Watch The Forgotten Exercise That Will Transform Your Chest

Fitness Enthusiasts Re-embrace a Classic Technique for Upper Chest Gains


In a surprising comeback, an often-overlooked exercise from the golden era of bodybuilding has been quietly carving its mark into modern fitness routines. Known for its unconventional approach, the reverse grip bench press has garnered attention and affection from bodybuilding communities again, proving its effectiveness, especially for the upper chest.

This technique, which had its heyday in the 80s, was widely popularized by legendary figures such as the Barbarian Brothers and record-setting bench presser Anthony Clark. It is an underhand grip method that leads to many benefits not seen in the traditional overhand version. After a year-long resurgence in popularity, here's a breakdown of why this old-school workout deserves a fresh spotlight:

Advantages of Reverse Grip in Focus

  • Elbow Positioning: When switching from an overhand to an underhand grip, elbows naturally tuck closer to the body. This adjustment generally allows for a greater range of motion, increased stability, and often stronger lifts when compared to the wider, flared elbow positioning.

  • Shoulder Comfort: Many lifters who experience discomfort during presses find the reverse grip to provide much-needed relief. The grip aids in achieving full shoulder extension without excessive forward rolling, creating a safer and more comfortable lift for shoulder health.

  • Upper Chest Activation: Some studies suggest a potential 30% more activation in the upper chest with the reverse grip press. Though not solely relying on this data, anecdotal reports support a significant improvement in upper chest pump and engagement.

Introducing Reverse Grip Into Your Routine

Incorporating the reverse grip press requires a careful approach:

  1. Start Light: Since the grip can place different stress on the wrists, it is prudent to begin with lighter weights to condition the wrists and prevent injury.

  2. Maintain Technique: The proper wrist position is crucial. The bar should align with the palm rather than press against an overly extended wrist.

  3. Safety First: Employing safeties or a reliable spotter is highly recommended due to the increased risk in the lockout position—a dropped bar would have a direct path to the face.

  4. Adaptation Period: Give your wrists, and by extension, your chest, ample time to adapt to the new grip to maximize benefits and minimize risks.

  5. Variety: To keep things safe and exciting, using dumbbells, a Smith machine, or incorporating an incline can introduce variety while retaining the advantages of the reverse grip press.



Though novel to some, the reverse grip bench press is a potent testimony to the timeless allure of classic exercises. Fitness advocates are steadily reintroducing this effective, yet nearly forgotten, movement into their strength training arsenals, aiming at maximizing chest development and enjoying a blend of safety and excitement in their training regimens. Will you join the ranks of those reaping the benefits from this storied exercise?

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