dumbbell chest exercises

Dumbbell Chest Exercises

While you may not think about it, your chest muscles actually play an integral role in your ability to complete a variety of daily activities. 

Every time you comb your hair, open or close a door, mow your lawn or push a grocery cart, you’re using your chest muscles. 

Did you know that building your chest muscles can also help protect you against diabetes by boosting your metabolism, in addition to making you stronger? 

Count it as just another reason why it’s so important to make sure that you integrate chest exercises into your fitness routine regularly. 

To get the most out of your chest exercises and build your chest muscles without spending hundreds on expensive gym equipment, you can utilize dumbbells to achieve clearly visible and well-balanced results. 

chest dumbbell workout

Dumbbells allow you to engage your chest muscles in mechanic and metabolic overload for maximum growth, with the added benefits of affordability, versatility, and portability. 

Are you ready to take your chest workout to the next level? Keep reading to learn five muscle-building dumbbell chest workouts and our top dumbbell recommendations to help get you started. 

PS! If you’re interested in whole-body dumbbell exercises, check out this article.

PPS! The best possible dumbbells to use at home are these bad boys.. (or these if you’re on a budget).

5 Dumbbell Workouts for the Chest 

1. Incline Bench Press 

The Ultimate Chest Workout: Build A Big Chest In Just 28 Days | Coach

Target Muscle Groups: Chest (Pectoralis Major), Shoulders (Deltoids), Upper Arms (Triceps)

What Do You Need: Set of 2 Dumbbells, Incline or Adjustable Bench (Alternative: Stability Ball)

How To Do It:

  1. Set the bench incline to a 30-degree angle to hyper-target your pecs, or closer to 45-degrees to engage your shoulders more.
  2. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in and sit on your incline bench.
  3. Lean back onto the bench and position your dumbbells between chest and shoulder height with your elbows bent and slightly below your ribs. Your feet should be flat on the floor. This is your starting position.
  4. Keeping your wrists straight, drive your dumbbells up above your chest until they lockout at the top of your press. Your dumbbells should be close enough in the air that they almost touch, with your arms straight and perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Slowly lower your dumbbells back into starting position to complete a single repetition. For more experienced athletes, try lowering your dumbbells as far as is comfortably possible before returning to the starting position to increase the difficulty of this workout.

Reps x Sets: Beginners should try to aim for 8 reps in a single set and work their way up to 2 or 3 sets of 12 reps

Youtube: Click here for a visual example of incline bench press, and if you’re using a stability ball, check out this video by clicking here for additional instructions.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell-Bench-Press-1 - Womenly

Target Muscle Groups: Chest (Pectoralis Major), Shoulders (Deltoids), Upper Arms (Triceps)

What Do You Need: Set of 2 Dumbbells, Workout Bench (Alternative: Exercise Mat)

How To Do It:

  1. Plant your feet flat on the floor and sit on your bench. Grip your dumbbells with your palms facing in and rest them on the crease of your hip.
  2. Lay back on your bench facing up and position your dumbbells above chest-height with your elbows bent and pointed out just under your torso. This is your starting position.
  3. Press your dumbbells up by extending your elbows while engaging your chest and cores. Push through the press until your arms are straight to lockout at the top of your press.
  4. Slowly lower your dumbbells back down to resume the starting position and complete the repetition.

Reps x Sets: Start with 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps, and as you become more comfortable with the exercise, increase your reps to 15-20 for 3-4 sets.

Youtube: Check out this youtube video by clicking here to see what your dumbbell bench press should look like in action. 

If you don’t have access to a workout bench, click here to see how you can do a dumbbell press on your floor or exercise mat.

3. Incline Dumbbell Flye

Pin on Weights are where it's at

Target Muscle Groups: Chest (Pectoralis Major, Clavicular), Upper Arms (Triceps), Shoulders (Deltoids)

What Do You Need: Set of 2 Dumbbells, Incline or Adjustable Bench (Alternative: Stability Ball)

How To Do It:

  1. Adjust your bench to a 30-degree incline to maximize the use of your pecs. To increase the workout for your deltoids, try a 45-degree incline.
  2. Sit back on your bench facing up and grip your dumbbells with your palms facing in towards each other, you can rest your dumbbells on your knees before assuming the start position.
  3. Lay back and move your dumbbells up over your chest, keeping your legs spread and your feet flat on the floor. Your elbows should point out towards either side of you. This is your starting position.
  4. Press your dumbbells up directly above your upper chest, keeping your arms bent slightly.
  5. Slowly lower your dumbbells out to either side until you feel a stretch in your shoulders or chest and pause.
  6. Reverse the previous motion by squeezing your pecs together and return your dumbbells back to the starting position.

Reps x Sets: Begin with 2 sets of 10 reps, and as you improve, work your way up to 3 sets of 15 reps.

Youtube: For a visual example of inclined dumbbell flyes on an incline bench, click here to see an instructional Youtube video. To see how this chest exercise works on a stability ball, click here.

4. Dumbbell Chest Pull-Overs

Best Exercises to Have Attractive Chest Cutting | MENTITUDE

Target Muscle Groups: Chest (Pectoralis Major), Back (Latissimus Dorsi), Upper Arms (Triceps Brachii)

What Do You Need: 1 Dumbbell, Weight Bench (Alternative: Stability Ball, Exercise Mat)

How To Do It:

  1. Grip your dumbbell horizontally, wrapping your fingers around the weight to firmly grasp the weight with both hands.
  2. Lay back on your bench and extend your elbows. Your arms should be straight, and your dumbbell should be up above your chest.
  3. Engage your core and extend your arms back to move the dumbbell up and over your head.
  4. Once you fully extend your arms, pause, and slowly return your arms back to the starting position to complete the repetition.

Reps x Sets: To start, try 2 sets of 7 reps and increase to 3 sets of 10 reps with more weight as you improve, and this chest exercise gets easier to perform.

Youtube: For a comprehensive video overview of dumbbell chest pull-overs, click here. Or, to see how to do this chest workout using a stability ball, click here.

5. Dumbbell Front Chest Raises

Standing Dumbbell Front Raises | Shoulder workout, Shoulder mass ...

Target Muscle Groups: Chest (Clavicular Pectoralis Major), Back (Trapezius), Shoulders (Deltoids), Arms (Biceps, Wrist Extensors)

What Do You Need: 2 Dumbbells

How To Do It:

  1. Stand with your feet at hip-width distance apart, keeping your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees slightly by leaning back and down into your hips.
  2. Grip your dumbbells with your palms facing down. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, rest them against or in front of your thighs. Your palms should be facing in, towards your thighs.
  3. Raise your arms up in front of you and k them fully extended, until your dumbbells are in line with your shoulders. Pause at the top of this position.
  4. Slowly lower your arms without bending your elbows to get back into the start position and complete the repetition.

Reps x Sets: For this chest workout, try starting off with 1 set of 10 repetitions. Once you’ve mastered the dumbbell front chest raises, you can increase up to 3 sets of 12 repetitions and up the amount of weight you’re using.

Youtube: To see how the dumbbell front chest raises looks in action, click here to see a quick video demonstration of the proper form for this chest exercise.

Dumbbell Recommendations

Powerblock

PowerBlock Series Adjustable Dumbbell Set (PB-SERIES)

The Sport Series from Powerblock is one of our favorites to recommend for its versatility of use, regardless of fitness level, and it’s overall affordability. 

You can pick up a set of Powerblock Sport Series Dumbbells for as little as $159 today.

For a full, in-depth review of Powerblock dumbbells, check out our article specifically dedicated to Powerblock dumbbells here.

Bowflex

Amazon.com : Bowflex SelectTech 552 - Two Adjustable Dumbbells ...

Bowflex’s 552i Dumbbells are one of our top picks and are ideal for newcomers or those looking to introduce dumbbells into their pre-existing workout regimen. 

These dumbbells allow you to work with different ranges of weight from 5 pounds to as much as 52.5 pounds.

For a full, in-depth review of Bowflex dumbbells, check out our article specifically dedicated to Bowflex dumbbells here.

Ironmaster

IronMaster QUICK-LOCK ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELL SYSTEM - 75 LB SET ...

Durable, compact, and easy to transport, the Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell Set from Ironmaster is perfect for anyone working out with limited space at home. 

While these dumbbells may take a bit longer to switch weights than some of its competitors, they’re built to last through years of intensive use.

For a full, in-depth review of Ironmaster dumbbells, check out our article specifically dedicated to Ironmaster dumbbells here.

Hex Dumbbells

BodyMax Rubber Hex Dumbbell Sets - Shop Online - Powerhouse Fitness

Unlike the other dumbbells previously recommended, Hex Dumbbells are often sold in sets and are not adjustable; for this reason, they can also take up more room in your workout space. 

However, they can be considerably cheaper than traditional dumbbells and make an excellent alternative for anyone working out on a budget.

For a full, in-depth review of Hex dumbbells, check out our article specifically dedicated to Hex dumbbells here.

Bottomline

chest exercises with dumbbells

You can build and strengthen your chest muscles using dumbbells without breaking the bank or spending hours on huge pieces of gym equipment. 

All you have to do is incorporate any of the previously discussed chest exercises into your current fitness routine, and you’ll be sure to start feeling and seeing the benefits in no time.

Ready to get your chest shredded right now? Try this example routine with your dumbbells today and increase your reps and sets as your skill improves.

Example Routine For Beginners

  • Incline Bench Press: 8 reps x 1 set
  • Dumbbell Bench Press: 8 reps x 2 sets
  • Incline Dumbbell Fly: 10 reps x 2 sets
  • Dumbbell Chest Pull-Overs: 7 reps x 2 sets
  • Dumbbell Front Chest Raises: 10 reps x 1 set

PS! My recommended set of dumbbells to use at home (or these if you’re on a tighter budget)..

Similar Articles:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *