et al 7 found lower 1RM performances in the bench press by using 95% BAD (1098. 19 30 narrower grip widths tended to contribute to the development of upper body strength. These authors compared 95% BAD with 175% BAD grip widths and found that some mechanical variables were influenced in the sticking point region, known as an unfavorable point for force generation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: To verify the effects of using different grip widths in bench press performance in Paralympic powerlifting athletes. Methods: Twelve experienced Paralympic powerlifting male athletes (25.40 [3.30] y, 70.30 [12.15] kg) participated in the study. Maximal dynamic strength and maximal isometric strength (MIS) were determined. Then, mean propulsive velocity (MPV) using 25%, 50%, and 100% of maximal dynamic strength load and time to achieve 30%, 50%, and 100% of MIS were assessed with 4 different grip widths, specifically the biacromial distance (BAD: 42.83 [12.84] cm), 1.3 BAD (55.68 [16.70] cm), 1.5 BAD (63.20 [18.96] cm), and 81 cm. Electromyographic analysis was performed during MIS assessment in the pectoralis major sternal portion, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii long head, and pectoralis major clavicular portion. Results: Large differences were found between MPV performed with different grip widths using 25% of maximal dynamic strength load (P = .02, ηp2=.26). The 1.5 BAD grip tended to show greater force generation and MPV. Moreover, the time needed to achieve 30%, 50%, and 100% of MIS differed between grip widths (P = .03, ηp2=.24), with the lowest values obtained in the 1.5 BAD. Despite the nonstatistical differences that were found, grip widths caused moderate effects on muscle myoelectric activation, showing greater values for pectoralis major clavicular portion and pectoralis major sternal portion, for the 1.3 BAD and 1.5 BAD, respectively. The 1.5 BAD the grip width tended to show greater MPV values and faster contractile responses. Conclusions: These results highlighted the importance of choosing the specific grip width for improvement of performance in Paralympic powerlifting athletes, by increasing velocity of movement and force production in a shorter time, with greater activation of primary muscles.
... Concordantly, Wagner et al 7 found lower 1RM performances in the bench press by using 95% BAD (1098. 19 30 narrower grip widths tended to contribute to the development of upper body strength. These authors compared 95% BAD with 175% BAD grip widths and found that some mechanical variables were influenced in the sticking point region, known as an unfavorable point for force generation. ...
Article
Aiming at body improvement Kung Fu practitioners take their body to extreme training measures with it becomes necessary to seek more effective recovery forms, where immersion in cold water, which tends to aid in the reduction of edema and muscle spasms. Thus, the aim of the study was to evaluate through the thermal asymmetry the effect of recovery in cold and passive water in a session of Kung Fu eagle claw. Participated 16 experienced subjects who in the first week did the training and recovery passively and in the second week did the training and used the immersion in cold water for recovery. The assessment was performed in terms of thermal asymmetry, where no significant differences were observed between the thigh, leg and arm asymmetries between the two recovery methods, although the asymmetries with immersion in cold water were lower than in the passive recovery. Thus, immersion in cold water although not presenting significant differences may be a method that tends to aid recovery in Kung Fu.
Article
Nichols, IA and Szivak, TK. Effects of different hand widths on plyometric push-up performance. J Strength Cond Res 35(2S): S80-S83, 2021-The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of hand width placement during the performance of plyometric push-ups. Ten male subjects (age: 24.14 ± 2.79 years, height: 178.14 ± 5.21 cm, and body mass: 91.55 ± 6.04 kg) performed 2 plyometric push-ups at 120, 150, and 170% of the subject's biacromial width (6 total push-ups) in a randomized order. Height (H), peak force (pF), peak power (pP), and rate of power development data were collected using a force plate. One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance showed no significant differences in performance measures across all hand widths. A secondary analysis using a mixed-effects linear regression model was performed due to the small sample size. Regression analysis showed a significant difference in pF (p < 0.05) between 120 and 170% hand widths. Study results suggest that although upper-body (UB) power output seems to be similar across varying hand widths, UB force development (pF) may be significantly affected by hand width during the plyometric push-up. Study results suggest that hand-width placement may impact plyometric performance measures and should be considered if the plyometric push-up is used to assess an individual's UB power. To the best of authors' knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the effects of varying hand widths on plyometric push-up performance.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence of the sticking region by examining how three different grip widths affect the sticking region in powerlifters' bench press performance. It was hypothesised that the sticking region would occur at the same joint angle of the elbow and shoulder independent of grip width, indicating a poor mechanical region for vertical force production at these joint angles. Twelve male experienced powerlifters (age 27.7 ± 8.8 years, mass 91.9 ± 15.4 kg) were tested in one repetition maximum (1-RM) bench press with a narrow, medium and wide grip. Joint kinematics, timing, bar position and velocity were measured with a 3D motion capture system. All participants showed a clear sticking region with all three grip widths, but this sticking region was not found to occur at the same joint angles in all three grip widths, thereby rejecting the hypothesis that the sticking region would occur at the same joint angle of the elbow and shoulder independent of grip width. It is suggested that, due to the differences in moment arm of the barbell about the elbow joint in the sticking region, there still might be a poor mechanical region for total force production that is joint angle-specific.
Article
Full-text available
It is a fact that high performance sport has been characterized in recent years as a more specific training and in which coaches and athletes tend to use exercise and training loads which significantly resemble athletes' real actions during competition.Principles of individuality and specifity are two aspects which best explain this trend. In that vein, this review analyzes and understands what specialized literature says to reach one of the most popular exercises used in upper-body power development: bench press in its different variants.ResumenEs un hecho que el deporte de alto rendimiento se ha caracterizado durante los últimos años por un entrenamiento cada vez más específico en el que técnicos y deportistas tienden a utilizar ejercicios y cargas de entrenamiento que se asemejan significativamente a las acciones que debe realizar el deportista durante la competición. Los principios de individualidad y especificidad son dos de los aspectos que mejor explican esta tendencia. En esa línea, esta revisión trata de analizar y entender lo que la bibliografía especializada señala con la realización de uno de los ejercicios más populares que se emplean en el desarrollo de la potencia del upper-body: bench press en sus diferentes variantes.
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of grip width, chest depth, limb lengths, and bar path on the performance of a maximal bench press. Subjects were 24 experienced male weight trainers. Bench press performance was assessed at six different grip widths (G1–G6). Repeated-measures ANOVA with Tukey post hoc comparisons revealed that bench press strength values at the two moderate grip widths (G3 and G4) were significantly greater than either the narrow or wide grip widths. First-order partial correlations showed no significant relationship between strength values and anthropometric variables when adjusted for differences in body weight. Standard two-dimensional cinematographic procedures were used to film a subsample (n = 6) while bench pressing using G1, G3, and G6. The results of the statistical comparisons of bar path indicated that as grip width increased, the horizontal and vertical distance from the bar to the shoulder decreased.
Article
THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO PROVIDE SCIENTIFIC AND PRACTICAL MERITS FOR INCORPORATING RESISTANCE BANDS TO THE BENCH PRESS EXERCISE AS A MEANS OF ACHIEVING MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY AND STRENGTH. RECOMMENDATIONS ARE PRESENTED THAT MAY BE OF BENEFIT TO THE INTERMEDIATE OR ADVANCED RESISTANCE TRAINING PARTICIPANT.