Reverse Grip Chest Workout

Introduction

In this chest workout, we are going to show you something rather different than the conventional workout. The workout uses the same, compound pushing chest movements, BUT with a reverse grip.

The reverse grip bench press is a compound movement that really engages the chest, shoulders and triceps. The exercise is of greater difficulty, compared to the normal style of doing barbell pushing movements with an overhand grip.

The difficulty is mainly due to the unconventional grip and the changed line of movement during the execution.

NOTE

We do not recommend this workout to beginners, as it requires quite good stability, balance, a perfected exercise execution and control. Otherwise, you may get yourself seriously injured. Make sure to start off light and carefully learn the movements!

Workout Priorities

The priority for this workout is diversity. The difference in grip will lead to different muscles being used to stabilize the movement, which will therefore be a new adaptive reaction for the organism.

Furthermore, this grip allows for better chest contractions overall.

The Workout

Exercise Sets Repetitions
Push-Up (with push-up handles) 3 12
Barbell Wide Reverse Grip
Bench Press
4 10
Barbell Wide Reverse Grip
Incline Bench Press
3 10
Barbell Wide Reverse Grip
Decline Bench Press
3 10
Dynamic Chest Stretches 3 10 seconds

Exercise Map

Push-Up (with push-up handles)

Pushup with handles

Execution

  • Grab the push-up handles and get into a push-up position, keeping your legs and torso straight, with legs slightly apart
  • Keep elbows out of lockout
  • Let your body go down slowly, stretching out the chest
  • Push-up explosively to the initial position

Barbell Wide Reverse Grip Bench Press

Barbell wide reverse grip bench press

Execution

  • Lie down on the bench comfortably, with your legs placed stably on the ground
  • Grab the barbell wider than shoulder width with a reverse (supinated) grip
  • Un-rack the barbell and keep your elbows out of lockout
  • Let the barbell go down slowly, until it slightly touches the lower portion of your chest
  • Push-up slowly and contract the chest fully, keeping the elbows out of a lockout

Barbell Wide Reverse Grip Incline Bench Press

Barbell wide reverse grip incline bench press

Execution

  • Lie down on the bench with your butt tucked tightly to the seat and feet placed stably
  • Rest your head back and grab the barbell wider than shoulder width, with a reverse grip
  • Un-rack the barbell, keeping the elbows out of a lockout
  • Let the bar down to the middle portion of your chest, until it slightly touches it, then push up explosively to the starting position, out of a lockout

Barbell Reverse Grip Decline Barbell Bench Press

Barbell reverse grip decline barbell bench press

Execution

  • Lie down on the decline bench, tucking your legs under the leg pads
  • Grab the barbell at shoulder width or slightly wider, with a reverse grip and un-rack it
  • Keeping the elbows slightly bent, let the bar down to the lower portion of your chest, until it touches it- Don’t rest the bar on your chest
  • Push up explosively to the initial position

Dynamic Chest Stretches (squeeze & stretch)

Dynamic chest stretches

Execution

  • Lift your arms up with your palms facing one another
  • Touch your palms and squeeze the chest, holding the contraction for up to 10 seconds
  • Slowly bring your arms out and stretch the chest
  • Repeat

Workout tips

  • Warm Up Well:
    Before starting the workout, make sure to warm up your shoulder line, wrists and elbows. For some, this grip may be awkward due to lack of flexibility/mobility in the wrists. Without a proper warm-up, the movement may feel very stiff, which will totally take away from the main focus- Targeting the chest.
  • Take It Easy!
    As we mentioned, this workout is for the more advanced trainees that have perfected their exercise execution and do not train for their ego. Staying away from the high levels of the intensity pyramid would be quite adequate, while doing this workout. If you have never done these exercises before, start off with very light weights and learn the technique and most comfortable way of doing the exercise.
  • Move Up To Heavier Weights:
    After going through a pyramid from baby weights to moderate weights, you can start including the heavier sets, while still paying close attention to the exercise execution. Dropping the barbell would be fatal so do not go overboard with weights to avoid injury.

Conclusion

With this advanced workout, revolving mainly around a change of grips, we are able to achieve diversity in our workout. The workout should be done with extreme precaution, as the nature of the reverse grip bench press is more dangerous.

A warm up before starting the exercises is mandatory, and further warm-up through a pyramid on the exercises can be done as well.

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