The best chest workout is a dumbbell chest workout because it tackles all your chest muscles. We’ve gathered six video’d amazingly effective exercises so you can do it too.
These dumbbell exercises allow for a bigger range of motion, and help you develop strength and stability. Plus, you can apply a lot of flexibility to how you challenge different muscles with them.
Free weights add to the difficulty of the exercise but reduce tension for your ankles and joints.
Chest Muscles Explained
The chest consists of four main muscles called:
- Pectoralis major
- Pectoralis minor
- Serratus anterior
Pectoralis major is the largest chest muscle that connects the armpit area (hummer bone) with the collarbone.
It has two heads, the sternocostal head and the clavicular head, which are attached to the upper arm and support arm and shoulder rotation.
The pectoralis minor lies underneath the pectoralis major. Its function is to support all the reaching and pressing movements of our body.
Serratus anterior is attached to the lower ribs. Even though it might be located lower than what we usually call the chest area, it is connected to it and plays a role in the strength of chest muscles.
Last, the subclavius is a small muscle, located directly underneath the collarbone.
The best chest workout would tackle all these muscles in isolated and compound exercises.
And our dumbbell chest workout does just that.
Benefits of Dumbbells Chest Workout
The chest is the biggest push muscle. Training its minor muscles completely will allow for a balanced strength that will help you in your everyday life. But importantly help in the heavy lifts such as squats, deadlifts, and military press.
Dumbbell chest workout stimulates an even development of both sides of the chest. It reduces the compensation in the shoulder and back muscles.
Working out with dumbbells requires a higher level of stability.
It makes you hold your joints, ankles, and other muscles stable while handling the free weight. So, you’re working in a bigger range of motion.
Dumbbell chest workouts will activate and train the triceps aiding its growth.
Also, with the wrists and elbows free to rotate and adapt to the movement, dumbbells allow for less stress and tension on your joints.
The Best Chest Workout to Build Muscle and Strength
The best chest workout depends more on proper form and not overcompensating on your shoulders.
So, before you start lifting your heavy dumbbells, you need to make sure you know how to:
- perform the exercise
- how to stabilize your shoulders
- isolate your back
- and, most importantly, warm up your whole body
This complete dumbbell chest workout is hypertrophy training.
It aims to train and tear down the muscle tissues, allowing for new ones to grow. Perform 6-12 repetitions in each set, where the last three reps are very hard to finish.
Ways to Warm Up for a Dumbbell Chest Workout
You can warm up the chest and upper body with your body weight, resistance bands, or very light dumbbells. For an effective warm-up, try to activate as many muscles as possible, especially the shoulders, pecs, and back.
Some of the exercises you can use are:
- (Knee) Push Ups as many as possible
- Shoulder Rotation 10x
- Arm Circles 5x each direction
- Arm Extensions 15 seconds each arm
- Floor Supermen 15x
Top 6 Exercises for Complete Dumbbell Chest Workout
This workout has exercises that train the upper, middle, and lower chest. Depending on your level, a complete dumbbell chest workout consists of 4-6 exercises in each session.
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 x 6-12
- Lie on the bench and hold the dumbbells at your shoulders
- Press the dumbbells up to the chest
- Lower the dumbbells again to your shoulders
Squeeze Press 3 x 6-12
- Lie on your back on a 45-degree inclined bench
- Hold the dumbbells against your chest (palms facing each other)
- Squeeze the dumbbells together, and extend your arms
- Lower the dumbbells in the starting position.
Dumbbell Chest Flys 3 x 6-12
- Lie on the bench and hold the dumbbells above your chest
- Lower them to the sides by opening your arms
- Activate your chest muscles to perform the movement rather than the shoulders or arms
- Slightly bend your elbows throughout the exercise
45 Degrees Floor Chest Press 3 x 6-12
- Lie on the floor and hold the dumbbells above your chest with extended arms
- Your palms should face forward
- Lower the dumbbells so the elbows are at a 45-degree angle to your body
- They should slightly touch the floor.
Dumbbell Chest Pull-Overs 3 x 6-12
- Lay back on your bench and hold a dumbbell with both arms against your chest
- Move the dumbbells from the chest to the back of your head near the floor without opening your elbows
- Return to the original position slowly.
Standing Dumbbell Upward Fly 3 x 6-12
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold the dumbbells with your palms facing forward.
- Raise the dumbbells from your thighs to the upper chest height and bring the dumbbells together
- Lower the dumbbells by keeping your chest muscles flexed.
Get Started With These and See Your Gains
Perform 4-6 exercises from this list for 3 sets each and rest 1-2 minutes between each set. Progress on the weights and you’ll see the results of this complete dumbbell chest workout in over a month.
When you are consistent and willing to incrementally increase the intensity you’re going to see the muscles in your chest more defined and stronger than before.