View Full Version : Close grip bench: tuck or flare?

02-14-2012, 05:07 PM
A couple weeks ago I injured my left pec during my last heavy set of close grip bench. I took a week off completely and rehabbed the shit out of it and this last week it felt great doing ME comp grip. I worked up to a set of 375 with no pain.

Tonight I wanted to give close grip a try again, I worked up to 275 and started feeling the same tightness/pain in the spot I had previously injured. It's right in the area where the pec and shoulder tie in. I have no idea why close grip is bugging me so much yet I can go super wide with heavy weight and it feels fine.

Should I be flaring my elbows on close grip? I usually tuck pretty tight, and I'm wondering if this is part of the problem. For as close as my grip is, it doesn't really feel like I'm hitting my triceps anymore than a neutral grip.

Travis Bell
02-15-2012, 01:35 PM
You don't want to be flaring your elbows on close grip.

Your shoulders rotate a LOT more with close grip as opposed to competition grip. That's why you are feeling it. If you actually pulled it or partially tore it, it's going to take much longer than a week for it to heal up.

02-15-2012, 08:10 PM
Thanks Travis. I'm sure it's not healed 100% yet but I know it's not a major injury. I tore my right peck a couple years ago and it took a couple months to heal completely.

02-16-2012, 10:11 AM
Funny that you posted this because I had a similar problem last night. After I performed my board presses I did a couple heavy sets of close grip bench presses to my chest. On the final rep of the last set I got a severe pain just under my left pec. This seemed to be more in the upper ab area but it hurt greatly. Like you I also tuck my elbows considerable.

Travis Bell
02-16-2012, 10:21 AM
Invain, you may have some significant scar tissue in there in which case you'd really want to hit the shoulder with lacrosse ball massage, or I've even used a golf ball for trigger point therapy.

Jason, you're sounds like you pulled the lower pec. Be real careful with that one. When those let go, you're looking at surgery to get it reattached.

02-16-2012, 02:29 PM
Just to add to Travis comments, your elbows on a close grip press should be pointing to your feet. Remember that a close grip isnīt really a 5 inch grip.
Also it helps to elevate a little bit your head/upper back when you go down, since will ease the rotation on the shoulders.