Is your body just dying to have that all-natural muscular build? Are you spending countless hours doing the benches and still get nil results? Especially you’re chest right? I know that’s your focus when doing those hard benches. Well I have the alternative just for you. Try these Dumbbell exercises for chest workouts. In this article, we will be discussing the different forms of dumbbell chest workout, its benefits, what to do and not to do, and a lot more. You may even do it at home.
Benefits of Dumbbell Chest workout
Using Dumbbells instead of Barbells in your chest day allows you to target more parts of your body. For example, the barbell chest press focuses solely on your chest but when you do Dumbbell Chest press, it also targets your shoulder area, allowing you maximize each rep you do.
Dumbbell chest workout also
While the Barbell allows only motion on your chest exercises, the Dumbbells give you versatility in your workout. You can do flies, extended shoulder raises and more with dumbbells and you can use them in multiple position as well.
Dumbbell Chest workouts
Now for the most important part, let’s have a step-by-step look on the different forms of Dumbbell Chest workouts. I’ve categorized them into presses, flyes, and pullovers. Each has a corresponding movement to them and let’s see what they are:
1 - Presses
#1 Flat Chest Press
- Lie your back on a flat surface. Preferably a gym mat or a bench in your gym.
- From the starting position raise the dumbbells from directly above your chest
- Maintain the form of your arms and elbows and make sure that it is directly upwards
- When you reach the peak of your arm extension, lower the dumbbells gradually until you come back to your starting position.
- Make sure to avoid locking your elbows
- Mid chest workout
- Arm Triceps workout
#2 Twisting Dumbbell Bench Press
- This is an exercise similar to the usual Dumbbell press that you usually see at the gym. Only difference is the movement you do at the peak of exercise.
- Raise the dumbbells at your shoulder level. This will be the starting position of the exercise. Remember to contract your muscles fully when you start the exercise.
- Gradually separate the dumbbells from each other as your raise it upwards. This is for more muscle contraction in your chest. When the dumbbells reach the top, make the opposite sides of the dumbbells meet by twisting your hands and clanking them on the highest part of the movement. Make sure that they meet at the center top of your chest.
- Whilst lowering the dumbbells, slowly turn your wrists, so that your thumbs face each other (pronated grip) once reaching the bottom part of the movement.
- When lowering the Dumbbells, make sure to turn your wrists which will make your thumbs face each other. This is called the pronated grip.
- When you feel that your chest muscles have been stretched, use your chest to bring the dumbbells right back up and repeat the exercise.
- Muscle Isolation for your chest
- Muscle fibers especially the pectoralis major
#3 Incline and Decline Bench Press
Incline: Set a bench or a flat surface for which is at least raised 30 to 45 degree-angle
Decline: Set a bench or a flat surface for which is at least leaned downwards 30 to 45 degree-angle.
- Hold 2 dumbbells, one on each hand. They should be at your chest level and your palms are facing forward
- Lie down on an incline/decline bench and make sure that your feet are tightly secured during the exercise as you need to be stable all throughout.
- You will be holding the barbell with your palms facing forward. Make sure that you have proper grip of your dumbbells before starting. This position wherein the dumbbells are in your shoulder level will be your starting position.
- First step will be to lower the dumbbells to your chest. Be sure not to hit your chest, just give lower it enough that it is near your chest area.
- Raise the dumbbells up until the arms are extended fully. Make sure to contract those chest muscles in the process.
- Remember that it is important that your body is stable. You will know this if you can make a straight raise and back to the original position without the direction of your dumbbells changing from side to side.
- Do an exhale when your lift the dumbbells up and gradually inhale as you lower the dumbbells back to the top of your chest.
- Upper Chest Workout (incline)/Lower Chest Workout (Decline)
- Triceps Workout
2 - Flyes
#1 Flat Chest Flies
- Same as the flat chest press, this is done on a flat surface.
- While in flat chest press, you raised the dumbbells in a horizontal form, the flies are done when dumbbells are carried in vertical position.
- Put Dumbbells directly above your chest and extend them sideward. Raise them sideward as well as they meet in the middle, at the top of your chest
- Make sure your arms are parallel to the floor and the elbows are slightly flexed only and not overextended.
- Mid chest workout/ forming of pecs in your chest
- Triceps workout
#2 Incline/Decline Chest flies
- Grab a pair of dumbbells, one on each hand.
- Your hands should be at body height and elbows are slightly arched.
- Raise the dumbbells sideward and they should meet at the top of your chest.
- Pause for a moment when it reaches the peak and slowly lower them back.
- Remember to maintain the angle of your elbows to avoid injuries and achieve the perfect form
- Upper Chest Workout (Incline) / Lower Chest workout (Decline)
- Triceps Workout
3 - Pullovers
#1 Straight arm pullover
- Lie down on your back on one end of the bench and hold one dumbbell with both hands above your chest area, arms extended.
- Ensure that the Dumbbell stays stable and secured when you place it on top of you. Make sure that your body, primarily your upper body, is lying stable on the bench to prevent unnecessary jolting during the exercise.
- Grab the dumbbell with both hands and hold it straight over your chest at arm length. Your hands/palms should press against the underside of one side of the dumbbell while carrying it. This is the starting position.
- Remember to check the Screws on dumbbells as you and me do not want any injuries where dumbbell plates fall right into your face or body.
- Keep your arms straight and lower the weight slowly in an arc angle behind your head while inhaling and feeling pressure on your chest area. Your muscles are going to be stretched during this exercise.
- When you’ve reached the peak of the arc, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position in the same angle your raised it. Exhale on this movement.
- Pause for a moment before repeating the whole motion.
- Stretched chest muscles
- Triceps workout
#2 Bent-Arm Pullover Exercise
- This is similar to the shoulder arm pullover. There is just a minor adjustment on your elbow position for this exercise.
- Ensuring that the dumbbell stays securely placed at the top of the bench, lie perpendicular to the bench (torso across it as in forming a cross) with only your shoulders lying on the surface. Hips should be below the bench and legs bent with feet firmly on the floor. The head will be off the bench as well.
- Lie on the bench with one dumbbell being held by both hands at the top of your chest. Your position must be that you are perpendicular to the bench. Only the head up to the shoulder should be touching the bench area. Imagine forming a T cross with your body and the bench.
- Put your hands on the underside of one side of the dumbbell. You should be holding the Dumbbell as exemplified in the picture above.
- Before lifting the dumbbell though, please make sure that it is properly screwed to prevent accidents. Many cases have happened wherein they people would do this exercise and end up having the dumbbell disassembled in mid-air and causing a lot of injuries in the process.
- While keeping your arms locked in the bent arm position, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
- Same as the normal shoulder pullover, put the dumbbell from the top of your chest and move it all the way to the back of your head, without moving the bent elbows. You will be forming an arc in this process.
- When your reach the peak of the arc, remember to exhale as you return to your starting position.
- Pause for a second or two when you return back to the starting positon and repeat the steps.
- Stretched chest muscles
- Triceps workout
Now you have some knowledge on the different Dumbbell exercises for your chest which can also target different parts of your body. The use of Dumbbells is pretty dynamic because of the many versatilities. You can mix these exercises with any gym routine you currently have and they can also be an alternative to barbell exercises.
I hope this article has helped you on your gym needs and that you have enjoyed reading each part. If you have any queries or comments, please comment down below and I will try my best to answer each one. Again, thank you for reading my tutorial on Dumbbell exercises for Chest.
I’m Gregory Brown, chief editor at ConstructMuscles.com
I spend half of my time in this blog while the other half on being physical fitness trainer. Believing in the great benefits of bodybuilding and fitness to the body, I’ve been motivated to become a fitness enthusiast. It also was what gave me the self-confidence and assurance within myself both physically and psychologically.