The 5 Best Dumbbell Chest Workout To Build Your Chest

Nikhil Goswami

Gym freaks always search for ways to enhance their strength and develop a set of pecs. Dumbbell chest exercise is one of the best ways of getting chest gain. Dumbbell training does not require much gym equipment. You only need dumbbells as the main equipment, which you can utilize in combination with cables, a bench, barbells, and machines.

If you own a set of dumbbells, you will not have to wait for your turn on gym machines and spend money on installing a suspension trainer. You can enjoy the best dumbbell chest exercises without buying a gym membership. 

Here we will discuss dumbbell chest workouts and dumbbell chest exercises in detail, along with the benefits of dumbbell exercises.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Dumbbells To Exercise My Chest?

When you hold two weights in your hands, it is more difficult to keep them stable. That’s excellent because the larger muscles (mostly the pecs) work harder to manage the weights and keep them from swaying in all directions. In comparison, the smaller muscles in the shoulder joints stabilize those joints. The following advantages of dumbbell exercise for chest development are available. You can also look for pre-workout supplements, to enhance your strength during the workout.

  1. The Range of Motion Is Larger With Dumbbells

The bar impacts your chest before your pectoral muscles have a chance to extend when you attempt bench presses with a barbell fully. If you aim to push the most weight possible, that’s not too awful. However, dumbbells may be preferable if you’re looking to bulk up and improve your athletic performance. They let you lower the weights below chest level, which maximizes pec stretch and engages more muscle fibers. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, greater ranges of motion promote muscle growth.

2. Using Dumbbells Relieves Joint Pressure

The human body has a funny quirk: it only appears to be symmetrical. You have somewhat different joints from one side to the other in your shoulders, hips, wrists, and other places. As a result, when the body is forced to move in perfect symmetry, such as when a barbell is placed evenly across your chest, one side will feel the strain a little more than the other. Once you’ve done it enough, the joints on that side will begin to hurt.

When executing an activity, dumbbells let both sides of the body discover their best path. You can essentially adapt the exercise to your body by allowing your wrists to rotate freely and your elbows and shoulders to move along the most comfortable path. By doing this, the exercise puts the stress exactly where it should be—on your muscles, not your joints.

3. Dumbbells Help You Build Strength and Balance

This expands on our previous point. Although it may seem like your right and left arms are pushing equally hard when you use a barbell to bench press, it’s not always the case. Humans are quite adept at compensating by favoring their stronger side and applying a little bit more pressure to their weaker one. Dumbbells are not feasible because both your right and left sides must stabilize and exert equal effort. You can quickly see if one side is behind. By doing this, you can be confident that you will never push a set further than your weaker side is capable of. The power on your two sides eventually balances out. Dumbbells also make it simple to add a few more reps to the weaker side if you need more effort to strengthen it.

4. Dumbbells Exert More Force on the Pecs

When you bench press a set of dumbbells, you’ll feel your chest muscles need to tighten up to keep the weights from moving outside. When your hands are joined by a steel bar, you don’t need to be concerned about that. The magnificent slab that makes up the majority of the chest muscles, the pectoralis major, is activated more effectively by dumbbell bench presses than by barbell bench presses or Smith machine bench presses, as per a 2017 study.

How To Grab Dumbbells Safely?

In addition to talking about the negative effects of frequent workout injuries, it is crucial to identify safety concerns, particularly while lifting large weights by yourself. You should feel confident lifting heavy dumbbells on your own to perform chest workouts, including setting them up and taking them down.

You won’t risk being hurt when lifting heavy dumbbells for chest exercises if you use good technique. What would be the best way to lift these dumbbells?

  1. Take a seat on a bench with a pair of dumbbells of your choosing. It will help if you put the dumbbells on your thighs. Make sure your hands face each other, and your grip is solid.
  2. While lying on the bench, push your thighs to lift the dumbbells.
  3. Put your legs on the ground and hold the dumbbells straight up in front of your chest.
  4. Ensure your upper back and buttocks are in contact with the bench, your shoulders are dragged back (retracted), and your chest is pushed up (focused).
  5. Simply repeat the process in reverse and set the dumbbells down once you have finished your sets.

Top 5 Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Stability

1. Bench Press Using Dumbbells

The dumbbell bench press is possibly the best free-weight workout for developing defined pecs. This exercise provides for better muscle contraction as you can pull the dumbbells together at the movement’s height.

These also permit a broader range of motion than the barbell bench press, making them particularly useful for those with short arms and broad rib cages.

Starting position: While lying down on a flat bench, raise the dumbbells using the previous technique. Thumbs facing each other, rotate your wrist while holding the dumbbells with a pronated grip.

  1. With your elbows slightly bent, place your arms parallel to your feet shoulder width. Slowly lower your arms and spread your elbows as wide as you can.
  2. After a brief pause, raise your arms into a triangular shape while using your chest to support them. Quit letting the dumbbells contact at the peak.
  3. Rotate your wrists outward so your thumbs are upward to achieve a stronger muscle contraction.
  4. Contract your chest muscles for one to two seconds.

2. Twisting Bench Press Using Dumbbells

This is the least common dumbbell chest workout, yet it uses the non-fixed grip benefit of dumbbells.

All pectoralis major muscular bundles are intended to be stimulated by the 180-degree movement of the dumbbell used in the exercise. You are held back and forced to utilize less weight than in standard presses when you twist the dumbbells. Therefore, you shouldn’t focus too much on setting personal records in this movement and focus on complete muscle isolation instead.

Starting position: Using the previously stated technique, raise the dumbbell above your chest while lying on a flat bench. Holding the dumbbells with a supinated grip and turning your pinkies toward one another can help you twist your wrist.

  1. Align your arms so that they are parallel to your shoulders, and bend your elbows just a little. As you tighten your chest, press the dumbbells into one another to create an even stronger contraction.
  2. Lower your arms while extending your elbows as you would for a regular dumbbell bench press. Keep your chest tight as you do this.
  3. After lowering the dumbbells to the bottom of the exercise, slowly rotate your wrists such that your thumbs face one another (pronated grip).
  4. Hold the stretch for one second, then slowly rotate your wrists to a supinated grip at the movement’s peak, utilizing your chest to push your arms back up. Compress your chest and press the dumbbells together at this point, holding the contraction for one to two seconds.

3. Crush Grip Dumbbell Bench Press

As the name implies, this workout will crush your chest. Your chest will burn during a crush grip dumbbell bench press.

The motion consists solely of pressing the two weights against one another. Using force both laterally (“crush grip” dumbbells) and vertically on your chest is necessary (pressing dumbbells.) Amazing muscular activation and contraction are made possible by this.

Starting position: Start by placing the dumbbells over your chest while lying on a flat bench. Move the dumbbells together while maintaining a neutral grip with your hands facing each other.

  1. Align your arms parallel to your shoulder width, and bend your elbows a little.
  2. Press the dumbbells as hard as you can against each other while contracting your chest.
  3. Keep the “crush grip” while lowering the dumbbells to about one inch from your chest.
  4. Put the dumbbells back where you started, then briefly contract your chest at the top. Your shoulder blade also gets the impact of the press.

4. Dumbbell Flyes

This exercise is a must for every chest training regimen. For a good reason, dumbbell flyes are the most efficient activities one may include in their chest workout regimen. However, this action enables a powerful loading stretch.

Dumbbell flyes, when done correctly, are a fantastic way to end a chest workout. Placing the dumbbells too near together, which theoretically results in losing muscle contraction, is the greater error most trainers make.

Starting position: Lie down on a bench with the dumbbells on your chest. Ensure that the palms of your hands are facing the same way.

  1. Place your elbows slightly bent and level your arms with your shoulders.
  2. Lower both arms in a wide arc to experience a stretch in your chest. Minor discomfort, but not agony, is acceptable. As you become more flexible, your safe range of movement will increase; trying to push it too far could cause injury.
  3. After holding the stretch for a few moments, lift your arms wide; your arms should be stiff, and your elbows bent consistently. (Only shoulder movement.)
  4. Avoid letting the tops of the dumbbells touch, as this will prevent you from contracting your chest for a full second.

5. Pullovers With Dumbbells

Although they are both, dumbbell pullovers are typically perceived as a back workout instead of a chest exercise. The step-by-step instruction goes into great detail about how your arms’ bend and range of motion play a significant role in deciding whether it will boost the former or the latter.

Like dumbbell flyes, the activity allows for a powerful, loaded stretch. It nevertheless complements flyes by aiming at the pectoralis major from a new angle.

Starting position: Place a dumbbell on the upper edge of a bench, just off the edge, and hold it with both hands. On your back, cross the bench so that only the shoulder blades rest on the wood.

  1. Plant your legs firmly on the floor, squat, and grasp the dumbbell with both hands, placing your hands against the inner side of the weight plates. To ensure a secure hold, twist your fingers over the dumbbell’s edge and tangle the thumbs around the grip.
  2. Lift the dumbbell above your head, and stretch your chest briefly while keeping your elbows bent (too much bending will activate your back more than your chest).
  3. After holding the stretch for a moment, slowly drop the dumbbell back beneath your head till your arms are parallel to your torso. Then, slowly raise it back up to your eyes.
  4. Raise the dumbbell above your forehead, squeeze your chest, and maintain the contraction for a second. Your back will be under more strain as a result.

Best Dumbbell Chest Workout Categories

1. Beginner-Friendly Dumbbell Chest Exercises

Setting limitations on the range of exercise helps beginners immensely as they learn how to operate independent training tools like dumbbells. Although a decent set of dumbbells can offer versatility and utility, you must first build a strong base of stability for the shoulder.

The exercise

Dumbbell exercises on the floor provide grip and positional awareness, which can advance as the student advances. Here, floor presses and flyes are excellent solutions because of their simplicity and lack of complicated technique requirements.

  • Three sets of 10 to 15 reps of dumbbell floor presses
  • Three sets of 10 to 15 reps of dumbbell floor flys
  • Three sets of 10 to 15 reps of single-arm dumbbell floor presses

Our Advice: Some newcomers might discover that they are unable to feel their chests contracting during pressing exercises. Exercise slowly and let your body settle into its own rhythm. Beginners can also look for post-workout supplements to recover their muscle tissues properly.

2. The Dumbbell Chest Workout for Building Muscle

Building muscle is the main goal of hypertrophy training, for which the chest must approach technical stress as feasible. Developing a powerful pec shelf takes time, effort, and perfect performance with your chosen implement.

The best method to use the dumbbells is to press and fly variations that hit the chest from various angles.

The Workout

You can alter your strategy to technical strain by increasing weight, pace, repetitions, or rest intervals to advance your chest training. Make sure you are improving with each session by increasing the weight, the number of reps, the speed at which you lift, or decreasing the amount of rest you take. You can change numerous training settings for the best chest growth.

  • Three sets of 8 to 12 reps of standard dumbbell bench press
  • Three sets of 10–12 reps of Incline Bench Press
  • Three sets of 10–12 reps of dumbbell pec flye.

Our advice: You should give yourself time throughout each repeat to get into the workout and maintain a strong link between mind and muscle.

3. Strongest Dumbbell Chest Exercise

The barbell is most individuals’ go-to tool for unadulterated strength and power. Although true, this does not exclude dumbbells from being in the workout.

Maintaining the shoulder’s mobility and stability goes side by side with strength training. Lifting higher weights can make you stronger, but you must maintain a few joint-health management exercises in your routine to keep yourself safe.

The Workout

Dumbbell pullovers should be used as the first exercise in the program to assist in mobilizing the upper body. An activity to assist and encourage the strength of your muscles should come next. After that, concentrate on heavier pressing exercises and easier incline work to keep improving your concentration as you get powerful.

Gearing Up Drills

  • 2 sets of 10–12 dumbbell pullovers
  • 2 sets of 10-12 Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Press each arm
  • 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps of Bench press with dumbbells on one arm

Main Exercise

  • 3 sets of 6-8 reps of Bench Press with Dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps of Bench Press with Incline Dumbbells
  • 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps of Incline dumbbell pec flye

Our advice: Force production is essential for building strength. Ensure that you are putting effort and intention into each repetition.

4. Best Exercise With Dumbbells for Stability

YYou may emphasize your stabilizers and assist in developing strong, solid shoulders by adjusting your hand location and elbow angle. You can later apply increased know-how of the leg muscles and core muscles from unilateral practice to barbell and dumbbell exercises.

The Exercise

By removing us from the direct path of gravity’s pull, exercises like neutral-grip, incline, and dumbbell pressing will test your expertise and stability. A person should try to execute more steps with mild weight because stability is more important.

  • Three sets of 10–12 reps of Neutral-grip dumbbell bench press
  • Three sets of 10–12 reps of Incline Dumbbell Pec Flye
  • Three sets of 10 to 12 reps of Incline Dumbbell Bench Press with Single Arm
  • Three sets of 12 to 15 reps of Incline Neutral-grip Dumbbell Bench Press

Our advice: you can freely halt at any moment in the motion range that doesn’t feel locked-in or steady to establish stability from start to finish.

5. Best Dumbbell Chest Exercise With Limited Weight

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the gym and don’t have the dream home gym. There are many techniques to rip your pecs without any dependence on a cable tree, even though having access to machines and cables aplenty is a luxury. Chest training in the house can remain successful with a little creativity and determination to feel the burn; all you require is a set of dumbbells.

The Exercise

Attempt to pre-exhaust the chest with exercises to maximize effectiveness with little weight. Before using dumbbells, push-ups are a great method to exhaust the chest, making what might otherwise be a simple workout more difficult.

To make the limited weight feel even heavy, you can reverse-engineer the routine and put on flye exercises before pressing.

  • Three arm push-ups.
  • Three sets of 12 to 15 reps of Dumbbell Floor Flye
  • Three sets of 10 to 12 reps of single-arm dumbbell floor flys
  • Three sets of 10–12 reps of dumbbell floor presses.

Our advice: To do the single-arm dumbbell floor flye, anchor your free hand to a doorway.

How To Schedule Dumbbell Chest Exercises?

Combining different barbell, cable, machine, and dumbbell movements are common to build the chest. Dumbbell chest exercises can be incorporated into other implementation training types or performed as individual training blocks for several weeks, including dumbbell exercises.

Including many exercises at various incline positions (flat, low, moderate, or high incline) is crucial when programming entire training blocks focused on dumbbell training to particularly bias parts of the chest and strengthen stability.

Dumbbells can frequently act as the all-purpose tool that keeps an extensive training program together when weaved into a bigger, more thorough training block. Take advantage of dumbbells by using them to fill spaces that machines or barbells might be unable to.

For instance, dumbbells frequently offer a wider range of motion and versatility than their machine or barbell counterparts. Each exercise may be performed with the greatest range of motion possible when using dumbbells. These offer an excellent stimulus for muscle growth while avoiding sticking places or problems with joint stability.

How To Prepare For Dumbbell Exercises?

Dumbbell chest exercises can improve by warming the back, shoulders, and pecs, and the shoulders can be moved using band pull-apart or shoulder rotations. You can stretch the pecs and lats for a better pressing range of motion. Additionally, preparing the back for a better bracing technique will increase force production and safety.

Workouts like bottoms-up kettlebell pressing or one-arm dumbbell workouts are excellent for teaching shoulder stability, which keeps us safe. Before doing your major movements, practice stability to prevent harm from the dumbbells slipping or moving.

Conclusion: What Is The Best Dumbbell Exercise For Chest?

So, these were all significant dumbbell chest workouts. We tried to include all major upper chest, upper body, middle chest, and inner chest position exercises. Dumbbells can be the major ingredient of your bodybuilding meal or the ideal addition to practically any type of chest exercise. Dumbbells are among the few equipment pieces that help to change your stability, gain strength, or grow your physique all at once. For intense muscle building, you can look for muscle building supplements, that will help you build a stronger muscle. Dumbbell work offers unmatched versatility and personalization for your chest workout, allowing you to perform presses and flyes from the ground to the bench, on a flat surface, or on an incline. You can follow an exercise regime including push-ups, chest presses, dumbbell floor press, incline bench press, dumbbell pullover, dumbbell push-ups, flat bench press, dumbbell fly, dumbbell press, and barbell presses with dumbbells. They are useful for barbell training and help to develop bigger chest and pec muscles.

Share this Article