How To Close-Grip Dumbbell Press

YouTube Exercise Video

How To Close-Grip Dumbbell Press

A.K.A. Crush Press

Push ups and bench pressing aren’t the only routines you can perform to target and safely tighten up your chest muscles. In fact, bench pressing can be quite dangerous, especially if you’re trying to perform such a routine alone. There are safer alternatives with far less risk of injury and other unfortunate occurrences. 

A prime example of this is the close grip dumbbell press, which utilizes a lot of the same motions as a standard bench press, but without the dangerous barbell that could crush or otherwise injure you. This is considered an intermediate exercise, but only if you’re going for significant amounts of weight, which you shouldn’t do unless very experienced and far along in your program. 

What You Need 

You need a bench, and you need two equally-weighted dumbbells. You should also have gloves, for a safe grip. If you have a touchy spine, lumbar support of some sort isn’t a bad idea either. 

Close Grip Dumbbell Bench Press Muscles Worked


  • Pick up the dumbbells, and lie back on the bench, facing upward. 
  • Situate the dumbbells near your hips. 
  • Take a deep breath, and, bending at the elbows and shoulders, curl the dumbbells inward toward your chest. 
  • Lift them directly upward in unison, as if pressing a barbell. 
  • Hold for a second, and then gently lower them back to your chest. 
  • Don’t lower them back to your sides unless you’re experience with this exercise. 


Don’t let gravity do the lowering for you, and only lower them to your sides with each repetition if you’ve been doing this for a while, with the weight you’re lifting. Don’t overdo the weight – severe weight isn’t actually as necessary as you might think. It’s all about work and repetition, not overexertion. 
Consult a doctor if you have shoulder or back troubles, as they may pose a problem for exercises like this. 
To learn more about chest and tricep exercise like these, fill out our contact form or call us today!
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