Get A Grip On Better Benching

Many bodybuilders, strength athletes and recreational lifters choose a bench press grip based on expectations for achieving maximum output. Others hold the bar based on the notion that a wide grip equals a wide physique. The unfortunate fact is bench pressing has a long history of contributing to shoulder injuries. So let's examine some scientific input on the issue.

Researchers at the London Sports Institute recently found that gripping the bench press bar one and a half times your biacromial breadth (shoulder width) or greater increases risk of injury to shoulder, clavicle and pectoral muscles. Shortening the grip to less than one and a half times that body measurement reduces risk without affecting muscle recruitment patterns.

The Bigger Picture: There was no difference in 1 rep max weight that study subjects were able to bench with a narrower versus wider grip (+/- 5%). Even if there was, pulling a muscle or tearing a ligament would reduce your efforts in a very significant way. So train hard and train smart. And, for safety's sake, think about narrowing your grip the next time you bench some reps. But don't make dramatic changes. A very narrow grip turns this chest exercise into a tricep movement.
Leave a Comment
Erich Taylor
Oct 20, 2007
Good to know, I was always wondering whether I should do close-grip or wide-grip benching.
Oct 22, 2007
thanks a lot,know i can do a better chest workout
Dennis Dickson
Oct 24, 2007
I always use both wide and narrow but always go light on the wide, as it fells more fly for me. But anyway good advice.
cyril herbese
Oct 25, 2007
thank you very much for that additional knowledge , actually i was doin it as wha tyour article say
Adam Meister
Oct 29, 2007
Right on! Now I can totally be a hoss!!!!
Oct 29, 2007
thanks alot
sayed rizwan
Nov 01, 2007
its very true, the grip while benching has to be just slightly wider than the natural shoulder width of a person
Nov 03, 2007
I tore both rotator cuffs at difirent times because of a grip to wide.I had to have three shoulder surgeries to repair the cuffs the third was cause the first did not take. so belive me when I tell you a narrower grip is the way to go!!!
Peterson Saint Felix
Nov 27, 2007
It's as true as being hurt under the bench,you can not hide it.some more,there's no truth in thinking that the wider you take ie the wider your chest will be.It should be only some inches wider than the shoulders like in Military press.
tim sandberg
Nov 29, 2007
thanks, i too was using wide grip mostly to warm up with and after