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An Investigation of the Mechanics and Sticking Region of a One-Repetition Maximum Close-Grip Bench versus the Traditional Bench Press

The close-grip bench press (CGBP) is a variation of the traditional bench press (TBP) that uses a narrower grip (~95% of biacromial distance (BAD)) and has potential application for athletes performing explosive arm actions from positions where the hands are held close to the torso. Limited research has investigated CGBP mechanics compared to the TBP. Twenty-seven resistance-trained individuals completed a one-repetition maximum TBP and CGBP. The TBP was performed with the preferred grip; the CGBP with a grip width of 95% BAD. A linear position transducer measured lift distance and duration; peak and mean power, velocity, and force; distance and time when peak power occurred; and work. Pre-sticking region (PrSR), sticking region, and post-sticking region distance and duration for each lift was measured. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to derive differences between TBP and CGBP mechanics (p < 0.01); effect sizes (d) were also calculated. A greater load was lifted in the TBP, thus mean force was greater (d = 0.16–0.17). Peak power and velocity were higher in the CGBP, which had a longer PrSR distance (d = 0.49–1.32). The CGBP could emphasize power for athletes that initiate explosive upper-body actions with the hands positioned close to the torso.

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