This article on how to do close-grip bench press for tall guys dives into the advantages of this bench variation for tall guys, focusing on tricep emphasis, reduced shoulder stress, enhanced chest engagement, and improved lockout strength. 

While acknowledging potential challenges like initial difficulty due to long limbs, the step-by-step guide ensures proper form, addressing unique concerns for taller lifters.

Follow more to make sure you get the most out of the tricep focused workout.

Table of Contents

Understanding Close Grip Bench Press

Tall guys often face unique challenges in the gym, and when it comes to traditional bench presses, their longer limbs can sometimes compromise form and muscle engagement. The close-grip bench press addresses these challenges by adjusting the hand placement to target specific muscle groups more effectively.

this is a photo of tall Paul doing an overhead tricep extension

Close-Grip Bench Press Advantages For Tall Guys

Tricep emphasis

The close-grip bench press places a greater emphasis on the triceps, which can be beneficial for tall guys looking to develop strength in this muscle group.

Reduced shoulder stress

By bringing the hands closer together, the close-grip bench press can reduce stress on the shoulders, addressing potential discomfort that taller individuals may experience. Shoulder pains and issues are very common in guys who are taller and bench often, only due to improper form which is enhanced by the longer range of motion.

Enhanced chest engagement

While targeting the triceps, the close-grip bench press still engages the chest muscles, offering a well-rounded upper body workout.

Improved lockout strength

The triceps play a significant role in the lockout phase of the bench press, and the close-grip variation helps enhance tricep strength, contributing to improved lockout ability.

Close-Grip Bench Press Disadvantages For Tall Guys

Long limbs can make it harder at first

As a beginner, your close-grip bench press will most likely be noticeably weaker than your shorter stature weightlifting friends. However over the years, the amount of weight you push could outpace them due to you being able to activate longer, bigger muscles.

Tools You'll Need

  • Bench press
this is a photo of a bench press to do a close grip bench press

How To Do A Close-Grip Bench Press For Tall Guys

1. Close-grip bench press set up

  • Begin by lying on a flat bench with your back fully supported.
  • Position your feet firmly on the ground, ensuring stability.
this is a photo of tall Paul lying on a flat bench to start his close grip bench press

2. Hand placement

  • Place your hands on the bar with a grip that is shoulder-width apart or narrower (see what feels best for you.)
  • Your hands should be positioned in a way that allows your forearms to be vertical when the bar is lowered.
  • Take a few moments to make sure your hands are lined up symmetrically and always in the exact same location.
this is a photo of tall setting his hands shoulder width apart for an close grip bench press

3. Proper posture

  • Arch your lower back slightly and maintain a natural curve in your spine. This will slightly pop your chest.
  • Ensure your shoulder blades are retracted and in contact with the bench.
this is a photo of tall Paul prepping of the close grip bench press

4. Unrack the bar

  • Unrack the barbell and hold it directly above your chest with your arms fully extended.
  • Ensure the bar is positioned over the lower part of your chest.
  • Once in position, make one last move and pinch your lats in while “bending” the bar with your hands. This will get your elbows and wrists to rotate outwards slightly for a final locked in position.
this is a photo of tall Paul unpacking the bar and holding it directly above his chest for a close grip bench press

5. Controlled descent

  • Take a deep breath in, hold it, then start the descent.
  • Lower the barbell with control, aiming for it to touch the lower part of your chest.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body during the descent.
this is a photo of tall Paul lowering the bar to his chest for a close grip bench press

6. Explosive ascent

  • Press the barbell back up explosively, fully extending your arms.
  • Push the air out of your lungs as you explode your arms up.
  • Focus on engaging your triceps and chest throughout the movement.
  • At the top, push through the middle of your pecs, keeping the fully engaged even though the main power is through your triceps.
this is a photo of tall Paul pressing the bard back up fully and extending his arms for a close grip bench press

7. Repeat

  • Complete the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout.

8. Breathing technique

  • Inhale as you lower the bar and exhale as you press it back up.

9. Reps and sets

  • Reps and sets all depend on your goals for the gym & what other lifts you have done that day to complement the close-grip bench press.
  • I create tall guy workout plans, click through and message me your fitness goals and I can tell you the reps and set you will want to hit.