Chest day is one of the most popular days in the gym. Most seem to love it. Because of chest days’ popularity, it can be hard to get a bench press or cables without standing in line. The ultimate chest workout with dumbbells can be your solution to that.
Not only is it always possible to get a free bench and a set of dumbbells, training chest with dumbbells has other benefits. It allows for a greater range of motion and correction of muscle imbalances. Working out with dumbbells is something everybody should consider from time to time.
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The anatomy of the chest muscle
The pectoralis major, also known as pecs or chest muscles is a muscle placed between the sternum and the shoulder, on the chest. It’s responsible for pushing or hugging motions.
The pectoralis consists of two heads, the upper and lower pec, which is placed exactly as the names indicate. Both heads are connected to the shoulder and sternum.
A myth that many still seem to believe is that it’s possible to train the inside and outside of the chest. When looking at the pectoralis muscles, it quickly becomes obvious why you can’t target either. It’s down to genetics and the overall size of the chest.
Chest exercises with dumbbells
The exercises for theultimate chest workout with dumbbells are purposely chosen for both strength and muscle gains as well as creating a balance between the upper and lower pec.
Keep the shoulders in a safe a stable position during all the exercises by retracting and depressing your shoulder blades. Not only will it decrease the risk of injuries, but also allow for better strength and muscle gains.
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Dumbbell bench press
The dumbbell bench press is an excellent exercise for both strength and hypertrophy. It works both the upper and lower pec.
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How to do the dumbbell bench press
- Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Place them next to your shoulder, with your palms facing your feet.
- Slowly press the dumbbells upwards until your arms are straight.
- Hold for a second at the top before slowly lowering them back down.
Dumbbells allow for a greater range of motion than a barbell. You can lower the dumbbells down, past your shoulders, and bring them closer together, without touching, at the top, to take advantage of it.
Dumbbell incline bench press
The dumbbell incline bench press is another great exercise for both strength and hypertrophy. It mostly works the upper pec making it the most popular exercise to workout the upper chest.
How to do the dumbbell incline bench press
- Set up an incline bench with an angle of 30 degrees.
- Sit back on the bench with your feet in the ground and your back in the seat.
- Have a dumbbell in each hand at chest height. The palms should be facing your feet.
- Push the dumbbells up until your arms are straight. Don’t let the dumbbells touch.
- Hold for a second before slowly lowering them back down.
Make sure to push with your pecs and not your shoulders. It’s easy to use your front delts more than necessary while doing the incline bench press.
Decline bench press with dumbbells
When the incline bench press worked our upper pec, it’s only natural that the decline bench press works our lower pec.
How to do the decline bench press with dumbbells
- Set up a decline bench at 45 degrees.
- Slowly lie down on the bench. Bring a pair of dumbbells to your chest, palms facing your feet.
- Push the weights straight up slowly, before slowly bringing them back down again.
It’s common to lift the weights over your head while doing this exercise which increases the risk of injuries. Focus on pushing the weights straight up and think technique over weight.
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The dumbbell flyes work the whole chest. While it’s possible to lift heavy in the other three exercises, you shouldn’t attempt that here as you should experience a greater stretch.
How to do the dumbbell flyes
- Lie down on a flat bench with your feet solid in the ground.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells straight over your chest, palms facing each other.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells in an arc using your pecs, as far down as comfortable.
- Reverse the movement and lift the weights back to the start.
Make sure that your elbows are slightly bent and avoid overstretching. By doing this you’ll reduce the risk of injuries and maximize the activation of the pecs.
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The ultimate chest workout with dumbbells
Doing a chest workout with dumbbells has many benefits. It allows for a greater range of motion which in return allows greater hypertrophy.
The dumbbells chest workout is built to create a balance between upper and lower pectoralis with both strength and muscle gains.
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Training your chest with dumbbells does not only allow for a greater range of motion but corrects muscle imbalances as well.
The dumbbells chest workout is useful for almost everyone, no matter their lifting experience.
The key to muscle growth is a proper diet, with enough protein.