Dumbell Bench Press
The dumbbell bench press is probably the best chest exercise for muscle growth. With the dumbbell bench press you
get slightly more range of motion that with a barbell bench press, and because your arms are working independently,
you use more of the smaller stabilizing muscles. Also, becuase with the dumbell bench press your shoulders choose their
own angles of ascent and decent, there's less chance of an injury.
How to perform the dumbell bench press
Setup for the dumbell bench press. Grab a pair of dumbells and lie face up on the bench, with your
feet firmly set on the floor. Hold the dumbells
with your palms facing your feet (your thumbs turned in). The inner edges of the dumbells should lightly
touch the outside-middle of your chest.
While keeping your wrists straight, push the dumbells straight up until your arms are almost fully
extended (Don't lock your elbows). The dumbells should come close together at the top position, but
they must not touch! This takes the tension off your chest muscles. Pause, and slowly lower the
weights to the starting position.
Dumbell Bench press tips and safety advice
- The dumbell bench press can be done on an incline (more emphasis on your upper chest muscles) or
a decline (more emphasis on your lower chest muscles)
- When executing the dumbell bench press, try to move the weights to form a triangle shape. Start
at the bottom of the triangle and move up to the tip.
- When lifting heavier dumbells, it's hard to get into position. Overcome this by sitting upright
with the dumbells resting vertically on your knees. Hold your arms in tight, and rock back until
you're lying flat. Then extend upwards. When you have finished the set, (lightly!) drop the dumbells
on the floor beside the bench.
- As always, with the dumbell bench press, if you're not sure you can handle a whole set comfortably
use a spotter! Safety first!