18 Best Dumbbell Chest exercises To Do At Home

You don’t always need barbells and machines to pump your chest, dumbbells can also help you do that. You can do various chest workouts with dumbbells to build sizeable and muscular pecs at home.

Growing chest muscles is easier with dumbbells as they provide a full range of motion, activate muscles efficiently, and increase mass.

That’s why I’ve decided to hand out a complete list of dumbbell chest exercises that will work on the upper, middle, and lower chest, and help you build a brawny chest. I’ll also share how to do these dumbbell chest workouts with step-by-step instructions, pictures, and videos in this article.

However, you need a flexible workout bench and some pair of dumbbells to do these chest workouts at home. In case you don’t have a bench, you can still do 17 dumbbell exercises for chest that require no bench.

Related: I’ve got a complete guide to dumbbell exercises for newbies, so if you’re a beginner, you can check it out.

Benefits of Doing Chest Workouts with Dumbbells

  1. Dumbbells allow you to control the range of motion and help you easily target a specific muscle.
  2. Dumbbells allow you to use one arm at a time and help you improve your weaker muscles. With dumbbells, you can do a single-arm bench press and fly to fix the muscles imbalances.
  3. Dumbbells strengthen the small stabilizer muscles, which play a big role in supporting your body and keeping your joints in their proper place. The strong stabilizer muscles reduce the risk of injuries.
  4. Dumbbells put less stress on the joints compared to the barbells. When you work out with barbells, your one side of your chest likely to take more stress than the other while with dumbbells, both sides of your chest perform equally.
  5. Dumbbells provide mechanic and metabolic overload that lead to muscle growth. Mechanic overload happens when you lift heavy dumbbells and moderate-weight dumbbells combined with high reps provide metabolic overload. You can learn more about it here.

Chest Muscle Anatomy

Before moving on to the main topic, I want you to have a basic understanding of the chest muscle. The chest muscle is called Pectoral muscle (pecs) and located on the anterior chest wall.

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

The Pectoral consists of 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.

A list of Dumbbell Chest Exercises

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press
    1. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
    2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    3. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
    4. Reverse Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
    5. Dumbbell Floor Press
  2. Dumbbell Chest Fly
    1. Flat Dumbbell Chest Fly
    2. Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly
    3. Decline Dumbbell Chest Fly
    4. Standing Dumbbell Chest Fly
    5. Upward Dumbbell Chest Fly
  3. Dumbbell Squeeze Press
    1. Flat Dumbbell Squeeze Press
    2. Incline Dumbbell Squeeze Press
    3. Decline Dumbbell Squeeze Press
  4. Dumbbell Pullover
    1. Flat Dumbbell Pullover
    2. Incline Dumbbell Pullover
    3. Decline Dumbbell Pullover
  5. Dumbbell Push-ups
    1. Dumbbell Crush Grip Pushup
    2. Dumbbell Wide-arm Pushup

You can also download a PDF of the dumbbell chest workout list so you can use it whenever you like. You can get the file at the bottom of the post.


Upper Chest Dumbbell Exercises

1. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Inline Dumbbell Chest Press is one of the best dumbbell chest workouts.
  1. 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.
  2. Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbells at your sides at upper chest level.
  3. Now tighten your core and press the dumbbells up until your arms are directly over your chin.
  4. Hold for a second and then return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between every set.

2. Incline dumbbell chest fly

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

3. Dumbell Pullover

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

Middle And Inner Chest Exercises With Dumbbells

1. Flat Dumbbell Chest Press

dumbbell workouts for chest
  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on a flat bench on your back.
  2. Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbells at your sides at the chest level and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  3. Now brace your core and push the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until your arms directly over your neck.
  4. Hold for a second and then return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 2 minutes rest between every set.

2. Floor Dumbbell Chest Press

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

3. Flat Dumbbell Chest fly

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

4. Dumbbell Squeeze chest Press

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

5. Dumbbell Push-Ups

Dumbbell Push-Ups
  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place yourself in a push-up position.
  2. keep your elbow straight and your arms to the sides of the chest.
  3. Push your chest towards the floor between the dumbbells.
  4. Hold for a sec then return to the same position. That’s one rep!
  5. 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.
  6. Do 3 sets of 10 reps each with 1-2 mins rest between every set.

Related: 6 Types of Dumbbell Push-Ups And Their Benefits

Lower Chest Dumbbell Workouts

1. Decline Dumbbell Chest Press

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

2. Decline dumbbell chest fly

Decline dumbbell chest fly workout for lower chest
  1. Pick one dumbbell each in both hands and lay down on your back on a decline bench
  2. keep your elbows just slightly bend and position yourself to perform dumbbell fly.
  3.  Raise the dumbbells until they are side by side on top of your lower chest.
  4. Hold for a moment and then slowly return to the initial position. That’s one rep
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 reps each while keeping 1-2 mins rest between every set.

Standing Dumbbell Exercises For Chest

1. Standing Dumbbell Chest fly

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

2. Standing dumbbell upward fly

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

You may also like: Full-Body Dumbbell Standing Exercises (No Bench)


Dumbbell Chest Workout Routine For beginners

OPTION A

WorkoutRepsRest
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 8-12 x 31-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press8-12 x 31-2 min
Flat Dumbbell Chest Fly8-10 x 31-2 min
Flat Dumbbell Pullover8-10 x 31-2 min

OPTION B

WorkoutRepsRest
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press8-12 x 31-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press8-12 x 31-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly8-10 x 31-2 min
Dumbbell Crush Grip Pushup on Knees8-10 x 31-2 min
Related: 30 Day Dumbbell Workout Plan With PDF

Dumbbell Chest Workout Routine For Intermediate & Advanced

WorkoutRepsRest
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press10-12 x 41-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press10-12 x 41-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly8-12 x 41-2 min
Flat Dumbbell Pullover 8-12 x 31-2 min
Dumbbell Crush Grip Pushup8-10 x 31-2 min

Dumbbell Workout For Chest PDF


Pics credit: Everkinetic / CC BY-SA (edited by me under the license)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best dumbbell exercises for the chest?

Dumbbell bench press, incline dumbbell fly, squeeze press, and dumbbell pullover are some of the best dumbbell exercises for chest muscles. All these exercises activate the upper, middle, and lower chest and stimulate muscle growth.

How heavy dumbbells should I use for Chest Workouts?

Use the dumbbells that are heavy enough for doing at least eight reps and a maximum of twelve with proper form. But make sure you feel the contraction during each rep.

What muscles I can train with Chest?

The shoulder and arms are the most suitable muscles you can train with the chest. Triceps, chest, and shoulders are push workout muscles, meaning they work when you extend your arms or press the weight. However, you can do the chest and legs workout on the same day.

Where Can I Buy Good Quality Dumbbells?

You can buy the dumbbells from wherever you want, such as from local and online stores. I’ve selected some best dumbbells from Amazon and other platforms for various exercises. You can have a look.

Dumbbells vs Barbells – Which one is better for chest workout?

Dumbbells and barbells are both crucial for developing muscular and beefy chest. Barbells help you lift more weight and target the primary movers while dumbbells are good for activating stabilizer muscles. Barbells help you grow chest muscles while dumbbells help you build a defined chest. With the help of those, you can build the perfect chest over time.

Dumbbell Exercises For Other Muscles

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