Close Grip Push Ups

A pushup is one of the most effective chest exercises and enables you to work the chest in several ways. You train the large pectoral muscles in your chest and the triceps at the back of your arm differently depending on your pushup stance. Your hand positioning particularly affects how the pectorals are worked during the exercise.

If you want to tone and strengthen your triceps, at the back of your upper arms, make close-grip push-ups part of your strength-training routine. A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise showed that this type of push-up is one of the most effective exercises for your triceps. It also works your chest and shoulders and engages your core and upper thighs to stabilize your body. For optimal results, master the proper form and modify the push-up to meet your fitness level.

Benefits of Close Grip Push Ups

The close grip push ups targets the pectorals, deltoids, and core muscles much like the traditional pushup, but it more strongly engages the triceps when you use the narrow hand position. If you have any sort of shoulder issues, you may find that working with a narrow grip is more comfortable for you. Such a move is useful in balancing out the climbing pulling muscles and can help with upper body strength for snowshoeing, cross-country and tele skiing, scrambling, manteling and stemming. It is also a wonderful exercise to include in your program on the road if you do not have access to training equipment when you travel.

How to Do Close Grip Push Ups

  1. Lie on the floor face down and body straight with your toes on the floor and the hands wider than shoulder width for a wide hand position and closer than shoulder width for a close hand position. Make sure you are holding your torso up at arms length.
  2. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.
  3. Using your pectoral muscles, press your upper body back up to the starting position and squeeze your chest. Breathe out as you perform this step.
  4. After a second pause at the contracted position, repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.

Don’t forget to warm up with five to 10 minutes of low-intensity cardiovascular exercise to get your blood flowing and to prepare your body for the work to come. Inhale as you bend your elbows on the way down, and exhale as you straighten your elbows on the way up.

Close Grip Push Ups for Beginners

Resistance can be reduced by performing push-ups with knees bent on floor or placing hands on elevated horizontal bar or edge of elevated surface.

Close Grip Push Ups for Advanced

Should close grip pushups performed on the floor not pose a great enough challenge, increase the resistance in several ways. Place your lower legs on an exercise ball to raise your lower body. This changes the balance that you have to support during the pushup. An exercise ball is also unstable, which requires your muscles to work harder to keep your body balanced. If an exercise ball is too difficult, place your feet on a sturdy object, such as an exercise bench or a chair. Try to perform Triceps Dips on parallel bars.

Wide Grip for Triceps

The close grip pushup variation shifts the concentration of the resistance to the inner portion of your pectorals and your triceps. Close grippushups are typically performed with hands turned slightly inward and thumbs extended, so your index fingers and thumbs form a triangle shape. As you bend at the elbows to lower yourself, keep your arms close to your body and tuck your elbows. The close grip pushup should be as compact of a maneuver as possible — the opposite of a wide grip pushup.