Mastering Close Grip Push Ups: Techniques, Variations, and Benefits

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Close grip push ups are a powerful exercise that can be used to build strength and muscle size in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

This variation of the classic push up is performed using a narrower hand placement than the traditional version, which places additional emphasis on the triceps muscles, helping to develop greater upper body strength. With proper form and progression, close grip push ups can also help strengthen the core and improve stability.

What is Close Grip Push Ups

Close grip push ups are a bodyweight exercise variation of the classic push up. The main difference between close grip push up and traditional push ups is that in close grip push ups, the hands are placed closer together than a normal-width grip.

This narrow hand placement puts greater emphasis on the triceps muscles and can be used to increase strength and size in the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Close grip push ups offer a range of benefits to those who choose to perform them. By using a narrow hand placement, close grip push ups place more emphasis on the triceps muscles and can be used to build strength in this area. Additionally, by training the triceps more intensely, close grip push ups can help to increase overall upper body strength.

Importance of Close Grip Push Ups in Fitness

The importance of close grip push ups in fitness cannot be overstated. This exercise is an effective way to build strength and size in the chest, shoulders, and triceps while also increasing overall upper body strength.

Not only can close grip push ups improve muscle size and strength, but they can also help to improve stability and core strength. Close grip push ups are a great exercise for any individual looking to increase their upper body strength and muscle size.

How to Perform Close Grip Push Ups

Starting position

To perform a close grip push up, begin in a plank position with your feet together and hands placed beneath your shoulders. Place both hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart and ensure that your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards the spine and avoid arching or sagging your lower back.

Technique and form

When performing close grip push ups, it is important to use good technique and form in order to maximize the benefits of the exercise. To begin the exercise, lower yourself towards the ground by bending your elbows until they reach a 90-degree angle.

Ensure that your body remains in a straight line from head to toe throughout the movement. As you press up, keep your elbows tucked close to your body and drive through your palms to return to the starting position.

Breathing during the exercise

Breathing during Close Grip Push Ups is an important part of the exercise. During the concentric phase, or when you are pushing up, take a deep breath in and focus on engaging your core muscles as you press up.

As you lower yourself back down to the starting position, exhale and hold your breath briefly before repeating the movement. This helps to keep your core engaged and ensure that you are performing the exercise in a controlled manner.

Variations of Close Grip Push Ups

Weighted Close Grip Push Ups

Weighted Close Grip Push Ups are a variation of the traditional close grip push up and involve the addition of external weight. This exercise is best suited for those who have built a strong foundation in bodyweight training and are looking to increase the intensity of their workout.

To perform this exercise, place weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells on your back and perform the same technique and form as a regular close grip push up.

Plyometric Close Grip Push Ups

Plyometric Close Grip Push Ups are a variation of the traditional close grip push up that adds an explosive element to the exercise. This variation is perfect for athletes or individuals looking to increase power and explosiveness in their upper body strength.

To perform this exercise, begin in a plank position with your feet together and hands placed slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself towards the ground as you normally would and as you press up, explode off the ground.

Close Grip Spiderman Push Ups

Close Grip Spiderman Push Ups are a variation of the traditional close grip push up that adds an extra challenge by engaging the core and hips. This exercise is perfect for those who are looking to increase their upper body strength as well as their core and hip stability.

To perform this exercise, begin in a plank position with your feet together and hands placed slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself towards the ground as you normally would and as you press up, bring one knee to your elbow. Alternate sides with each repetition.

Muscles Worked During Close Grip Push Ups

Triceps

Close Grip Push Ups are an effective exercise for targeting the triceps, which are located on the back of the upper arm. This exercise primarily works the triceps, as well as the chest and shoulders.

When performing Close Grip Push Ups correctly, you will feel a strong contraction in your triceps as you press up from the bottom of each rep. Additionally, this exercise requires a significant amount of stability from the core and hips, which helps to further engage these muscles.

Chest

Close Grip Push Ups are an effective exercise for targeting the chest muscles. As you lower yourself towards the ground, your chest muscles work hard to control the movement and keep your body in a straight line. Additionally, pressing up from the bottom of each rep requires significant strength from the chest as it works to push your body back up to the starting position.

Shoulders

Close Grip Push Ups are also an effective exercise for targeting the shoulders. During the exercise, your shoulders help to keep your arms in a close grip position and act as stabilizers throughout the movement. Additionally, as you press up from the bottom of each rep, you will feel your shoulders working hard to keep your body in a straight line and lift it back up to the starting position. This helps to further engage the shoulder muscles and build strength in the area.

Safety Precautions and Tips

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Not Keeping Your Core Engaged: It is important to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise by contracting your abdominal muscles and keeping a straight line from your head to your heels. This will help you maintain correct form while also preventing any injuries.

Using Too Much Weight: When performing weighted close grip push ups, it is important to use a weight that you can comfortably handle. Using too much weight can cause you to lose form and increase your risk of injury.

Not Keeping Your Elbows Close To Your Body: In order to target the triceps effectively, it is important to keep your elbows close to your body throughout the exercise. Allowing your elbows to flare out will decrease the effectiveness of the exercise and put extra strain on your shoulders.

Not Going Low Enough: To get the full benefit of this exercise, it is important to lower yourself as low as you can go while still maintaining proper form. This will help to ensure that your triceps are working effectively and that you are getting the most out of each rep.

Modifications for Beginners

Close Grip Push Ups can be a challenging exercise, especially for those just starting out. If you are a beginner, there are several modifications that you can make to the exercise in order to make it easier and help you build strength.

One modification is to perform the exercise on your knees instead of your toes. This will reduce the amount of weight that you need to support during the exercise, making it easier to perform.

Another modification is to use an elevated surface such as a bench or chair in order to reduce the range of motion and make the exercise easier. You can also add a resistance band around your back for added assistance if needed.

Finally, you can also add pauses at the bottom of each rep in order to build strength and get used to the movement.

Tips for Maximizing Results

When performing close grip push ups correctly, there are several tips that you can use to maximize your results. First, it is important to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise by contracting your abdominal muscles and keeping a straight line from your head to your heels. This will help you maintain proper form while also preventing any injuries.

Incorporating Close Grip Push Ups into Your Workout

Frequency and Volume

When incorporating close grip push ups into your workout, it is important to consider both the frequency and volume of your training. Generally, you should aim to perform close grip push ups two to three times per week in order to maximize your results.

For each session, you should complete multiple sets of eight to 12 reps for optimal muscular development. As you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the number of sets and reps that you perform.

Pairing with Other Exercises

Close grip push ups are a great exercise to use as part of an overall shoulder strengthening routine. It is highly recommended to pair close grip push ups with other exercises to target the various muscles in your shoulders.

Examples of such exercises include overhead presses, lateral raises, and bent-over rows. This combination of exercises will help you build strength in your shoulders while also improving overall muscular balance and stability.

Sample Close Grip Push Up Workout Plan

This sample workout plan includes three sets of close grip push ups, designed to strengthen and tone the triceps and shoulders. This plan is suitable for all fitness levels and can be adjusted according to your individual needs.

  • Warm up: light stretching or a five-minute jog/walk.

Set 1: close grip push ups x 8-12 reps

Set 2: close grip push ups x 8-12 reps

Set 3: close grip push ups x 8-12 reps

Cool down: light stretching or five minutes of walking/jogging.

Finish with foam rolling and/or static stretching to help improve flexibility and reduce potential soreness.

Conclusion

Close grip push ups are an effective exercise for targeting and strengthening the triceps and shoulders. They can be adjusted to different difficulty levels, making them suitable for all fitness levels. This exercise not only helps build strength in these muscles, but also builds overall muscular balance and stability, which is important for maintaining proper posture and avoiding injury. Adding close grip push ups into your regular workout routine will help you maximize your results and reach your fitness goals.

Recommendations

Close grip push ups are an effective way to strengthen and tone the triceps and shoulders, making them a great addition to any workout routine.

It is important to focus on proper form when performing close grip push ups in order to maximize results while also avoiding injuries.

Depending on your fitness level, you can adjust the number of sets, and reps, or even add variations to the exercise. Additionally, pairing close grip push ups with other exercises like overhead presses or bent-over rows can help improve overall shoulder strength and stability.

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