5 best Chest Exercises With Dumbbells: A Simple Definition

Chest exercises with dumbbells are a great way to tone your body and improve your fitness. Discover the best chest exercises with dumbbells in this simple guide!

Do you want to keep your chest as sculpted and toned as possible? If so, then a good way to do that is to incorporate some effective exercises into your routine. In this article, we will introduce you to the best chest exercises you can do with dumbbells.

Apart from being effective, these exercises are also very simple. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a bit of space. That makes them perfect for those who are short on time or don’t have access to a gym.

So whether you are looking to tone your chest or just add variety to your routine, these exercises are a great way to start. Give them a go and see the benefits for yourself!

What Are The Benefits of Working Out My Chest With Dumbbells?

“The second you put two weights into your hands, it becomes doubly hard to stabilize them,” says Dr. John Rusin, a strength and conditioning coach and author of Functional Hypertrophy Training (available at drjohnrusin.com). That’s a good thing, he says: the smaller muscles in your shoulder joints learn to stabilize those joints, while the big muscles (the pecs, mainly) work harder to control the weights, preventing them from drifting in all directions. Dumbbell training offers the following benefits for chest gains.

  • Dumbbells Allow a Greater Range of Motion
  • Dumbbells Build More Stability
  • Dumbbells Place Less Stress on Your Joints.
  • Dumbbells Give you Balanced Development and Strength.
  • Dumbbells Work the Pecs Harder.
  • Dumbbells Are Safer

What muscles make up your chest?

When we think of chest muscles, the most common one that comes to mind is the pectoralis major — responsible for raising your arm in front of you, lowering your arm to the side, and rotating your arm inward. There’s also the pectoralis minor, located underneath the pectoralis major, responsible for stabilizing the shoulder blade. 

Lastly, there’s the serratus anterior, located deep under the pectorals on the lateral surfaces of the rib cage, responsible for pulling your shoulder blades forward, which in turn allows you to reach in front of you.  

best Chest Exercises With Dumbbells


Chest Exercises With Dumbbells

The dumbbell flat bench press is a compound exercise that works the chest, triceps, and shoulders. It is a great exercise for building overall chest strength and size.

How to do

  • Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing each other.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells down to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Pause for a second at the bottom, then press the dumbbell back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


Chest Exercises With Dumbbells

The dumbbell fly is a classic accessory exercise for opening up the entire chest, improving your range of motion, and building a solid definition of your inner chest. The dumbbell twisted fly is the same exact concept but it allows for even more muscle fiber activation. By rotating your arms slightly so that as you reach the top, your palms are in an underhand grip, you will get a stronger contraction. As you lower back down, you rotate your hands back so that they are facing each other like a traditional dumbbell fly during the stretching phase. 

This exercise will be a little more difficult than the traditional dumbbell fly. Be sure to use an appropriate weight and keep your elbows fixed throughout and don’t overextend at the shoulder joint. 


Chest Exercises With Dumbbells

The dumbbell incline fly is great for building the upper-inner area of your chest. Focus on squeezing your chest to raise the dumbbell up rather than using just your arms. Get a deep stretch if your shoulder mobility allows for it, but there’s no need to go down too low to where the stress starts to be placed on your shoulders rather than your chest muscles. If you can’t get a good stretch in your chest due to shoulder mobility, work on improving your mobility as this exercise is best when you can get a full pectoral stretch on the eccentric phase.

Note: You can add a twist at the top by rotating your arms so your palms face up for even more contraction.


Chest Exercises With Dumbbells

The dumbbell pullover is a hypertrophy accessory exercise that became popular in the Arnold era. It works both your arms, back, and chest at the same time, more specifically your upper chest and lats.

The variation of placing just your upper back on the bench adds an element of core strength to the exercise.

Other than that, it is a good exercise for posture and improving the mind-muscle connection. To make this exercise effective for your upper chest, you need to really focus on that area. As the dumbbell comes up past your head, you will need to squeeze the heck out of your upper chest. Keep a slight bend in your elbows at all times. 

Note: Another variation involves using two lightweight dumbbells held side-by-side with palms facing up. This will put a little more tension on the outer part of your chest, whereas the single dumbbell pullover puts more emphasis on your upper-middle chest as your hands are closer together.

We love this versatile move so much, you’ll also see it in our ultimate back and chest workout!


Chest Exercises With Dumbbells

The dumbbell reverse bench press is like a regular bench press except you are holding the dumbbells in reverse (underhand grip) and your arm positioning is a little closer to the body. 

By simply changing your grip, you are placing more emphasis on your upper chest and you are taking pressure and tension off your shoulders. It also hits the triceps to a greater degree than the standard bench press. 

A lot of trainers use this exercise for people who have shoulder issues and bodybuilders use it because it is very effective at hitting the upper chest and triceps without the shoulders doing too much work.

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