Best Dumbbell chest exercises: The fitness industry has seen many new technologies emerge and has been flooded with cutting-edge training facilities. As a result, it’s hard to imagine being able to do a solid chest workout without the use of a bench and just a pair of dumbbells. But believe me, you can!
In this article, I’m going to tell you about 7 great dumbbell chest exercises that don’t require a bench!
7 Best Dumbbell chest exercises without bench
No benches, no biggies!
Read on to learn about these effective chest exercises you can do with a barbell. Later, you’ll also find a sample workout that includes some of these exercises you can try. Be sure to pay attention to the technique required to avoid injury!
1. Standing Chest Press
Pressing while standing creates new muscle growth and stimulation by targeting your pectoral muscles in a unique way. You only need one dumbbell to perform this exercise.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell between your palms, with arms bent in front of your chest. Squeeze the dumbbell with your palms to engage your chest. Then push the dumbbell away from you until your arms are fully extended before returning to the starting position.
You should be careful not to drop your arms when you are tired. They should stay in line with your chest when fully extended. Another important thing to remember is that you make sure to keep your core engaged to avoid lower back stress as you take the weight away from you.
2. Standing Upward Chest Fly
This exercise is like a front lift for your shoulders, but it’s a simple wrist twist that makes it an effective chest exercise. This requires a dumbbell in each hand.
Start in a neutral, grounded standing position with your dumbbells at your sides, palms facing forward. With a slight bend at the elbow, raise both arms by your sides so that the dumbbells meet at chest level. Up and down reps should be slow and controlled.
Be mindful of the unnecessary momentum you can create to “swing” the weights instead of lifting them. Core always.
Pro tip: Do this one arm at a time for maximum impact, or as a one-sided exercise alternating from left to right!
3. Reverse Dumbbell Chest Press
The key element of the reverse dumbbell press is hand and wrist positioning.
In a standard dumbbell chest press, you hold the dumbbells away from you with your palms facing forward. In this exercise, you hold the dumbbells with your palms facing you. This small adjustment provides unique targeting of your pectoral muscles.
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Take a dumbbell with a reverse grip in each hand and position your arms 45 degrees away from your body. Press the weights up and together over your chest, tightening the muscles at the top of the movement.
At the end of each rep, be sure to place your arms where they started (45 degrees away from your body). If you get distracted during your set, it’s easy to assume a wider or narrower arm position than necessary.
4. Dumbbell T Push Ups
This unique push-up will test your strength and endurance! This push-up has several elements and requires a fair amount of core strength and stability. Therefore, it is not recommended for beginners.
Get into a push-up position with each hand on a dumbbell directly under your shoulders. Your palms should be facing inward. Start by doing a push-up. Returning to extended arms, lift a dumbbell off the floor keeping your arm straight, and rotate it until your body forms a ‘T’ shape.
Each rep should consist of a push-up and a twist. This exercise is best done with alternating repetitions from left to right.
Be careful not to do your push-ups too deep with the added height provided by the dumbbells, as they are not ideal for your shoulders.
5. Stability Ball Dumbbell Pull-Overs
Dumbbell pull-overs are usually done with a bench. However, doing this with a stability ball adds an element of balance and balance work, making it more difficult.
Hold a dumbbell between your hands and start in a bridge position with your upper back supported by the stability ball. Your starting position should be with your arms extended over your chest. Then, keeping your arms straight, lower the dumbbell behind your head until you feel a stretch in your latissimus dorsi.
As you pull the dumbbell back to the starting position, consider rotating your hands and arms inward rather than outward. This will allow for more activation from your pectoral muscles during this phase of the movement.
Your core should stay well engaged to support your neutral spine to avoid hyperflexion when the weight is behind your head.
6. Single Arm Floor Chest Press
This exercise is great for developing balanced strength and mass on the left and right sides of your chest. It also provides an opportunity to work on your core strength and stability while adding weight to one side of your body at a time.
A dumbbell is required to perform this exercise. Start by lying on your back with your legs straight. Hold a dumbbell in one hand with your arm at 45 degrees to your body; Your other arm should be out (palm down) for more stability.
When doing unilateral exercises, it is recommended to start with your weak side.
Press the weight up and down in a straight line. As you press the weight up, you will feel your core kick in to prevent you from rolling onto the weighted side of your body.
If you feel any stress in your lower back, you can bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor – this variation requires less input from your core.
7. Stability Ball Dumbbell Chest Fly
The dumbbell chest fly can be done in a variety of ways without a bench. But this balance ball version is my favorite!
Position your middle back up on the stability ball and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Push your hips up to bring your body as straight as possible. Start with dumbbells over your chest with a slight bend in your elbows.
From here, open your arms wide until your arms are parallel to the floor. Then pull the dumbbells back by engaging the chest muscles and tighten your muscles at the top of the movement.
Doing this exercise on the ground will allow you to use more weight. However, doing this on a stability ball makes it more challenging in terms of balance and stability. Try both!
Example Dumbbell Chest Only Exercise
I’ve put together a workout that includes a few of the exercises I’ve covered in this article for you to try. Dumbbell chest exercises are designed to provide a complete chest workout to hit your chest muscles from all angles and develop strength and size.
This workout is divided into 3 supersets.
- Dumbbell T Push Up x 12 alternates
- Standing Up Chest Fly x 15
- Rest 45 seconds and repeat 3 times
- Standing Chest Press x 12
- Stability Ball Chest Fly x 10
- Rest 1 minute and repeat 3 times
- Stability Ball Dumbbell Pull-Over x 12
- Single Arm Floor Press x 8
- Rest 1 minute and repeat 3 times
Be sure to check out the videos provided in the workout list. They will show you the right technique so you can maximize the effect of this workout!
It’s clear to see that you don’t need a bench to do an effective chest workout. Many of the well-known and beloved chest exercises using the bench can be repeated using the floor or stability ball!
A set of dumbbells of various weights is a great starting point for doing a variety of exercises and exercises from the comfort of your home. If you’re looking for dumbbells to do exercises like this.
Tell us about your favorite “non-bench” Dumbbell chest exercises in the comments section below!