Wide Grip Bench Press

WIDE GRIP BENCH PRESS

Muscles used

wide grip bench press

A wide grip bench press will help you better stabilise your shoulders and the bar on your bench press.  It also reduces the range of motion through the lift, therefore allowing you to move more overall weight.

How to perform a wide grip bench press

The wide grip bench press is performed similarly to a traditional bench press, except in this instance your hand position is outside of shoulder width apart.

Start by lying back flat on the bench keeping your feet firmly on the ground.  Position yourself so that your head is directly underneath the bar.

The next thing to do in order to prepare for this lift is to press your upper back into the bench, so that your upper body is stable.  Next; reach up and un-rack the bar.  Keep your arms straight as you bring the weight up directly over your chest.  Your arms should be fully extended.

Finally, take a deep breath and lower the bar to your chest until it just touches.  Pause for a second before pushing back up through the same controlled movement.  Go for reps.

Remember that the bar alone weighs 20kg (45lbs).  If you’re not sure that you can manage it, you should work your way up doing the same movement using a fixed barbell and a free bench.  Do this until you can confidently manage the load.

Alternatively, you can use the smith machine for assistance until you build up your confidence.  That being said; don’t get too confident on this machine because 20kg’s (45lbs)

on the smith machine will not feel the same as 20 kg’s (45lbs) worth of free weight.  It is important to consider this when using the smith machine for the purpose of progression.  

Wide grip bench press: Common mistakes to avoid

This is one of those exercises that could easily result in injury if not performed correctly.  Above all else, you should pay close attention to your form throughout the exercise.  It is important to get this right before you start loading.

Also, remember that this is ultimately a chest exercise, so you should keep the muscle you intend to work in mind when you are performing the exercise.  Mind muscle connection is ideal for ensuring targeted results.

Finally; don’t forget to secure the plates with clips and always use the safety bars!

Reps and sets

As with all exercises, a wide grip bench press should be worked into your overall bigger picture.  How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.

Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point.  Don’t overcomplicate things early on, worry about laying a solid foundation and the rest will come with experience.

Finally, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.

Beyond the wide grip bench press...

Check out more chest exercises and of course, be sure to track your lifts.

More chest exercises coming soon...

Just so you know, this list of chest exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive.  We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates.  Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.

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