How To Do The Reverse Grip Bench Press

If you are stuck in a rut with your bench press gains. Then give the Reverse Grip Bench Press a try for the next 4-6 weeks to help spur on some new muscle growth!

Generally when you start a new exercise or workout routine you will make good progress and you will be able to increase the weights that you are lifting from week to week. But then after several weeks you’ll find that you are no longer making steady progress and eventually you may find yourself struggling to lift the same weights that you previously lifted with ease.

If you have kept a training log of your workouts you can most likely spot this trend. For example, when you start a new exercise the first workout you are basically just going through the motions and learning how to do the exercise properly. The second workout you can go a bit heavier, but you are still working on getting the technique down pat. By the third workout you will have a good feel for the exercise and be able to lift heavier. Then for each workout after that you will be able to make steady strength gains in the exercise for several weeks in a row. But eventually your gains will start to plateau.

The key to avoiding this pitfall is to change your major muscle group exercises every few weeks. This way you can still work the muscles hard and make consistent progress by strengthening different areas of the muscles before your body adapts to the exercise. Another key benefit to changing up your exercises every few weeks is by working the muscles and joints with different movements and along different angles you can avoid injuries that are caused by doing repetitive movements.

The Reverse Grip Bench Press is a great bench press assistance exercise that will work the muscles used when benching and help strengthen the flat barbell bench press without actually doing the exercise. So if you have been regularly pounding away at the regular barbell bench press with little or no gains to show for your efforts give this exercise a try.

Watch The Video Below To See How To Do The Reverse Grip Bench Press…

Note: if you can’t watch the embedded video clip above,
you can watch it right on my YouTube Channel by Clicking Here

Part 2 – This is a follow up video to the first one posted…

Note: if you can’t watch the embedded video clip above,
you can watch it right on my YouTube Channel by Clicking Here

The reverse grip bench press works the chest and triceps heavily, but doesn’t involve as much shoulder rotation as a regular grip bench press. It’s a great assistance exercise to help bust through a bench press plateau.

Studies have also shown that the reverse grip bench works the upper pecs to a greater degree than using a regular overhand grip. So if your upper pecs are a stubborn area for you, than this maybe a move you’ll want to incorporate as a regular in your chest workout.

I normally don’t recommend doing exercises in the smith machine, but this is an exception. The smith machine will force you to press the bar in a straight line and make it easier and safer for racking the weight.

You’ll need to slide the bench up higher under the bar than you normally would for an overhand grip bench press. Position yourself on the bench so that you lower the bar to your upper abdominals. As you press the bar up you should feel your chest and triceps contracting hard.

Stick with this exercise as a staple in your chest workout for 4 to 6 weeks and then you will be able to return to your regular chest, shoulder, and tricep workouts with more strength and help you take your pressing strength to a new level.

Keep records of the weights, sets, and reps that you do. Each workout try to beat what you did for your previous workout. Either by adding 5-10 pounds per week or performing higher reps.

If you would like to get more workout tips for improving your bench press strength and muscular development, then get yourself a copy of the Blast Your Bench e-Book at:

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About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...


  • yikes, definitely not for the faint of heart, looks like injury city, haha jk, def an advanced move though…

  • Chris

    Great Tip!!! The reverse grip works great!!!

  • Ben Hadders

    What a bunch of B.S. injuries???
    I do this exersise on a regulary base and it really added thickness and alot of meat to my triceps and pecks! It’s even a old skool from Lee because I allready learned this one from him a long time ago.
    I suffered from a small acking injury between my left upper shoulder and upper trap so I couldn’t bench for a long time!
    Decline and Incline were no problem, if I did chest exercises 180 degrees I could’t do any of them so I started to experiment!
    The reverse grip was no problem, the JM press was awesome, the guilotine helped me a lot and the close grip, the bomb!
    Now I started to ad the bench press again to my training program sinds last week, carefully and what do you know… I really made progress immediately with pushing over my bench plateau 🙂 So people who say, if you don’t do the exersise anymore you lose your strenght with it, the don’t know S…

    Remember guys, take it from Lee, variation is growth 🙂

    Love your works Lee and send my best regards to the team!
    Greetings from the Netherlands.

  • GarageGymPlanner

    I’ve not tried yet with reverse bench press, but I learned much from this video.Thanks for the post.

  • i like doing reverse bench but it hurt my wrist and my so what can i do so to prevent it from hurting