How The Close Grip Dumbbell Press Can Enhance Your Bodybuilding Goals

close grip dumbbell press

Work to build a stronger chest and triceps with the close grip dumbbell press.

When it comes down to it, benching anything is essential for building that chest strength and making sure those pecs pop. While we all seek that shredded physique, enhancing certain muscle groups can change our body composition to the point where that ultimate aesthetic is fulfilled. While the barbell is a clear favorite for many exercises, as it has the ability to seriously enhance growth and size, the use of quality dumbbells when it comes to a chest exercise may be overlooked.

Using dumbbells should not be taken for granted for great exercises exist that will surely fire up those chest muscles so they have no choice but to grow. In this post, we detail the close grip dumbbell press and how it has become one of the dumbbell exercises that help build strength and size while also providing for a host of other benefits. A common variation of the traditional dumbbell chest press, this will work to target your triceps more while challenging your chest in different ways. While it has the ability to carry over into functionality and sport specific movement, it is at its core, a great chest workout to fire up those chest muscles.

From what it is, to the amazing benefits for your gains, and how to do it, you won’t be disappointed with the results when you throw this into your workout routine. Working to enhance our routines is something we should all aim to do for challenging our muscles differently is a great way to create muscle confusion and added time under tension so our muscles really feel the need to grow. In turn, we see that shredded aesthetic we all desire most.

What Is The Close Grip Dumbbell Press?

While it may seem obvious, the close grip dumbbell press is the same movement as a normal press, only your grip is what changes. As opposed to having your grip be around shoulder width apart, this exercise will see your hands slightly closer to each other towards the middle of the bar.

When looking to judge if you have this grip right, make sure your triceps are engaged and you will know you are closer to that close grip you want. This will simply target other muscle groups and challenge your chest in a different way while offering a nice alternative lift to your chest day workouts (1).

close grip dumbbell press

Benefits Of The Close Grip Dumbbell Press

Target Your Triceps For Growth

The close grip dumbbell press is a great exercise for engaging the triceps more to see huge growth. As an essential muscle in showing off those arms and working on pushing movements, your triceps are a bigger muscle than you think and any extra work to target them will prove to be great for your results. Since this exercise will allow you to lift more weight, the strain on your triceps will be far greater than a triceps isolation exercise.

Promote Less Elbow Flaring

A common mistake with those who bench is their elbows tend to flare out. Since some muscle groups aren’t as engaged, your elbows have free reign to travel around which can cause instability and lead to unwanted pain and injury. With an emphasis on muscle groups like your shoulders, you don’t have to worry as much about flaring since they will be more engaged.

close grip dumbbell press

Reduce Shoulder Pain

The close grip dumbbell press doesn’t really place stress as much on your shoulders as the wide grip or even the normal grip press does. Shoulder pain happens for a number of reasons and sometimes we just can’t help but deal with it. For those struggling with shoulder pain, looking into this exercise to change up your workouts can help alleviate that pain so you still get a workout while also keeping those shoulder joints healthy.

Challenge The Upper Chest

With so many chest exercises out there, it can be hard to find the ones that will enhance your gains the most. The key is to find ones that will target certain areas of the chest, be it the upper, middle, lower, or inner and outer regions. The close grip dumbbell press will target your upper chest, giving greater activation to this area of your chest for nice isolated work.

Work to Tackle Muscle Imbalances

Dealing with muscle imbalances can be a drag and will absolutely throw off your physique for those of us bodybuilders. By using a dumbbell, you can work each side as its own, forcing not only balance and stability, but also each muscle’s strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to notice a change in size or if one pec is bigger or smaller than the other.

Zottman curl

How Bodybuilders Can Capitalize With The Close Grip Dumbbell Press

When looking to get that shredded aesthetic, bodybuilders are always seeking the utmost symmetry on every part of their body. While bodybuilders know the game and challenge themselves with a variety of exercises, it is important to also know that sometimes certain areas need a little extra attention. The close grip dumbbell press provides for nice variation in your workout while targeting the upper chest as well as those triceps. For those looking to enhance physique over maximum strength and sheer lifting ability, the close grip dumbbell press is a great choice for bodybuilders.

The Best Dumbbells to Purchase

With all this talk about the close grip dumbbell press, you might realize that you need a quality set of dumbbells to get the job done. Our top choice is the Living Fit Hex Dumbbells.

Grab yourself our top pick for the best dumbbells overall!

Living Fit Hex Dumbbells are great workout equipment for those looking to build strength, burn fat, and create a stellar physique that others will envy. When it comes to the close grip dumbbell press, these are perfect. They are designed for optimal free weight training, and can be stored easily for optimal convenience. Made from solid cast iron, these ensure durability and longevity and the rubber coating helps prevent damage to floors and other equipment. With a hexagon-shaped head to prevent rolling, the grip is also secure to prevent slipping and injury.

living fit dumbbells
Living Fit Dumbbells for Closed grip dumbbell workouts

Price: $229.99

Wrap Up

When looking to build our chests, the options for exercises can leave us baffled. The close grip dumbbell press is one of those exercises that can seriously drive home the point that your upper chest and triceps need some work and is a great alternative chest exercise to try. Add this into your routine and see the great benefits surrounding it because at the end of the day, you won’t be upset by the results you see in the mirror.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Lockie, Robert George; Moreno, Matthew (2017). “The Close-Grip Bench Press”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.