10+ Dumbbell Chest exercises For Home and Gym

In a series of Dumbbell exercises, in this article, I’m going to share a complete list of dumbbell chest exercises.

Everyone wants a stronger chest which looks attractive and enticing. And luckily there are numerous exercises you can do on chest day. In fact, Bodybuilding exercises database list at least 84, but doing all is not worth it. Doing the best exercises out of those can help you to develop your pecs in a short amount of time.

Although, barbell and dumbbell both are important for muscle training but if you’re a fitness enthusiast who workout at home with a limited number of equipment like dumbbells, so this post is for you. Because in this post, I’ve shared a list of 13 chest workout you can do with the dumbbells at home as well as in the gym. So, keeping this.

Content

  • Why Dumbbells are good for chest workout?
  • Basics Knowledge of Chest Muscle Anatomy
  • List of dumbbell chest workouts with instructions and images
  • Other Benefits Of Dumbbell Exercises For Building Chest

Why Dumbbell Exercises Good For Chest?

Dumbbells are as important as barbell, here’s why:

  • According to a study published in 2017, Twenty-seven (27) men were assigned to perform 3 different bench press; smith-machine press, barbell bench press and dumbbell press. They performed 8 sets of 10 repetition maximum with 2 minutes rest between sets. And the study revealed no differences in muscle thickness in any group.
  • Another study demonstrated that dumbbells are the way to strengthen stabilizer muscles. Stabilizer muscles are small which support primary movers in the compound exercises. The strong stabilizer muscles also reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Dumbbells allow a better range of motion that help you target your muscle more precisely.
  • With the help of dumbbells, you can also improve your weaker muscle group.
Dumbbell Chest Exercises

Chest Muscle Anatomy

Before moving on the main topic, I want you to have some basic understanding of the “Chest muscle“. In science terminology chest muscle is called “Pectoral muscle (pecs)”. This muscle is located on the anterior chest wall.

chest-mucsle-anatomy
Figure: Muscles of the Chest (Source)

The Pectoral consists four muscles:

  • Pectoralis major (Large and fan-shaped muscle)
  • Pectoralis minor (It’s located under pectoralis muscle)
  • Subclavius (a small muscle located beneath clavicle), and
  • Serratus anterior (It’s located more laterally under the chest wall)

ExercisesMajor Muscle Worked
Incline pressPectoralis major and subclavius (Upper Chest)
Flat PressPectoralis major, subclavius and pectoralis minor (Upper and Middle Chest)
Decline PressSerratus anterior (Lower Chest)
examples of exercises that work on different chest muscle

I hope the above information will help you in your training, so without wasting any more time, Let’s move on to the main topic.

A list of Dumbbell Chest Exercises

  • Bench Press (Flat, Incline and Decline)
  • Chest Fly (Flat, Incline, Decline, Standing, and Upward)
  • Squeeze Press
  • Pullover (Straight-arm and Bent-Arm)
  • Dumbbell Push-ups

1. Dumbbell bench Press

(a) Flat Dumbbell Chest Press

Chest Workouts with Dumbbells
Pic credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited)
How to perform flat dumbbell chest press:
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on a flat bench on your back.
  • Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbells at your sides at the chest level and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Now brace your core and push the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until your arms directly over your neck.
  • Hold for a second and then return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 2 minutes rest between every set.

b. Inline Dumbbell Chest Press

Inline Dumbbell Chest Press is one of the best dumbbell chest workouts.
Pic credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited)

How to perform Incline Dumbbell press:

  • Lie on an incline bench (30 to 45-degree incline) on your back with holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. And keep your feet entirely on the ground.
  • Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbells at your sides at upper chest level.
  • Now tighten your core and press the dumbbells up until your arms are directly over your chin.
  • Hold for a second and then return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between every set.

(c) Decline Dumbbell Chest Press

Decline_dumbbell_bench_press is one of the best exercises to build your Chest with Dumbbell
Pic credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited)

How to do Decline Dumbbell chest press:

  • Lay down on a decline bench on your back and grab one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Hold the dumbbell to the level of your lower chest and keep distance between two hands according to the width of the shoulder.
  • Push the dumbbells up until your arms directly over your upper chest.
  • Hold for a moment and then return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between every set.

(d) Floor Dumbbell Chest Press

Floor Dumbbell Chest Press
How to do Decline Dumbbell chest press:
  • Grab dumbbells in both hands, lay down on the floor on your back and bend your knees
  • Hold the dumbbell to the level of your middle chest and keep distance between two hands to the width of the shoulder.
  • Push the dumbbells up until your arms directly over your upper chest.
  • Hold for a moment and then return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between every set.

2. Dumbbell Chest fly

(a) Flat Dumbbell Chest fly

Flat Dumbbell fly Floor is one of the best exercises to build your Chest with Dumbbell
Pic credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited)
How to do flat Bench Dumbbell Chest fly
  • Pick one dumbbell in each hand and lay down on your back on a flat bench
  • Put yourself in a position to perform fly and keep your elbows just slightly bend.
  •  Raise the dumbbells until they are side by side on top of your upper chest
  • Hold for a sec and then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each while keeping 1-2 mins rest between each set.

(b) Incline dumbbell chest fly

Incline Dumbbell Chest fly
Pic credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited)
How to do Incline Dumbbell Chest fly
  • Grab dumbbells in both hands and lay down on your back on an incline bench ( 30 to 45-degree incline)
  • Put yourself in a position to perform fly and keep your elbows just slightly bend.
  •  Raise the dumbbells until they are side by side on top of your neck.
  • Hold for a sec and then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each while keeping 1-2 mins rest between each set.

(c) Decline dumbbell chest fly

Benefits Of Dumbbell Exercises For Building Chest
Pic credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited)
How to do decline dumbbell Chest fly
  • Pick one dumbbell each in both hands and lay down on your back on a decline bench
  • keep your elbows just slightly bend and position yourself to perform dumbbell fly.
  •  Raise the dumbbells until they are side by side on top of your lower chest.
  • Hold for a moment and then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each while keeping 1-2 mins rest between every set.

(d) Standing Dumbbell Chest fly

Standing Dumbbell Chest fly
How to perform standing Dumbbell Chest fly
  • Stand straight with your foot and grab one dumbbell each in both hands.
  • Keep your arms straight at your middle chest level and position yourself to perform dumbbell fly
  • Completely extend your arms out to the sides of your chest.
  • Hold for a moment and then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep
  • Keep your arms always at chest level while performing this.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each while keeping 1-2 mins rest between every set.

(e) Standing dumbbell upward fly

Standing dumbbell upward fly
How to perform standing Dumbbell upward Chest fly
  • Stand straight with your foot and grab one dumbbell each in both hands
  • Keep your arms to the sides of your hips; your palms facing forward and position yourself to perform upward dumbbell fly.
  • Raise the dumbbells at your chest level with keeping your arms straight.
  • Hold for a moment and then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep
  • Stress tension on your chest while doing upward fly.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each while keeping 1-2 mins rest between every set.

3. Dumbbell Squeeze Press

Dumbbell Squeeze chest Press

How to do dumbbell squeeze press:

  • Lay down on your back on a flat bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Place your feet properly and tighten your core.
  • place your arms just over your chest and slightly bend your elbows.
  • Raise your arms straight over your pecs while squeezing your chest.
  • Hold for a couple of secs then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each with 1-2 mins rest between every set.

4. Dumbbell pullover

(a) Dumbbell straight-arm pullover

How to perform dumbbell bent-arm pullover
  • Lay down on your back on a flat bench and grasp a dumbbell each in both hands. Place your feet properly on the ground.
  • Extend your arms straight with the dumbbells just directly over your chest.
  • Lower the dumbbells slowly in an arc shape behind your head. Exert tension on your chest during pull-over.
  • Hold for a couple of secs then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each with 1-2 mins rest between every set.

(b) Dumbbell Bent arm pullover

How to do dumbbell bent arm pullover
  • Lay down on your back on a flat bench and grab a dumbbell each in both hands. Place your feet properly on the ground.
  • Bend your elbows and place your arms just over your chest.
  • Draw the dumbbells slowly in an arc shape behind your head while giving tension on your chest.
  • Hold for a second then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each with 1-2 mins rest between every set.

5. Dumbbell Push-Ups

How to perform Dumbbell push-ups

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place yourself in a push-up position.
  • keep your elbow straight and your arms to the sides of the chest.
  • Push your chest towards the floor between the dumbbells.
  • Hold for a sec then return to the same position. That’s one rep!
  • At the top of the push-up, you can row one dumbbell up to your chest while trying not to rotate at the shoulders or hips.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps each with 1-2 mins rest between every set.

Related: When should you workout, morning or evening?


Other benefits of Dumbbell exercises for building chest

  • Chest exercises with the dumbbell categorize in the free weights exercise. Dumbbells allow a range of motion. It means you can lift dumbbells as you want and you can easily target a specific muscle. As per the study of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research recommends that the larger ranges of motion lead to more muscle growth.
  • Dumbbells put less stress on the joints as compared to the barbells. Because when you workout with barbells So, one side of your chest likely take more stress than the other. While dumbbells allow both sides of your chest to perform equally.

    Usually, dumbbells put stress only where it requires. They strengthen the small stabilizer muscles, which play a big role in supporting your body and keeping your joints in their proper place
  • Dumbbells are great for targeting specific muscles. They strengthen the targeted muscles and allow them to grow promptly.

Which one is better for chest growth, Barbell bench press or Dumbbell chest press?

Ans: Barbell bench press! But apart from barbell bench press, dumbbell exercises are the better option to build stronger chest.

Final Words

Building your Chest with the Dumbbell exercises is a great option. The dumbbells allow a greater range of motion that help you perform different exercises. They allow us to target particular muscles which help in muscle growth. Hence, All exercise that I mention is the best exercises that help you build your chest with the dumbbells.

I would suggest you try all of them for a couple of weeks and then do what suits you the best. You can also add dumbbell chest exercises along with barbell in your overall chest workout routine.

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