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3 Bench Press Grips and How They Affect Your Muscles

There is limited equipment in the gym, no matter if you go to a gym or have an in-home gym. After time, you will find yourself going to the same equipment all the time for your workouts. This is actually impeding your muscle growth, which is why you need to find new ways to shake up your workout routine. The great thing is, even with the limited amount of equipment, small changes in your grip can totally change the workout and the muscles it uses. Here are 3 bench press grips that will change your workout—and the best part is these grips can also be implemented into other exercises.

1.Wide Grip Bench Press


This grip is where you hold the bar with your hands outside of your shoulders. This grip reduces the length the bar has to travel to reach your chest. This would make you think that you could do much more weight since it does not take as much energy; which is not true since the speed you can go with this grip is also greatly reduced.

This exercises does still work chest, but it targets more of the lower part of your chest, giving you a more defined chest. Another muscle this grip targets heavily is the shoulders. A study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine reported that the wide grip bench press places 50% more torque on the shoulders then if you were to perform a bench press with a narrower grip.

2.Narrow Grip Bench Press


This grip is when you grip the bar with your hands gripping the bar inside of your shoulders. This grip is the opposite of wide grip that the closer your hands on the bar the farther the bar has to travel to reach your chest. This is definitely an exercise where you will be using less weight then your normal bench press.

With this bench press being the opposite of the wide grip, the part of the chest is also opposite. This exercise targets the upper part of your chest, as well as your triceps. With you having to push the bar farther than other bench press grips, your triceps are activated for much more of this exercise.

One major thing to look out for with this exercise is to not have your hands too close together. If your hands are so close together that your elbows have to flair out to get the bar all the way down, then you have your hands too close together. This will put unneeded pressure on your wrists and elbows and can lead to injury.

3.Reverse Grip Bench Press


This grip is almost the same as your regular bench press grip, only the big difference here is that instead of gripping the bar with your palms facing away from you, you will grip the bar with your palms facing you. You want your hands a little outside of shoulder with apart, but not as far as you would have them for wide grip.

This exercise is a great way to incorporate bench press into working your biceps. Since your palms are facing you, your arms will also be in the reverse position as the regular grip bench press. If normally benched, the triceps would be engaged. Reversing the grip will have to engage your biceps, as they are now in the spot the triceps would normal be.

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