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Close Grip Hammer Dumbbell Press


The close grip hammer dumbbell press is a versatile strength-training exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders. To perform this exercise, you lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. The close grip, where your hands are positioned closer together compared to a traditional bench press, places increased emphasis on the triceps while still engaging the pectoral muscles. As you press the dumbbells upward and extend your arms, you engage the triceps to a greater extent, making it an effective exercise for building upper body strength and size. The “hammer” grip, where your palms are facing each other, offers a more natural and comfortable hand position for many individuals, reducing strain on the wrists and elbows. Incorporating the close grip hammer dumbbell press into your workout routine can help you develop a balanced and powerful upper body.


  1. With the dumbbells on your knees – and preferably in an incline position of the bench, lay back and simultaneously kick the dumbbells up
  2. Using the momentum, bring the dumbbells up and lock your arms
  3. Bring the dumbbells to a hammer position and make sure they’re against each other
  4. Bring the dumbbells down to your chest for the optimal range of motion
  5. Focus on the middle of your chest – similar to a fly.
  6. After a second hold, bring the dumbbells back to default
  7. Repeat until desired repetitions.

Range of Motion for Close Grip Hammer Dumbbell Press

The range of motion for this exercise is crucial to ensure proper form and maximize its effectiveness. To perform this exercise, you start with your elbows bent at approximately 90 degrees, holding the dumbbells just above your chest with your palms facing each other. As you lower the dumbbells towards your chest, your elbows should form a 90-degree angle or slightly less, allowing for a controlled descent. It’s essential to maintain stability and control throughout the movement, ensuring that the dumbbells do not go too far down and put unnecessary strain on your shoulder joints. To complete the motion, you press the dumbbells back up to the starting position, extending your arms without locking your elbows. This controlled and deliberate range of motion not only targets the intended muscle groups effectively but also reduces the risk of injury while providing a challenging and rewarding workout for the upper body.

Benefits of Close Grip Hammer Dumbbell Press

The close grip hammer dumbbell press offers a multitude of benefits for individuals looking to strengthen and sculpt their upper body. One of its primary advantages is its effectiveness in targeting the triceps. The close grip and hammer-style grip position engage the triceps to a greater extent than a standard bench press, making it an excellent exercise for developing strong and defined triceps. This not only enhances the aesthetics of the arms but also contributes to improved overall upper body strength and functional fitness. Additionally, the exercise recruits the chest and shoulder muscles, creating a well-rounded workout that promotes balanced upper body development.

Furthermore, the close grip hammer dumbbell press offers versatility in terms of equipment and adaptability to various fitness levels. It can be performed with a range of dumbbell weights, allowing individuals to progress gradually as they become stronger. It also suits both beginners and advanced lifters, as the range of motion and resistance can be adjusted to match one’s fitness level. Moreover, this exercise enhances core stability and engages the stabilizer muscles, contributing to improved posture and reducing the risk of injury during other compound movements. Overall, the close grip hammer dumbbell press is a highly effective and versatile exercise that yields substantial benefits in terms of upper body strength, muscle development, and functional fitness.


Close Grip Hammer Dumbbell Press

Muscle Targets

  • Chest Primary
  • Shoulders Secondary
  • Triceps Secondary

Muscle Anatomy

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Muscle Click active muscles for description.

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