Gym Shorts: The Wide Grip Bench Press

New to the wide grip bench press or looking for a quick technique tutorial? Learn correct form in one short video.

The Wide Grip Bench Press

Gym Shorts videos provide short video demonstrations of correct form for various exercises.

Follow these steps

  • Safety
    • Properly set safeties
    • Spotter when possible
    • Don’t collar the plates
    • Rack with straight arms
  • Set Up
    • Grip: about a hand’s width wider than normal grip
    • Legs pushing into shoulders
    • Bar starts directly over shoulders
  • Movement
    • Gently touch around mid-sternum
    • Straight bar path
    • Drive bar back
    • Slow controlled descent

What Is It?

The wide grip bench press is a bench press variation that widens the grip, shortens the distance the bar travels, and puts puts greater stress on the pecs over the triceps muscles.

Because of the shorter range of motion and shifting stress to the pectoralis major over the triceps brachii, this is the variant that many powerlifters prefer as–with proper practice & training–it allows most lifters to bench more than with a closer grip.


This lift is programmed primarily for lifters who want to complete in powerlifting, so generally intermediate and advanced lifters. It may also be added to a program to stress the pecs more.

Programming for this occurs similarly to the normal bench press, so typically anywhere from 1-15 reps. This likely will be programmed for slightly lower reps, however, as its purpose for lifting more weight in a powerlifting competition means that more-specific programming will involve lower reps.

If you want to provide additional hypertrophic stress to the pecs, however, you could program this for higher reps, something like 2-5×6-15.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter looking to complete in powerlifting or wanting to stress your pecs more, consider adding the wide grip bench press to your routine.

Click HERE to watch a video covering our favorite bench press variations and HERE to read about how you might considering whether it’s time for you to complete in a lifting meet.




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