BP thumb position

When my friend and I are working out, he keeps his thumb on the same side of the bar as his fingers for bench press (as opposed to a 'normal' grip, which I use) I have heard his way is better for your wrists (but I don't have any problem with that) but bodybuilding.com specifically mentions that you should not do what he is doing, without giving a reason why. Is it wrong to do BP his way, and if so, why? (I would guess you can do more weight with my grip, because it seems like the harder you grab the bar, the easier it is to BP) Can someone please give me a convincing explanation either way? Thanks!

There is no right answer. It's not wrong to do it his way, but it's probably not the safest if you're working with max weights. If you've never seen someone dump a loaded bar on their chest, it's not a pretty sight.

As long as you're keeping your wrist erect you'll be fine. The bar, your wrist, and your elbow should be in a straight line up and down. Don't let your wrist extend. But I feel your right about the harder you grab the bar, the easier it is to lift.

If you were to look at the worlds best bench pressers, you'd find guys doing it both ways.

I do it thumb on the same side as fingers as well. Ryno's right in that it will be easier for you do drop the bar.

The reason i do it that way is because the bar can be lower down on my palm (since my thumb isnt in the way) which is easier on my already messed up wrists. If i hold traditional, i get some wrist pains for sure unless i am extremely aware of my hand position (which weakens my bench).


I always was taught a normal grip, for one basic reason: safety. The curvature of the hand with the thumb wrapped gives you a better "socket" for the bar to sit in, especially if you keep your wrists straight. So, you basically avoid having the bar slip off and come cracking into your sternum. Not a pleasant condition, from what I've been told.

Technically you can lift more with your thumb 'out and not gripping the bar'.

Reason is if you grip the bar with your thumb it flex's one of your muscles in the forearm. I can't remember specifically but my coach does. If this muscle isn't flexed you can push more.

But like Ryno901 the bar 'could' slip down but if your an experienced lifter and with a spot on a max effort attempt you are alright. But I'd use collars on a PB attempt either way.

I use normal grip and my bro uses thumb out. Just preferences for different people.

Most use normal grip as the thumb out the bar can roll back down and off if your sloppy or tired.



that sounds reasonable on the whole muscle flexed thing, I just figure that which is better, five less pounds on my bench press, or the increased safety. Hell, since I don't use a spotter, I don't even use a barbell for anything pressing anymore. I felt better and have gotten more "grappling strong" using DB's.