Close Grip Pushups: Variations, Benefits, and Form

Close grip pushups are a popular bodyweight exercise that can help you build a more substantial, defined upper body. This article will explore everything you need about close-grip pushups, including their variations, benefits, and proper form. So, let’s dive in!

Benefits of Close Grip Pushups

close grip push ups for biceps

Close grip pushups offer multiple benefits for your upper body. When done accurately, they target your shoulders, chest and triceps, helping you build strength and muscular endurance. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of close-grip pushups:

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Triceps Development

close grip push ups for triceps

Close grip pushups are an excellent exercise for building stronger triceps. By bringing your hands closer together, you focus more on your triceps and less on your chest.

Chest Development

close grip push ups for chest

While close grip pushups primarily target your triceps, they also engage your chest muscles. This makes them an excellent exercise for overall upper body development.

Shoulder Development

close grip push ups shoulder pain

Close grip pushups engage your anterior and lateral deltoids, helping you build more muscle and more defined shoulders.

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Improves Upper Body Strength

Close grip pushups are a challenging training that can help you build upper body strength.

Increases Muscular Endurance

Regularly performing close grip pushups can increase your muscular endurance, allowing you to perform more reps before fatigue sets in.

Helps with Weight Loss

close grip push ups for weight loss

Close grip pushups are a compound exercise that burns calories and helps you shed unwanted fat.

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Close Grip Pushup Muscles Worked

The close grip push-up is an excellent exercise that engages several muscles in your upper body and your core and lower body muscles. 

Triceps Brachii Muscles

When you perform a close grip push-up, your primary focus is on your triceps brachii muscles on the back of your upper arms.

These muscles are responsible for extending your elbow joint and are essential for pushing movements like the push-up.

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Pectoralis Muscles

The close grip push-up also works your pectoralis muscles, which are located in your chest. 

These muscles are responsible for horizontal adduction of the arm and play a crucial role in pushing movements like the push-up.

Deltoids Muscles

Your deltoids, or shoulder muscles, are also engaged during the close-grip push-up. 

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These muscles are responsible for abducting your arms away from your body and play a vital role in stabilizing your shoulders during the exercise.

Core Muscles

push up core muscles

The close grip push-up also engages your core muscles, including rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques. 

These muscles work together to stabilise your spine and pelvis during the exercise.

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Close Grip Pushup Variations

While close-grip pushups are a great exercise on their own, there are many variations that you can use to make them even more challenging and effective. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular close-grip pushup variations:

Elevated Close Grip Pushups

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This variation involves placing your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step. Elevating your hands increases the range of motion and makes the exercise more challenging.

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Decline Close Grip Pushups 

decline wide grip push ups

In this variation, you place your feet on an elevated surface and perform the pushup with your hands on the ground. Decline pushups emphasize your upper chest muscles and are a great way to add variety to your workout.

Diamond Pushups

close grip push ups vs diamond push ups

Diamond pushups are performed with your hands close together, forming a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers. This variation places even more emphasis on your triceps and is a great way to challenge yourself.

Plyometric Close Grip Pushups

plyometric narrow-grip pushups

Plyometric pushups involve explosively pushing yourself off the ground and clapping your hands together before landing back in the starting position. 

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This extremely challenging variation can help you build explosive power in your upper body.

Proper Form for Close Grip Pushups

Properly performing close grip pushups is essential for maximising their benefits and avoiding injury. Follow these steps to perform close grip pushups with the correct form:

Hand Placement

Place your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart with your fingers pointing forward.

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Elbow Position 

Tuck your elbows close to your sides, keeping them in line with your shoulders throughout the movement.

Body Position

Keep your body straight from your head to your heels, engaging your core and glutes.

Breathing Technique

Inhale as you lower your body towards the floor and exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position.

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Range of Motion 

Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides throughout the movement.


Aim for 8-12 repetitions per set, and perform 2-3 sets with proper rest in between.

Tips for Close Grip Pushups

close grip push ups sets and reps

Here are a few more tips to keep in mind when performing close-grip pushups:

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Warm-up Properly

Always warm up before starting any exercise routine to reduce the risk of injury. Perform a few minutes of light cardio, such as jacks or jogging in place, followed by dynamic stretching.

Start With the Proper Form

It’s essential to start with proper form and gradually increase the difficulty as you get stronger. This will help prevent injury and ensure you’re targeting the right muscles.

Gradually Increase Difficulty 

Once you’re comfortable performing close grip pushups with proper form, you can increase the difficulty by adding weight or doing more repetitions.

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Listen to Your Body: 

Stop immediately if you feel pain or discomfort while performing close-grip pushups, and consult a fitness professional.

Following these tips and incorporating close-grip pushups into your workout routine can quickly build a strong, toned upper body. 

So, what are you waiting for? Start doing close grip pushups today and see the results for yourself!

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What Push-Up Works Inner Chest?

Push-ups are an excellent exercise for building upper body strength, but not all variations of push-ups target the inner chest specifically. 

However, The close-grip push-up places more focus on the inner chest. Place your hands together so that your thumbs are touching and your fingers are pointing forward. This variation will emphasize your triceps and inner chest.

Do Close-Grip Push-Ups Work the Biceps?

While close-grip push-ups primarily target the triceps and inner chest muscles, they can also engage the biceps to some extent, especially during the eccentric phase. 

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This is because the biceps act as stabilizers for the movement, helping to control the body’s descent toward the ground.

Are Close Grip Push-Ups Harder?

It makes this variation when you perform push-ups with closer hand placement as in close push-ups. The closer the hand position, the harder it is.

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