Dumbbell Bench Press: How To, Tips, Benefits

Dumbbells are one of the best training implements in to the gym to stack on more gains. Dumbbell movements require more core stability, balance, and core activation as opposed to just using a barbell or chest machine. Dumbbell bench press is one of the best compound chest exercises, working multiple muscles groups, and joints all in one fluid motion, for bigger gains and better performance.

Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell bench press is a compound movement and activates multiple muscle groups such as the pectoralis major, anterior deltoids, and your triceps. Additionally, the dumbbell bench press, can improve muscular imbalances, correct posture, improve mobility, increase core strength, and help improve total upper body strength.

Like most other exercises, several variations of the dumbbell bench press exist, that may isolate, focus, or incorporate different muscle groups, for specific training purpose and intent. Weight positioning will determine what muscle groups you active. For example, a narrower position and descent with your elbows closer to the bench, will activate your triceps, as opposed to a wider position and descent, which will focus more on your chest.

Some dumbbell bench press variations include 

Dumbbell Bench Press Benefits

  • Increased Strength
  • Better Posture
  • Stronger Upper Back And Chest
  • Better Chest Definition
  • Increased Shoulder Strength
  • Better Core Stability
  • Increased Core Strength
  • Better Balance

How To Dumbbell Bench Press

  1. Lie flat on a bench and set your dumbbells on your knees. Kick up one dumbbell at a time, keeping them close to your body as you lay back. Plant your feet firmly into the ground, lay back and push up. Make sure your feet are placed proximal in towards your body, while keeping them flat on the floor. This will provide a good base for more driving power when it comes to heavy loads and finishing your set.
  2. Back position is equally as crucial as your feet placement. Squeeze your shoulder blades by pinching them together and driving them into the bench and slightly arch your back.
  3. Make sure your palms are rotated completely under the dumbbells. As you descend, follow your bend your elbows at a parallel 90 degrees, then push back up bringing the dumbbells together, while still keeping a slight bend in your elbows, not locking out. drive your feet into the floor, tightening your glutes, and pushing under the bar with one fluid motion, and extending the elbows again not locking out.

Dumbbell Bench Press Tips And Tricks

  1. Always focus on executing proper form. Your body works in a specific plane of motion. Ensuring your grip, feet placement, and breathing is in line with your lifts, will produce better results.
  2. Make sure you are descending the dumbbells down directly in a straight line.
  3. Maintain control, with a 4 second descent, slight pause and press back up.
  4. Don’t pay attention to the weight. Everyone is different and we all have our own journey to follow. Ramp up your load and volume slowly overtime.
  5. Dumbbell bench press should be used in your training program, but not used on every chest day training split. Exercise variability is important to increase muscle mass, strength, and core strength. Utilize different dumbbell and barbell variations within your training program.
  6. When you plan to max out, make sure you have a spotter, so you can obtain one rep, with full range of motion.
  7. Focus on your breathing. On your descent, breath in, brace your shoulders, and tighten your ups, then breath out on your ascent, pushing the weight back up.
  8. If you want to work your triceps, use a close grip, bringing your elbows down into a narrower descent, towards the bench.
  9. Your glutes and shoulder blades should maintain their contact throughout your entire lift.
  10. As you descend, maintain control and bring the dumbbells down in a straight line, just above your nipple line hovering over your chest before your press back up.
  11. When you’re finished kick up knees, and use your momentum to push the weight forward meeting you knees with the dumbbell and placing them on the floor.
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