Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press

The Smith machine close-grip bench press is a machine-based movement targeting the chest and triceps. The Smith machine mimics a barbell but provides more stability. This movement can be programmed in low reps for strength or higher reps for muscle and strength endurance. It is often performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of a chest, arms, or upper-body focused workout.


  1. Adds size and strength to the chest and triceps
  2. Allows for greater triceps work than wider grips
  3. The bar moves on a track making it easier to control

Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press Images


Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press Instructions

Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press muscle diagram
  1. Place a flat bench underneath the smith machine. Place the barbell at a height that you can reach when lying down and your arms are almost fully extended. Once the weight you need is selected, lie down on the flat bench. Using a close and pronated grip (palms facing forward) that is around shoulder width, unlock the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
  2. As you breathe in, come down slowly until you feel the bar on your middle chest. Tip: Make sure that as opposed to a regular bench press, you keep the elbows close to the torso at all times in order to maximize triceps involvement.
  3. After a second pause, bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out and push the bar using your triceps muscles. Lock your arms in the contracted position, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: It should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up.
  4. Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
  5. When you are done, lock the bar back in the rack.

Caution: If you are new at this exercise, it is advised that you use a spotter as this exercise can be a bit challenging. If no spotter is available, then be conservative with the amount of weight used.

Variations: This exercise can also be performed with a barbell or e-z bar using the inner handle as well as dumbbells in which case the palms of the hands will be facing each other.

Same as the Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press but with a Smith Machine.