As soon as you saw the title of this article, you may be thinking the mistake that I’ll be referring to is not training triceps as hard as biceps to achieve big arms. Don’t get me wrong. The triceps do make up two thirds of the upper arm and you do need to train them as hard as the biceps to maximize your arm size but that is actually NOT what I’m referring to here. I actually do see a lot of folks make a serious mistake with an exercise that could go a long way in training the long head of the tricep as well as the other two heads.
Triceps: Close Grip Bench Press
The close grip bench press could very well be one of the most productive exercises for the triceps. As a matter of fact, I have it in my top 3 favorite tricep movements along with dips and lying triceps extensions. I’m sure some of you reading this have done this movement several times as well. It’s such a simple movement to perform so how can people be messing it up? The answer lies in the name.
Many lifters take the phrase “close grip” too literally and place their hands too close together on the bar. The problem with this is handling a heavy load on the bar with such a “close grip” is placing stress on the elbows and joints and taking that same stress OFF the triceps. Believe it or not, having your hands so close together is actually making the press less effective. So now we know what the mistake is. How do we correct it?
The next time you try to perform the C.G.B.P, take a grip on the bar that is around shoulder width apart. Once you un-rack the bar, your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This position will take pressure off your joints and place all the emphasis on your triceps. Here’s a bonus tip. Make sure you squeeze the bar as tight as you can to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. You might even be able to get a couple of more reps than you had with your old grip. The result will eventually be stronger and bigger triceps as well as healthier wrists and elbows that aren’t as sore as they may have been in your past.
Next time, I’ll share the mistake I see people make when it comes to chest day.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.