Dumbbell Bench Press


The dumbbell bench-press is a compound resistance exercise geared towards primarily developing the pectoral muscle. By adjusting the weight used, repetitions, time under tension and sets, you can meet your goals whether they be toning, mass building, building explosive strength or shaping the muscle. The dumbbell bench press is one of the best pectoral exercises in existence but, like any other movement, has some disadvantages as well.


  1. Sit on the bench and rest the weights on your thighs with your palms facing each other
  2. Lay back, simultaneously raising your legs to get the weights into position (important when lifting heavier weights)
  3. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and position the weights at shoulder width. Once in this position, rotate your wrists forward so that your palms are facing away from you. The dumbbells should be just to the sides of your chest, with your upper arm and forearm creating a 90 degree angle. Be sure to maintain full control of the dumbbells at all times. This will be your starting position.
  4. While exhaling press the weights up, lock out your elbows and squeeze the chest. Hold the position for a split second and start lowering the weights back to the starting position, Repeat for desired number of repetitions and sets. NOTE: Do not go past past 90 degrees as this unnecessarily strains the rotator cuffs.
  5. When you are done with the exercise do not drop the weights because this can lead to shoulder injuries. Instead, raise you thighs up, rest the weights on the thighs and slowly sit up planting your feet on the ground. From here, gently place the weights on the ground next to you.


  1. To work the upper part of your chest more, you can perform the dumbbell bench press while lying on an incline bench. This variation also works the front of your shoulders more. To work the lower part of the chest more, you can perform this exercise while lying on a decline bench.
  2. You can also use the cable machine to perform the Bench Press. 


  1. Do not arch your back or wiggle your body to help lift the weights.
  2. Do not lift your head off the bench
  3. Do not lock your elbows when you straighten your arms.
  4. Do not allow the dumbbells to sway toward your chest.


Target Muscles


Additional Muscles