Reverse Grip Bench Press

Reverse Grip Bench Press

The reverse grip bench press is a variant of the classic bench press, which is practiced with the hands in supination rather than in pronation. It is an exercise little practiced but which has the advantage of emphasizing the demand of the pecs top, the triceps and the shoulders front.

Reverse Grip Bench Press

However, it is not as comfortable as the pronated grip bench press and has some risks. This is why it is essential to follow certain safety rules.

Muscles used

The reverse grip bench press targets the pectoralis major in its upper part, the triceps brachial and the anterior deltoid, ie the front of the shoulder.

Execution of the exercise

Start by loading your weight bar on its supports. Then lie down on the bench with your head under the bar. Your feet should rest on the ground, legs at 90 degrees.

Grasp the bar, hands in supination, so palms upwards, with a gap slightly superior to that of the shoulders.

Lift the load and hold the bar, arms outstretched, over your chest. Descend the bar by bending your arms, stop before touching your chest, then push the bar back up to the starting position.


Breathe in while descending the bar and exhale as you go up.

Safety instructions

Attention, although it is common to arch the lumbar on the bench press, this is not advisable because it is risky for the spine. It is better to press the back against the bench. For this, it is possible to opt for a position legs folded and feet placed on the bench. However, this position reduces stability.

To reduce the risk of shoulder injuries, ask a partner to help you clear the support bar.

The reverse grip bench press is an exercise that can be aggressive with the joints of the wrists, elbows and shoulders. It is also an exercise that carries a risk compared to its reverse intake since, if you drop the bar, it can fall back to the level of the face or the throat. It is therefore advisable not to use a load that is too heavy and not to persist on this exercise if you feel an embarrassment.

Tips for reverse grip bench press

During the climb, you can push against the ground with your feet and contract your buttocks and thighs to gain stability but without taking off the pelvis of the bench. This can help you gain some strength.

It is possible to take an inspiration before lowering the bar and then to block the breathing during the descent. Thus, the trunk becomes stiffer and helps the muscles of the pectorals to be stronger.

You can more specifically solicit the triceps. To do this, lower the bar towards the top of the pectorals. On the contrary, to emphasize the top of the pectorals, lower the weight bar towards the bottom of the chest.

To increase the stress of the triceps, you can make a short pause at the top of the movement, by contracting the triceps to the maximum.


To increase the demand on the pectorals top, the most classic exercise is the pronated grip bench press, but inclined. This movement can also be performed with the reverse grip.

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