Take a look at some of the best chest dumbbell workouts that will provide you with a great summer body along with safe ways to perform them to stay away from injuries.


Most people would suggest going out and getting some barbell workout done to get a larger chest. However, it might seem like the barbells are your go-to as they keep on hurting you and the solution to this is getting some chest dumbbell workout done. These dumbbell chest exercises force the muscles in your chest and arms to work unilaterally which helps you develop an even amount of strength on both sides. And well, once you hit that larger chest size, it is possible to attain that perfect summer body. So, here’s a guide on the various chest dumbbell workouts and what are some of the chest workouts at home with dumbbells that you can easily do.

How are Chest Muscles Like?

Unlike those large muscle groups present in your legs and arms, the chest muscles are quite simple to understand. When talking about the chest or pecs there is a reference provided to a single muscle called the pectoralis major. This muscle can further be divided into three bundles as follows:

  • The upper chest also called the clavicular part
  • The Center or middle part also called the sternal part
  • The lower chest is also commonly called the costal part.

Apart from the pectoralis major, there is a minor muscle underneath the muscle group called the pectoralis minor which does not take an active part in building up the chest muscles. However, if there’s an inflammation of the muscle, it is misunderstood to be shoulder pain. Hence understanding where the actual problem is will help cure the problem without having to focus on the wrong parts.

How to Safely Lift Dumbbells?

When working out with the dumbbell chest exercise, it is important that certain safety precautions need to be understood. Especially when you are lifting heavy dumbbells it is quite easy to injure yourself. When lifting such heavy dumbbells for dumbbell chest exercises it is important to feel comfortable both while lifting the dumbbells and also while laying them down on the floor. With proper guidance and technique, it is possible to pick up heavy dumbbells such that there are no injuries while carrying the dumbbells for chest exercises. The steps to follow can be provided as shown below:

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells you would like to use for chest exercises and sit down on a bench. Now place the dumbbells on your thighs for better support. Once you are sure you’ve got a firm grip ensure that your hands are facing each other.
  2. Lie back on the bench and start with the bench press using the dumbbells.
  3. Make sure that you position the dumbbells on your chest with your arms straight and place your feet flat on the floor.
  4. Now check whether the chest is pushed up while your shoulders are pulled back and your buttocks along with your upper back are always in contact with the bench.

Best chest dumbbell workouts

To get that summer body and a larger chest size you might be curious to know what some of the best dumbbell chest exercises would help. So, for you, we have put out this list of the best dumbbell chest workouts out of which you can choose one of your choices.

Dumbbell Chest Workout For Beginners

If you’re quite new to dumbbells and have no idea how to start with this workout then you can start off with two simple workout moves that will help you prepare for your advanced levels. You can either do this chest workout for beginners while taking part in an upper body day workout or a full body workout.

1. Pushup:

To complete the push-up, the steps provided below can be followed:

  • Step 1: Place your hands on an elevated surface or a floor such as a bench for a bench press. Now set them slightly wider than your shoulder width and do the same with your feet.
  • Step 2: Your arms must be locked in place and your body should be straight right from the top of your head to your heels. Now squeeze your glutes, and brace your core such that your pelvis is in a perpendicular direction to the floor.
  • Step 3: Now bend your arms while keeping your body straight just until your chest is above the floor.
  • Step 4: Press back up using your arms while spreading your shoulder blades at the top of the movement. You can think of it as pushing down the floor.

Do 2 sets of these pushups until you feel tired.

2. Incline fly press:

The incline fly press is the best dumbbell chest workout that targets the upper chest muscles. It also provides great pecs unlike those obtained when doing a bench press. It is also one of the only chest workouts for beginners that will set a pace for better working out of chest muscles. To do the fly press the following steps can be noted:

  • Step 1: Slowly inhale and lower the dumbbells in an arc position until you feel there is a stretch in your shoulders
  • Step 2: Now exhale and bring back the weights to starting position while maintaining an arc throughout the movement.
  • Step 3: Now return the dumbbells to the body center and keep them on either your chest or thighs based on their weight and then sit up using your core.

Make sure you complete 2 to 3 sets of this chest dumbbell workout with at least 12 to 15 reps in each set.  

Dumbbell Chest Workout For Intermediates

If you have been consistently working out for 6 months then you might want to replace your chest day with the following best dumbbell chest exercises for intermediates. You can also include these alongside your chest routine for that extra workout. Choose weights that will allow you to complete the lowest number of sets provided below:

1. Slight Incline dumbbell press:

The slight incline press can be considered to be the best dumbbell chest workout, especially for intermediates, and performing 4 to 5 sets with 4 to 6 reps each will ensure great results.

  • Step 1: Adjust the bench to an incline of about 15 to 30 degrees
  • Step 2: Now sit on the bench and place the dumbbells on your thighs
  • Step 3: Lie back on the bench and once you’ve set your position to engage your core
  • Step 4: Press the dumbbells to the ceiling while the palms face forward.
  • Step 5: Now slowly lower the dumbbells and place them back on the floor.

Ensure you get 2 minutes of rest between two sets.

2. Press fly

Press fly can be rated to be one of the best dumbbell exercises you’d want to consider to open up your chest muscles. To perform the exercise the following steps can be used:

  • Step 1: Lie down on an incline bench. Now place your feet firmly on either side of the bench.
  • Step 2: Lift up the dumbbells in your arms above your head such that they’re extended but not locked out. The palms and dumbbells should be facing each other and there should be only a slight bend in your elbow.
  • Step 3: Inhale and slowly lower down the dumbbells in an arc motion such that they are in line with your chest. Do not drop your arms lower than your shoulders.
  • Step 4: Exhale and press the dumbbells up in the same position.

Perform 2 to 3 sets with about 8 to 12 reps in each of the sets.

Advanced Dumbbell Chest Workout

Ready to test your limits? Then these chest dumbbell workouts will be your companion, especially at an advanced level. Focusing on the declining press will be the main motive during the advanced level.

1. Feet up slight decline dumbbell bench press

The Feet up slight decline dumbbell bench press can be considered to be one of the best dumbbell chest exercises that can be used by advanced-level gym enthusiasts. The step can be provided as follows:

  • Step 1: Secure your feet at the end of a bench which is at a decline of 15 to 30 degrees.
  • Step 2: Grip the bar with palms facing forward with arms slightly wider than your shoulder width.
  • Step 3: Now straighten your arms to lift the dumbbells and move them over your shoulders.
  • Step 4: Inhale and now lower the dumbbell until it touches your mid-chest and keep your elbow at an angle of 45 degrees from your body.  
  • Step 5: Exhale and lift the dumbbell t starting position

Complete about 4 to 5 sets with 3 to 5 reps each.

2. Crush Press

Crush press also commonly known as the close grip dumbbell press is one of the exercises that is quite useful to establish great muscles for both the chest and triceps. The steps for this dumbbell chest workout can be provided as follows:

  • Step 1: Pick up the dumbbells while using a neutral grip. Position the ends of the dumbbell on your thighs.
  • Step 2: Lay back on the bench with weights close to your chest
  • Step 3: Take in a deep breath and push up the dumbbells to lockout at the top
  • Step 4: Now lower them such that the dumbbells touch your chest. Once the dumbbells are low enough push them back up

Complete 2 to 3 sets with about 12 to 15 reps in each of the sets.

The Advantages of Dumbbell Chest Exercises

A well-developed chest tends to be the centerpiece of a good summer body, however, the aesthetics itself need not be the motivating factor. Keeping consistency while performing the chest workout at home with dumbbells also comes along with some great advantages such as follows:

  1. Improves upper body balance

Performing chest dumbbell workouts tends to encourage both sides of the chest to develop evenly. The weights of each of the dumbbells being held in each hand tend to form the strength and coordination to even out which also serves as a way to manage injury risks while helping stave off plateaus.

  1. Arm training can also be included

Whenever you practice lower chest dumbbell exercises you indeed tend to work on your triceps and shoulders as well. Adding in an additional pressing stimulus will also help the triceps grow better which in turn also allows better movement of the triceps when you focus on working them out.

  1.  Stability gets improved

While training with dumbbells one needs to remain as stable as possible which is not the case when you work out using a machine. Training with barbells without actually having proper shoulder stability may lead to injuries. It is hence recommended to use dumbbells for improving shoulder stability.

Warming up for dumbbell chest workouts

Warming up before performing the actual dumbbell chest workouts is important as it helps the muscles to open up for better movement. Warming up the muscles on the shoulders, pecs, and back will be an excellent way to improve the overall chest dumbbell workouts. One of the basic ways to mobilize the shoulder muscles would be to perform band pull apart or to perform shoulder rotations. To perform band pull aparts you can follow the steps provided below:

  1. Hold up the band at your shoulder width with the palms either facing down or up
  2. Now tighten your abdominals and keep your chest up and shoulders down.
  3. Now retract your shoulder blades and spread the bands apart.
  4. Pull the band using your rear deltoids and shoulder blades and not using your arms. Return to start using control.

Alongside band pull-aparts, there can also be the inclusion of bottoms-up kettlebell pressing or single-arm dumbbell chest exercises that provides a great way to cue stability of the shoulders. Cuing stability becomes quite important before performing your main exercise as it allows the dumbbells to not drift away or cause any injury.

Wrapping up

Dumbbells serves as one of the means to complete the chest workouts however they can also serve as one of the sections of your body-building plan. Whether you’d like to build your strength or develop your overall physique or even improve your stability, the dumbbells are one of the best workouts that can be considered. If you are worried about not getting a bench to get your chest dumbbell workouts done, you can also opt for dumbbell chest workouts without a bench that is easy and can be done even at home.


  1. Is it OK to do chest workouts every day?

Working out your chest every day will not help you grow. It affects oppositely. You must provide enough time for your muscles to rest and repair after each workout.

  1. Can you build a chest with just dumbbells?

While dumbbells might seem as effective as barbells, it is sure a great way to build your chest.

  1. How many days rest between chest workouts?

In order to give complete rest to your chest muscles to recover you need at least 24 to 48 hours or in short you will need to provide rest of about 2 to 3 days between chest workouts.

Related tags :