Becoming Unapologetically Powerful: Hand Position for the Bench Pressby Jennifer Blake
Something I see all the time in the bench press: women benching with too narrow a grip on the bar. This certainly isn’t true in every case, but I’ve seen it often enough to address it in our Becoming Unapologetically Powerful series.
My theory is that women have a significant muscular disadvantage in our upper bodies: our pectoral muscles are pretty small. The bench press, being the beast of an upper-body press that it is, relies on many muscles to move the bar, but these three especially: the pecs, anterior deltoids, and triceps. For many women, especially beginner lifters, our pecs are eensy-weensy. Because of that, more developed muscles want to take over, and in this case it’s the triceps muscles. When a lifter has a close grip on the bar, the triceps become a prime mover, taking some heat off of the pecs. But if you’re looking to move the most weight possible (and of course you are!), you want to involve as many muscles as you can. Moving the hands wider will train all the muscles that grow a big bench.
Check out the latest video in our “Becoming Unapologetically Powerful” series. One quick note before you go: Moving your hands wider might not be a strong position for you yet, so adjust the weight accordingly. Cool? Leave any questions in the comments section below!
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