Close-Grip Push-Up Guide: How to master push-ups with closed grips.

What Are Close-Grip Pushups?

Push-ups with closed grips are a variation of the regular push-up in which you hold your hands closer than shoulder-width apart. This strength exercise works for muscle groups throughout the body, including the deltoids, pectorals, and triceps.

Perform close-grip push-ups by placing your palms on the floor a few inches apart and holding yourself in a high plank position. Keeping your back and legs in a straight line, lower your body toward the floor before pushing yourself back up to the starting position.

How to perform push-ups with closed handles in perfect form

Begin the closed grip push-up with 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions. Choose sets and repetitions that allow you to maintain good technique.

  • Stand in a quadruped position with your knees and toes bent and touching the floor.
  • Your hips should be above your knees.
  • Your hands should be a few inches apart.
  • Your shoulder blades should be pushed through and away from your spine.

Grasp the floor with your hands and rotate your shoulders outward to tighten your lats. Extend your legs and lift your knees off the floor so that you land in a high plank position. Your legs should be hip-width apart or close together.

Preload your shoulders and hips with a vigorous, inhale and exhale as you tighten your core. Tighten your quads and glutes. Your ribs should be pointing down, and your pelvis should be slightly bent. Your chin should remain bent throughout the movement as if you were holding an egg under your chin. All repetitions should start from this starting position.

Lower your chest toward your hands by bending your elbows. Your shoulder blades should pull back toward the floor as you lower. Lower your body until your upper arms are level with your back. Your elbows should be close to your body. Pause at the bottom of the movement.

While maintaining your alignment, initiate the upward movement by compressing your chest and extending your elbows. Your shoulder blades should contract as you lead the move upward.

Finish the movement by tightening your chest and triceps. Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.

What muscles do close grip pushups work

The muscles that are used in a close grip push-up are the following:

  • triceps brachi
  • pectoralis major
  • serratus anterior
  • coracobrachialis
  • biceps brachii
  • deltoid anterior
  • supraspinatus
  • latissimus dorsi.

The biceps also play an active role in a close grip push-up, helping to stabilize the shoulder joint during the movement.

3 Advantages of Close-Grip PushUp

You reap several benefits when you add close-grip pushups to your upper-body workout.

  • Pushups with closed grips train upper body strength.

Push-ups with closed handles work muscle groups such as the anterior deltoids in the shoulders, the pectorals (pectoralis major), and the triceps muscles, especially the triceps brachii.

  • Push-ups with closed grips increase core stability.

When performed correctly, push-ups with closed grips activate the stabilizing muscles in your core, including the abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. By using these stabilizing muscles, close-grip push-ups can improve your posture.

  • Close-grip push-ups are versatile.

Close-grip push-ups require no equipment and can be made easier or more challenging with a few subtle variations, making this exercise a great addition to your home workout.

3 variations of push-ups with closed handles

Make the standard closed grip push-up easier or more challenging with one of these push-up variations.

Knee push-up:

Start with an easier variation like the closed-handle knee push-up if you are new to push-ups. Keeping your knees on the ground throughout the movement puts less strain on your arms and lower body muscles.

Incline push-ups:

Practice incline push-ups with a close grip by placing your hands close together on a bench or other elevated surface. Incline push-ups focus on your chest muscles, putting less strain on your arms and shoulders.

Downward push-ups:

Push-ups with closed grips focus more on your chest muscles than regular push-ups. This advanced variation requires you to elevate your feet on a bench or chair while holding yourself in a push-up position with closed grips.

Push up variations power up your workout

You may have specific goals that make the wide grip or narrow grip pushup more beneficial. Other than this option, you should use both in your workout program.

There are a few other significant pushup variations with alternative hand positions. You can also try push-ups with inclines or declines to build comprehensive strength. Make sure you master many different pushup variations to keep your workout varied.

Possitions for your feet durung close grip push ups

You need to maintain an upright posture when doing close grip pushups, as described above. So, where should your feet be?

It is OK to keep your toes on the floor if you are a beginner.

This will help you build the strength in your legs that you need to improve your repetitions. You can also try these push-ups with your feet up to challenge yourself in time. First, however, it’s essential to keep your hips down and not up toward the ceiling when you begin the exercise.

If this is the case, try putting your feet up or performing the push-up with your knees bent until you feel confident enough to lower your hips back toward the floor when you push yourself back up.

How to properly perform a close grip push ups

First, assume the Plank position with your wrists under your shoulders and your fingertips pointing forward. Make sure your neck and back are neutral so that your core is tense.

Place both hands about five inches apart and pull your elbows so that they are close to your ribs on both sides. Make sure that your spine is neither too low nor too high but completely neutral.

Then slowly lower yourself toward the floor by bending your elbows and letting them move slightly outward.

Slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position while keeping your spine in the neutral position.

After the first repetition, you can do 2-3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions each, depending on your experience.

If you are a beginner, it is more important to perfect your form before increasing your repetitions to avoid injuring yourself or developing improper form.

How to do wide grip push ups

Your arms are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart in a standard push-up position. Your hands should be more or less directly under your shoulders, although they may need to be marginally wider depending on your build.

For push-ups with wide grips, your hands will be further apart, as you might expect. Exactly how far varies from person to person, but in general, you should keep your hands between 3 and 6 inches farther apart on each side than you would for a regular pushup.

You may also need to spread your fingers wider to compensate for the extra distance in your hand position. The spacing of a wide grip depends on your physique and span.

Follow these steps to find out how wide your wide push-up stance should be:

  • Start on the floor with both knees and hands on the ground.
  • Extend both hands out to the side a few inches farther than you would for a regular push-up.
  • Allow your torso and head to move toward the floor while continuing to support your body with your knees. Pause when your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.

Adjust the exercise if your arms do not reach the 90-degree angle or feel you are not reaching the desired depth. Step back with your feet to get into the Plank position when you go the proper distance.

Do a few test runs and make sure you do not feel any pain, especially in your shoulders, back, or chest. The more often you do these wide-grip pushups, the less time it takes to find the proper posture.

How to do narrow grip push ups

Push-ups with narrow handles are performed with both hands within shoulder width. How close you place your hands depends on the width of your torso. The most common way to get into position for a narrow-grip pushup is to put your hands together so that your upper arms and elbows are bent at your sides. The closer your hands are together, the more complex the push-up will be.

You can also bring your hands closer together to touch your index fingers and thumbs. This creates a diamond shape, which is why they are also called diamond push-ups. They are similar to narrow-grip push-ups, but your elbows extend out to each side in the transverse plane. A narrow grip pushup should be performed in the sagittal plane.

This will help you figure out how to place your hands for a narrow grip pushup:

Get on your knees and lean forward to place both palms on the floor directly under your shoulders.

Now push each hand inward a few inches. If you want to see what a false position feels like, place your hands on top of each other. You need more space between your arms and your torso.

Your elbows have enough room to bend in the correct position while remaining bent at your sides. If you have difficulty achieving this position, your hands may not align appropriately with your shoulders.

Once you find the correct position for your hands, step your feet back and assume the Plank position. Make a few test attempts and stop if you feel pain, especially in your wrists or elbows.

Wide-grip VS close-grip Push-Ups: Which i s better?

Both types of push-ups have their own benefits. Whether you choose one or the other depends on your fitness goals and what kind of shape you are in.

For beginners, both types are probably more challenging than regular push-ups.

Even if you have been training with regular pushups for a few months, these two variations will challenge your muscles in different ways, and you may tire sooner than expected.

That being said, beginners are more likely to do more wide-grip pushups if they do not yet have a lot of muscle mass in their triceps and chest muscles.

As far as muscle building goes, one study even goes so far as to say that athletes who want to train their pecs and triceps should focus on pushups with tight grips.

Anyone who wants to build their triceps and pecs will benefit from a few sets of pushups with closed grips, even if the total number of repetitions is less than a regular pushup.

Neither exercise is without some risk of injury. Push-ups with narrow handles put more stress on your elbows, while push-ups with wide handles put more pressure on your shoulders.

When choosing between these two exercises, also consider your injury history, if any.

Push-ups with wide handles are better for building strength in your serratus anterior. If you want more powerful strokes and strength for other serratus anterior exercises, such as a dumbbell pullover, the wide-grip pushup is ideal.

How to train to use these push ups workout routine

Fitness exercises aim not to build mass and strength in your pecs and triceps or your serratus anterior. You do not want to increase your power without also improving your endurance. So, it’s optimal to perform both wide-grip and narrow-grip pushups in your weekly routine.

Some sneakers and lifters choose to start with a regular push-up grip and slowly increase the grip as you progress through the repetitions. In this case, you can do the push-ups with the narrow grip on another day.

How to exercise safely and avoid injury

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program. Still, you may need to modify each exercise to achieve optimal results depending on your individual needs.

Always choose a weight that gives you complete control of your body throughout the movement. Pay close attention to your body during each exercise and stop immediately if you feel pain or discomfort.

To make continuous progress and strengthen your body, you should add proper warm-up exercises, breaks, and nutrition to your exercise program. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before exercising the same muscle groups again to ensure adequate recovery. Your results will ultimately depend on your ability to recover adequately from your workout.


Your goal is to build muscle and body strength, not significant weight loss.

Here is an idea of what your exercise program might look like with push-up variations:

Day 1: Arm and shoulder day
Day 2: Legs day
Day 3: Chest day
Day 4: Core day
Day 5: Back day

The beauty of closed grip pushups on arm day is that you can almost isolate your triceps. If this is your 5-day split, days 1, 3, and 4 are perfect for push-ups. You can use them as part of a warm-up workout, during your regular routine, or for a cool-down. Since your pecs will not be exhausted until chest day, it’s an excellent strategy to push your triceps to total exhaustion on arm day with closed grip pushups.

Be sure to call RESTED-AF afterward to maximize muscle recovery.

Chest day is an excellent time to do pushups with wide grips because you can do more reps. Although many exercises activate the pectoral muscles, only a handful of activities specifically target these muscles, so you should be able to fill the extra time on chest day with a few sets of wide-grip pushups.

The core day is an excellent time to alternate between different styles.

If you have a personal preference, you can do more of this variation. Or, why not try the alternating push-up? Start with a wide grip and slowly tighten it as you progress through the repetitions. Start slowly and try not to jerk your hands into each new grip to avoid injury.

Ultimately, push-ups are a body-weight exercise. Besides building your pecs and triceps, part of their appeal is that you can do them anywhere. Once you have mastered these pushup variations, you can do them whenever you have a free moment to work out.


How do pushups with a tight grip work?

Push-ups with a tight grip are a variation of the regular push-up in which you hold your hands closer than shoulder-width apart. This strength exercise works for muscle groups throughout the body, including the deltoids, pectorals, and triceps.

Are push-ups with a tight grip better?

A close grip pushup, with your hands closer together than a standard pushup, puts more tension on your triceps. One study found that close-grip pushups produce more outstanding pectoralis major and triceps activation than normal shoulder-width pushups and wide pushups.

Are pushups with a narrow grip harder

In general, the narrower (tight) hand position results in greater muscle activation of both the chest and triceps. Therefore, the narrow version is slightly harder to perform for most people. But harder also means a little riskier.

Does it OK make sense to do push-ups every day?

Traditional push-ups are good for building upper body strength. They work out the triceps, pecs, and shoulders. … Doing push-ups every day can be very effective if you are looking for a consistent workout routine to follow. If you do push-ups regularly, you will likely notice an increase in upper body strength.