Dumbbells are a great way to target the chest, and there are a range of exercises you can do to effectively target the entire area with just a bench and the weights. While the bench press will always be the king of the chest movements, this chest workout with dumbbells will allow you to target the upper, lower and inner chest and build muscle across the whole pectoral region.
The key to advanced chest development it to target the pecs from a range of different angles, and we can do this effectively using a bench set to incline, flat and decline. Incline bench will target the upper chest area, decline will help hit the lower chest, while the flat bench will help target the entire area.
When we’re limited to dumbbells there are two main movements which will be hugely effective – the dumbbell fly and the dumbbell bench press. The fly is arguably the best isolation exercise for the chest, and focusing on good form with lighter weight is key to seeing good progress. The dumbbell bench press is a great alternative to the barbell bench press if you have wrist issues, and is one of the most effective exercises for working the chest.
We’re looking to develop each part of the chest equally so that it’s almost a vertical drop from top to bottom. Many people focus exclusively on the flat bench press, which can leave the upper chest lagging behind a little. The incline fly and the incline bench press are key for achieving this balance.
- Incline Bench Press 2 x 8
- Incline Fly 2 x 8
- Flat Bench Press 2 x 8
- Flat Bench Fly 2 x 8
- Decline Bench Press 2 x 8
- Decline Fly 2 x 8
Dumbbell Bench Press
- On a bench with your feet flat on the floor, grab a dumbbell in each hand
- Starting position is the arms above the middle of the chest with palms facing forward
- Lower the weights by bending your elbows until they’re at a 90 degree angle, upper arms parallel to the floor
- Push the weight back to the starting position in a controlled manner
- Repeat for the desired reps
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on a bench with your feet flat on the floor
- Lift the dumbbells over your chest with a slight bend in your arms – this is the starting position
- Lower the dumbbells either side of your chest in an arc motion, maintaining the slight bend in the arms
- Return the dumbbells to the starting position in a controlled fashion