Try Close Grip Bench Press & Diamond Pushups To Build And Tone Your Triceps & Inner Chest
The inner chest and triceps can be a bit tricky to train sometimes. As far as a good mass-building tricep exercise, the close grip bench press is a great place to start. Many times you’ll see people doing the same old workouts every time you see them in the gym — tricep extensions, dips and skull crushers. Not that these are bad or ineffective, but it’s nice to throw in something different.
Quite the mind trip, huh! Kinda’ looks like he’s moving his hands on the bar… some slapstick Photoshopping by yours truly 😉 I just wanted to give a quick visual of the what a close grip bench press actually looks like compared to a regular and wide grip.
Close Grip Bench Press For Triceps*
- Lying flat on your back, grip the bar (about shoulder width as shown in the picture) and lift it from the rack. Hold it straight up with your arms locked — This is the starting position.
- Slowly lower the bar towards the middle of your chest as you breathe out — The movement is slightly different from a normal flat bench in that you will want to keep your elbows close to your body throughout the movement in order to put the most emphasis on your triceps.
- Once you touch your chest push the bar back to the starting position while exhaling (use your triceps to push the bar, not your shoulders or chest). Lock your arms in the contracted position, hold and then repeat step 2.
- Once you have done your reps, slowly place the bar back onto the bench rack.
You can also use an e-z bar while gripping the inner handles or your can use dumbbells with your palms facing each other (squeeze press).
Diamond Pushup For Triceps*
- Start by getting into “regular” pushup position.
- Move both of your hands under your chest (breast area) and make a diamond shape with your hands – form a pyramid/diamond with your index fingers and thumbs.
- Slowly lower your body until your chest touches your hands while inhale. Pause briefly — As with the narrow grip bench press, you want to keep your arms tucked in beside your body.
- Push on the floor concentrating on pushing with your triceps and not your shoulders or chest as you exhale until your arms are straight. Hold and then repeat step 3.
You can also do what I call pigeon-toed pushups as an alternative. To do these turn your wrists and arms until your fingers are pointing each other and your elbows are out.
*Inner Chest — You can do these same exercises but to target your inner chest rather than your triceps. When you are preforming the movements, concentrate on squeezing your pecs together at the top of the movements and less on pushing with your arms. You will also want to allow your elbows to slightly break free from the sides of your torso.
The Tricep Blasting Exercises
Depending on whether I’m training for muscle definition, dense muscles, or trying to add size, my reps and sets will change. However, I usually like to incorporate some combination of these other exercises into my routine:
- Dumbbell Kickbacks
- Lying Tricep Extensions
- Skull Crushers
What I have found that is most important though, is that certain exercises work better for certain individuals. While I may swear by one exercise, my friends may like another much more. In the end though, I think that by adding in the close grip bench press, you will find that you can add size, strength and definition very effectively!