Top 5 Close Grip Bench Press Alternatives

Top 5 Close Grip Bench Press Alternatives

The close grip bench press is one of the best exercises known for good mass-building and increasing the thickness of your triceps. But the movement is not for everyone as some of us have pain and discomfort in our wrists due to the fact that not everyone has good wrist mobility. Or maybe you just do not have the required equipment that is required for a close grip bench press such as a bench or a barbell.

So, how do you build triceps without doing the close grip bench press? Well, some other alternatives work pretty efficiently too in building mass. These alternatives will bring diversity to your daily workouts as the main difference between these exercises and the close grip bench press is that they require different pieces of equipment rather than just one. Here is a list of all the best alternative exercises that will help you build your triceps muscles.

1. Close Grip Dumbbell Ground Press:

If you do not have a bench or a barbell, then this is the best alternative to exercise to close grip bench press, the close grip dumbbell press is performed laying down on the ground so, you do not need a bench and you can easily do it anywhere you want.

The close grip dumbbell ground press is a lot similar in function to the close grip bench press but the exercise is a lot safer to perform alone and more manageable for the majority of lifters. This is also why this exercise is the best for beginners. Just start with the close-grip dumbbell press and then later on you can switch to the barbell variant. Here is how to perform an accurate close grip dumbbell ground press:

  • Lay on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat while holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand.
  • Keep your arms straight while bringing the dumbbells close together.
  • As you lower the dumbbells, keep your elbows pushed in.
  • When the dumbbells reach directly above your lower chest, pause at the bottom.
  • Push your arms up in a straight way.  
  • Bring back your arms to the initial position and repeat the sequence.

2. Close Grip Push Ups:

This is the closest exercise to the close grip bench press when it comes to muscle activation. This exercise is a replica of the close bench press with the difference you pushing your body weight instead of the dumbbells. Since the exercise requires no equipment, you can perform it anywhere. Also, the exercise Is not just for your triceps but also works your chest and deltoids. You can even wear a weighted vest if you want to take this exercise to the next level or hold your hands in a narrow position that will make the exercise more taxing on the triceps than regular push-ups. Here is how to perform a close grip push-up:

  • Get on all fours on the ground with your hands a few inches apart and rotate your shoulders a little outwards.
  • Bend your elbows to lower your chest towards your hands until your upper arms are in line with your back.
  • Straighten your elbows and push for an upward movement. Squeeze your chest and triceps and make sure you engage in a good inhale-exhale while you are performing the exercise.
  • Repeat the movement for as many reps as required.

3. Diamond Pushup:

Another extremely effective exercise for triceps is diamond push-ups. Diamond pushups are a little more complex than regular pushups so they might not be for beginners but they engage your triceps greatly. They help in muscle building and are a good way of preparing for other triceps exercises such as the close grip bench press. All glory diamond pushup comes due to the distinctive diamond shape your hands make when you perform this exercise. They enhance the effectiveness of engaging your triceps brachii more than a regular pushup. Here is how to perform a diamond pushup:

  • Form a diamond shape with your hands by joining your thumbs and index fingers. Make sure you keep your legs either hip-wide apart or close together.
  • Now perform a regular push-up. By pulling your chest towards the floor and bending your elbows until your upper arm comes in line with your back.
  • Your shoulder blades should retract as you push towards the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Now, start the upward movement and straighten your elbows while squeezing your chest for maximum efficiency.
  • You will feel your shoulder blades protracting at this point. Repeat the movement for as many reps as required.

4. Burpees:

Burpees combine both strength and cardio together and this is why they promise dynamic movement. Burpees help you not only engage all of your major muscle groups but they are also one of the best alternatives to a close grip bench press. The best thing about this exercise is that it requires no equipment and it has a combination of a lot of other movements including jumps, pushups, and squats.

Burpees are the best alternative for you if you are looking for a full-body engaging exercise. Here is how you can perform burpees:

  • Start by standing on your feet and keeping them shoulder-apart and then move towards the next position by crouching to put your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders.
  • Shift all your body weight to your shoulders and jump your feet back into a pushup position.
  • Bend your elbows and press against the ground with your upper body. Push your legs underneath you and make sure they align with your shoulders.
  • Now start the upward movement and jump straight up in the initial position.
  • Repeat the movement for as many reps as you need to.

5. Dips:

Another great method of strengthening your medial and lateral triceps without any special equipment is to perform dips. They are a great alternative to close grip bench presses as they increase strength and build the mass of the triceps due to the compound movements. They can be done anywhere, be it a bench, ring, chair, or any other flat surface. Make sure you extend your elbows completely to engage all the heads of the triceps. Here is how to perform a dip properly:

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart from the edge of a chair or bench.
  • Extend your legs straight in front of your body and hold your body.
  • Your shoulders shoulder be rolled back as your chest goes up and bring your feet close together.
  • Bend your elbows while maintaining the position of your legs and lower your body.
  • Now push your body up again by straightening your elbows.
  • Repeat the movement for as many reps as required.

Close-grip bench presses are a great triceps exercise but they should be done under the supervision of a spotter or coach as a lot of beginners can mess up the movement by lifting the far up or bringing them far lower than required. However, most of these alternatives to the close grip bench press can be done independently although you should keep an eye on your form and movement.