Are you looking for a simple move to work your pecs, one that doesn’t put too much pressure on your back? You’ve come to the right place. The dumbbell chest press exercise is a basic, go-to selection for my own and my clients’ workouts. I explain the benefits and how to do it in this mini-blog.

Benefits of the Dumbbell Chest Press

The chest press is a classic exercise to work the pecs. It can be performed on a variety of types of equipment. The dumbbell chest press in particular utilizes a set of hand weights. Not only will you work your pecs by completing this move. You’ll also:

  • Work on core stabilization in your shoulders and in your trunk
  • Engage your delts
  • Improve your flexibility in your chest and in your shoulders

How to Perform the Exercise

If you’re just starting out, I suggest you perform your dumbbell chest press on a mat. Here’s how:

  1. Begin seated on your mat with two dumbbells of the same weight on either side of your legs.
  2. Take hold of one weight with each hand.
  3.  Simultaneously curl the dumbbells to your shoulders and roll onto your back, walking your feet in toward your torso.
  4. Draw your elbows wide so that they are touching the ground and in line with your nipples or slightly above them. In this position, your hands and elbows should stack over one another.
  5. Press the dumbbells straight up toward the ceiling and into the midline of your body so that they touch at the top of the movement.
  6. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Chest Press Exercise Demonstration

For your convenience, here’s a quick video demonstration of the chest press exercise, along with audio instructions on how to perform it.

If you’re a bit more advanced, you may want to try performing a one arm dumbbell chest press. It has the added benefit of working your back and obliques and is a great way to promote more power during athletic arm swings and rotational movements (like spiking in volleyball or swinging a baseball bat). For an example, feel free to check out this one dumbbell workout on my YouTube Channel.

Adding the Dumbbell Chest Press to Your Routine

The dumbbell chest press is a solid exercise pick for days when you want to work the chest (i.e. upper body or full body workouts). Since your pecs are among your stronger muscle groups, I recommend choosing a set of medium to heavy dumbbells for this move.



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