The BEST Dumbbell Exercises - CHEST EDITION!

Published on Apr 21, 2019
In today’s video we look at the best dumbbell exercises for chest. We’re going to focus on several areas of training: from strength, to power as well as hypertrophy and a few others you’d expect along with the best way to train adduction of the chest muscles.
First we cover strength. The key here is that we actually have two non-dumbbell exercises that have their own benefits and those are the bench press and the weighted dip. While both are fantastic moves for building bigger pecs (as well as shoulders and triceps) there is a unique advantage that the dip has when you convert it to a dumbbell only option that the bench press lacks, and that is maintained stability and better carryover of the load.
Since strength training should be focused on safely lifting heavier and adhering to progressive overload you do not want to not have to sacrifice shoulder stability if you can avoid it. When moving to the dumbbell version of the bench press you will often find that your shoulder instability from holding separate dumbbells is going to undercut your overall strength to a much greater degree than what would happen with a dip. Strap a dumbbell up to a dip belt and keep pushing the heavy loads that are already additive to the weight of your own body.
Next we focus on power. The element of speed is critical to maximizing the effect of power training for our chest. Here as well, you want to try and find a way that you can release the load during the repetition to realize true power development. If you chose a dumbbell bench press and opted to accelerate the weight as fast as possible you would find that your body actually inherently slows the weight down as you approach full extension as a protective mechanism for the joints and to prepare for the next rep.
Performing an explosive plyo tap pushup allows you to fully express your power by accelerating through the rep, unhindered by the length of your arm as in the bench press.
For hypertrophy you want to explore eccentric muscle damage. The best way to do this is with the floor fly. Pick up a pair of dumbbells and press them to the top as you would with a normal bench press. Then slowly lower them as in a fly, concentrating on the eccentric lowering of the weights to put the stress on the pecs. Because you can cheat the rep to the top and don’t have to worry about the health of your shoulder because of the floor, you can actually use heavier than normal weight here to maximize the muscle growth effect even more.
We always want to keep an eye on the correctives on this channel as well. In the case of the chest you can use your dumbbells as a method of lightly overweighting a chest stretch. Here we want to stretch the pec minor, which is a muscle that can get tight and pull your shoulders up and forward which ruins your posture and shoulder integrity when it does. Lie on a foam roller and place your arms in the position shown with the dumbbells in your hand to get a nice stretch on the pec minor and prevent tightness from occurring.
Included are a few other exercises to emphasize adduction of the arm with dumbbells, which we know is a key function of the chest that doesn’t get hit with just bench press, pushups and dips. Also, a total body option that reinforces the mechanics of the thoracic spine that has carryover to other areas of our training as well.
Give these exercises a shot whenever you don’t have access to the standard barbell moves or just want to an extra challenge. If you are looking for a complete program that will help you to not only build strong, muscular shoulders but also develop a complete athletic body, be sure to hit the link below and grab one of the ATHLEAN-X Training Systems.
For more videos on training, be sure to subscribe at the link below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.
Build Muscle in 90 Days -
Subscribe to this channel here -


  • *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* - Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them :) Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck! If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

    • ATHLEAN-X™ I grew up a northern Illinois. Our version of a workout was dad telling us at 6 am that we're going out to cut firewood. Lol my brother and I were at odds w each other. We were gettin it. I have a terrible bench, however with a lack of pics we both acquired deadlift your videos. Body mechanics

    • Sir please do tell about the reachable diet for muscle gaining

    • I always enjoy these Do the programs cost money if so how much?

    • ATHLEAN-X™ i think i have that dog leash lol

    • Please can you do avideo on body weight/ exercises that put low pressure on the spine as it have quite bad scoliosis and its definitely effecting what I can do in the gym due to the risk of increasing the angle and needing surgery

  • I need ask you another question not that they always get answered but when you are on the floor with the dumbbells, what is the safest way to load up into that position with a heavy weight. Do you sit on floor load up on your legs then roll back with your legs in the air to get them into position?

  • August 17 2019: Mo learnin

  • Dumbells lats edition 💪

  • Dude looks like Mendez from Orange is the new black

  • my titties droop

  • guys, im about 50 pounds overweight. i do job and some light weight lifting. do you guys think this program would work for somebody like me?

  • I just realized he uses that gutteral noise instead of "T".

  • You talk toooooo much sir

  • Start 12:00

  • Ah, the painful and endless pursuit of building chest muscles with pectus excavatum...

  • I pushed hard and hit the floor. The one below me

  • best

  • Random guy at the gym: What the hell are you doing?' Me: Shut up.

  • sende nasıl bi çene var gardaş nedir bu yaww

  • Thank you for all the efforts that go into these free videos, they are very helpful. But Jeff, usually the dumbbell exercises are useful for people who cannot afford more expensive things and don't want to go to the gym for their own different reasons. So please try not to include things like a sledge, or an inclined bench, because my guess is 70 yo 80% of the audience will not have these things too.

  • hi, what you think about supinated dumbell press compared to classic version?

  • 2:35 chest dip explanation.

  • Super sir.....tq...... from Malaysia

  • Who can't hit the roof? Hold my beer.

  • For the dips... Would a back pack or weighted best be ok??

  • What if I don’t have a dog?

  • At 0.75x speed I can keep up with what he's actually saying.

  • Is there any free advice you can give me to lose some chest fat to get a better rounded chest maybe some exercise that focus on the chest please thanks

  • This video makes me NOT want to work out. Talk about talking in an over complicated technical jargon. It's ridiculous. Prefer following Franco Columbu who trained stallone for Rambo 2.

    • @I'm only here to leave comments I have not commented on other videos. Just too over complicated for me. Prefer Franco Columbu

    • I've seen you make this exact comment on other videos. It's not Jeff's fault you're too dumb to follow what he's saying. You should try exercising your brain sometime, too. Do you even read, bro?

    • you are complaining cause this dude gives too many tecnical information for free? really?

  • How would I know if I should focus on strength, power, hypertrophy, metabolic, correctives, or adduction exercises? Can't find anything online and I have no clue myself. I'm a fairly skinny teenager (male), with a BMI of about 18.7, if that would help somehow.

  • 8:50 i dont get it. do you bring the db to the chest before going down or during when you go down >????

  • Why can’t this guy be my dad

  • Jeff is the god of all RUvideo fitness.... change my mind

  • 7:07 find the burn and stay in it

  • Jeff I have shoulder pain but if I force my arms up behind my back that help my pain in my shoulder what do you think is wrong with my shoulder when I do a shoulder lift with my hands out to my sides it heart like hell only on my right shoulder

  • how to gain muscle for a lean person?

  • If someone "only has dumbbells" maybe they don't have a dip/chinup bar. Nice to have that 'other option' but it'd sure be nice to make sure every exercise type/category has a 'just dumbbells and floor' option.

  • you expect me to have a dip bar and not a bench press

  • This is perfect I got both of those objects in my house

  • I don't own a set of dumbells but I excerise using my own body weight, resistance bands and jump rope but I'd like to get a set of dumbells. I have no idea what weight I should get as I haven't lifted before, so I don't know what my one rep max is. What would you recommend for someone starting out that weighs 70 kg (154 lbs) and stands at 5 foot 8?

    • James Hyde, you can try something like PowerBlocks that are adjustable. But they're expensive.

  • Hey, I know this is an old video, but a question.I'm using dumbbells for my chest for 2 reason. I'm a beginner and for safety as I usually train late hours so I don't have a spotter, so safety. What am I losing when not doing a barbell lift? I'm using now 16KG dumbbels, so adding a 2,5kg to a 20kg bar if I were to almost match the weight. In my head I'm using as a beginner all the muscles required to lift it so most benefit..?

  • Yh all this time I haven't been working chest, i hate and love his videos, I always leave like I'm a part timer to working out.

  • Yes!!!!!! I have "just dumbbells" at my gym. Thank you!!!!!!!!! Taking this to the gym in the morning.

  • Only a real man isn't afraid to post a work out video using a pink dog leash. Boo-yah!

  • Make a new video on mindset!!!

  • Jeff you are the best

  • Love this series!

  • What is your body fat percentage in this video. You are very lean!

  • blabbers a lot

  • Top 5 reasons eating protein is killing your gains

  • This channel has changed my life. Years of doing exercise wrong will lead you down a road of injury. Thank you for your research and sharing your information. I’m back on the road to recovery

  • Any tips for even my pecks? , cus i had back injury on the left side and now my left side is everything stronger from head to toes :D , and my right side is a bit weaker than the left one, so my pecks aren't even , so i need some help with exercises and techniques how to get them even? Thank you so much if i'll help me :DD

  • His biceps is very short...

  • gora r always blah blah

  • You talk to much..... little less lip an a little more grip....

  • Hi Jeff - how could I get a ATHLEAN -X 365 shirt? I would to promote your site even more. I try to spread and share your knowledge to anyone I talk to currently

  • Why the shirt on???

  • Do a vocabulary video. Like progressive overload, concentric overload, stuff like that..^^Since strength training should be focused on safely lifting heavier and adhering to progressive overload you do not want to not have to sacrifice shoulder stability if you can avoid it. When moving to the dumbbell version of the bench press you will often find that your shoulder instability from holding separate dumbbells is going to undercut your overall strength to a much greater degree than what would happen with a dip. Strap a dumbbell up to a dip belt and keep pushing the heavy loads that are already additive to the weight of your own body.^^What is the best schedule for performing these exercises? Dedicate a separate day for each (e.g., biceps on Mon, triceps on Tues, chest on Wed, etc)?.. visit my channel. okay?

  • I hit the roof

  • What is the best schedule for performing these exercises? Dedicate a separate day for each (e.g., biceps on Mon, triceps on Tues, chest on Wed, etc)?

  • awesome info

  • don't have enough room for barbell but I have enough for all the extra equipment?? give me a break!

  • Fix your ears

  • Well we found IT the legendary good side of something youtube Thank you Jeff your da man 👌❤️

  • Weighted Dip 1:40 2:27 Push-up w/ plyo tap 4:16 Eccentric Floor Fly 5:35 Dumbbell Benchpress 6:57 Dumbbell Benchpress-up 8:19 9:13 Pec. Minor posture-correction exercise 10:37 - 11:22 Dumbbell UCV raise 12:14 / 'low approach' 12:51

    • Shailendra Vishwakarma u know what, that’s smart

    • @Jua n yes i did it for myself so i dont have to scroll down and i will do it again if my comment goes down.

    • Shailendra Vishwakarma Bruh u literally copy and pasted

  • Nice

  • And you expect an ordinary person that works 8 to 12 hours a day to do this shit, right? NOT

    • Why 8/12 hours a day? Following this videos you can make a choice of the needed exercises, one or two for every area (shoulders, pect, core: abs and lower back, arms, legs, calf, etc.) and split them in 3-4 days a week, for a max 45-60 mins a day; that's enough. All the variations that Jeff shows us, have the purpose to make us understand how our body works, were we have weaknesses and how to correct them; if you want to kill your gains and your life (even the social one) in the worse way possible, to do too much work, too much often, with too much weight (and poor form), is the right way, and it's not Jeff mission...

  • He is making it all too complicated. This shit should stay simple and plain. Bench press, deadlift, squat, pull ups and thats it. No fucking dumbell ucv shit...

  • Jeff what's your thoughts on Ron Williams Iron Chest Master push up device?

  • Hey Jeff I want to ask how can I make my biceps look similar because my left bicep is smaller and not so pumped like my right bicep

  • Jeff I have to say, after my hip injury and rehab I have never had better success in the gym than when I incorporated your dumbbell routines. No getting under heavy barbells. Just safe gains. Thanks again for great content. Best on RUvideo!

  • How to tell if you are putting in enough effort into your workout, if you're not sore afterwards?

  • So at 2:44 if i don’t have a barbell I’m supposed to have a dip machine 0_0?

  • 4:22 i can just see someone missing and banging there head on one of the dumbbells lmaooo

  • I need to get rid of chest flab ...aka man boobs 🥺 ive had them most of my life even when I was a great wrestler 🤼‍♂️ in high school . Im getting older now and I want to terminate these things. Tired of feeling like crap when I go to the beach and one day I wanna have the confidence to scuba dive.

  • 5:38

  • Way to technical.. just get on a bench press and lift some shit

  • These dumbbell only videos are great for being deployed, and don't have access to all the bigger equipment. I've done a bunch of workouts that I cant do all the exercises because we don't have that piece or whatnot to do it. Thank you again!

  • Why the f**k is he screaming

  • A dog leash? This guy is a genius

  • nobody: his eyebrows: / \

  • raider nation

  • My man touching the dumbells at 4:17 like Abe defuses a mine.

  • Love the dumbbell only series. As an airline pilot I usually only get a short break for working out in a hotel gym with just dumbbells and a bench.