HOW HAND PLACEMENT CHANGES THE EXERCISE
The traditional grip is the most common grip used for benching, and it offers a nice balance of comfort and control. For most people, the traditional grip allows them to move the most weight.
It’s comfortable, it allows for a good range of motion, it’s relatively safe and it translates fairly well to athletic competition. However, if you’re looking to target particular muscle groups more than others, the traditional grip might not be the way to go.
The close grip offers the most range of motion of any Bench Press grip. The triceps are significantly more dominant in a Close Grip Bench Press than the other variations.
This grip has also been shown to provide greater activation of the upper part of the pectorals major (known as the clavicular head). Finally, a close grip places much less stress on the shoulders than a wide grip, possibly making it safer.
The wide grip is the most movement-efficient Bench Press grip to use in terms of bar path, meaning it requires the least amount of bar movement to complete a rep. Although some studies have shown that a wide grip more effectively activates the lower part of the pectoralis major (known as the sternocostal head), the wide grip also places a lot more stress on the shoulders than both the medium and close grips. One study found that the Wide Grip Bench Press places 50 percent more torque on the shoulders than a Bench Press done with a narrower grip.