Dumbbell chest exercises are a great way to work the pectorals. Heck you can design an entire
routine made up of just dumbbell exercises. While plenty of people love using barbells, sometimes you just need dumbbells. Usually there is a greater range of motion which can help with shoulder joint issues. Also there is the issue of coordination and muscle balance.
The following is a list of the best dumbbell chest exercises. While there might be some debate, the list certainly bears consideration because top bodybuilders and lifters have used these exercises to carve some of the most impressive pecs on the planet.
Top 5 Dumbbell Chest Exercises
- Dumbbell Bench Press – This is a great exercise that brings in more stabilizing and support muscles, develops balance between both sides of the body for size along with strength, and has a greater range of motion than the barbell motion. It is a fantastic mass builder and should be a staple exercise.
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes – Stretching the pecs is important to growth. While you can get a good stretch with flat or decline flyes, you get a great stretch with the incline set at about 30 to 40 degrees. The key is using a medium weight and only a slight elbow bend to ensure a wide arc and deep stretch. If you go to heavy it can be painful on your shoulder and elbow joints.
- Incline Dumbbell Press – Basically you have the same reasons here as you do with the flat press. Personally I always favored the incline dumbbells over a flat bar because of the range of motion for the chest and shoulder blades. Plus as you press up and bring the dumbbells together you get a good squeeze to the inner chest.
- Dumbbell Squeeze Press – Never heard of this exercise? It is unique and certainly belongs on the list of great dumbbell chest exercises. These are great on a flat bench or incline. You start with the dumbbells pressed overhead, but with palms facing each other. Bring the dumbbells together so they touch and hold them there. Now do your presses while actively pressing the dumbbells together. This puts an incredible amount of focus on the pecs and is an awesome way to pump up with a medium weight and doing 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Dumbbell Pullovers – This is old school these days, but it should be a staple in any chest routine. An important note, this is about range of motion and not lifting a huge dumbbell. You stretch the chest and triceps along with working the muscles of the ribcage and back. It makes a great finishing move because of the stretching which is crucial to muscle growth.
There you have it; five of the top dumbbell chest exercises that will help you pack on muscle and strength to your upper body. The great thing about this list is that you can actually use it for a routine if you do about 3 sets for each exercise. Go heavy on the flat and incline press then use higher reps on the other three exercises!