How To Reverse Grip Bench Press

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How To Reverse Grip Bench Press

When it comes to any kind of bench press, we feel ethically obligated to always point out that these are actually intermediate or advanced exercises. Beginners often feel discouraged that they can’t bench more than maybe 20-50 pounds, but this is normal. This is a difficult exercise to perform, and is also quite dangerous if done carelessly. 

This particular approach – the reverse grip bench press – is exceptionally dangerous as you’re supporting the weight in a less stable and somewhat less natural manner. We do not advise this for beginners under any circumstances, and nobody should ever do these alone. 

That said, this is a great way to tighten the chest and also work the shoulders and triceps – triceps being less worked by classic bench presses. 

What You Need 

You need a flat bench (and lumbar support if your back has problems), a standard barbell rack, and a reasonably-weighted barbell. It’s a good idea to use gloves for a safe grip (palms sweat), and you should always, repeat, always have a spotter, no matter how strong and advanced you are. 

Muscles Worked During Pullover Exercise

Action – Pullover Exercise

  • Similar to a classic bench press, lie flat on the bench under the barbell, legs apart.
  • Grasp the barbell, palms facing toward your head (as opposed to away from you), about half again shoulder length apart.
  •  Lower the barbell until the bar touches your chest (never support the weight with your chest). This is your starting position.
  • Take a deep breath and lift the barbell all the way up until your elbows soft-lock.
  • Exhaling, slowly lower it back down until the bar once more touches your chest.
  • Repeat until your set is complete.


We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a spotter present when doing any kind of bench press. This can be dangerous if performed carelessly.

Consult your doctor if you have shoulder or joint problems.

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