What are the Different Types of Dumbbell Chest Exercises?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2020
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Many of the top fitness exercises are achieved by using weights to create added resistance to a muscle group. Dumbbell chest exercises are very successful for developing proper body shape and muscle tone. There are several different dumbbell chest exercises that can be used in conjunction with each other to develop the many muscle groups of the chest. Presses, flies and raises comprise the basic dumbbell chest exercises.

The flat dumbbell press is used to work the pectorals, triceps and the front of the shoulder or the anterior deltoids. These dumbbell chest exercises are performed by lying flat on a bench and holding the dumbbells high over the chest with palms facing the feet. The weight lifter then lowers the weights to the chest and presses the dumbbells back up in a slow and controlled movement.

The incline dumbbell press is another of the dumbbell chest exercises used to develop the upper pectorals, triceps and the anterior deltoids. In this exercise, the bench is adjusted to a 45-degree angle. While lying on the bench, the dumbbells are pressed over the chest in the same manner as the flat press.


Flat flies are a another popular dumbbell chest exercise. In this routine, the dumbbells are held above the chest with palms facing each other while lying on a flat bench. With elbows slightly bent, the dumbbells are lowered to the side of the chest until the arms are parallel with the ground. Keeping the arms bent, the dumbbells are pushed back above the chest.

To complete incline flies, adjust the bench to a 45-degree angle. While on the bench, raise the dumbbells high over the chest with arms slightly bent. Lower the weights to the side of the chest and parallel to the ground. As with all dumbbell chest exercises, finish the exercise by pressing the dumbbells back over the chest. This exercise will help to develop the upper deltoids and pectoral group.

One of the more difficult dumbbell chest exercises is the pullover. This exercise starts with the weight lifter resting his or her shoulders perpendicular on a bench with legs bent to provide balance. Grasping the dumbbell from the side with both hands over the chest, the weight is lowered over the head until the arms are parallel to the chest. Bringing the weight back to its starting position completes a repetition.

Front raises round out the dumbbell exercises. In this exercise, the dumbbells are held against the front of the thighs with palms facing the body. Keeping the knees slightly bent and the back straight, begin by raising the dumbbell in the weaker hand straight out and parallel with the ground. Lower the dumbbell slowly back to the starting position. For the best results, perform these exercises slowly and maintain control of the weight.


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