The BEST Dumbbell Exercises - CHEST EDITION!

  • Published: 21 April 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.

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Comments • 2 353

    ATHLEAN-X™   6 months back

    *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…

    • Bruce Ohr’s wife works for Fusion GPS
      Bruce Ohr’s wife works for Fusion GPS  2 months back

      For total body.

      Turkish getup preset with a Dbl or Kbl press.

    • Steven Marcinkowski
      Steven Marcinkowski  3 months back

      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

    • Muhammad Shaheer
      Muhammad Shaheer  4 months back

      Sir please do tell about the reachable diet for muscle gaining

    • Brad Serafin
      Brad Serafin  4 months back

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

    • Mercury
      Mercury  4 months back

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

  • Deavon Stallion
    Deavon Stallion  9 hours back

    I hit the roof

    • Ish The Face
      Ish The Face  13 hours back

      What if I physically can't get into a position where the chest does the majority of the work? I can make it grow on the left, but not on the right. The front delt seemingly does all the work. It doesn't matter if I lighten the weight or "concentrate" or any number of "fixes".. The problem isn't that I don't know what to do as evidenced by progress on the left side. I simply CAN'T get INTO position on the right side. Not even cable cross works my chest much. I'm really not sure what the problem is. It's very demotivating..

      • Lowly
        Lowly  1 days back

        I tried doing this with 5kg dumbells and I ended up hitting my head with it. Now I'm retarded.

        • Claire Rhodes
          Claire Rhodes  1 days back

          Really starting to see Jeff as a big headed show of sorry to say

          • Master Shifu
            Master Shifu  2 days back

            Hi Jeff I been watching your videos since a long time and they have helped me a lot. Can you do a video on misused gym equipment?

            • marcos vidal
              marcos vidal  4 days back

              Dont do dumbell chest on the floor you will crush you elbow against the floor if something goes wrong or if weight is heavy

              • Optimistic Outreach
                Optimistic Outreach  6 days back


                • Frank Champion
                  Frank Champion  7 days back

                  Video takes way too long to get started

                  • Mellee Crazy
                    Mellee Crazy  1 weeks back

                    Legendary voice crack button

                    • Siddhant Kaushik
                      Siddhant Kaushik  1 weeks back

                      By having only dumbbells he assumes benches are included !

                      • Slakzy
                        Slakzy  2 weeks back


                        (This for me in the future)

                        • Universal Gemini
                          Universal Gemini  2 weeks back

                          Can you make a video for stretching for pushups. I just moved to pseudo planche pushups. My body adapts fasts when working out but I run into the problem of my body breaking down of not doing proper stretching exercises. I still retain the strength when I’m out of commission but I lose momentum. Help?!

                          • Wyatt Cavan
                            Wyatt Cavan  2 weeks back

                            Jeff is really just out here helping people. For free. With good and honest advice. Jeff for president.

                            • Big Mike
                              Big Mike  2 weeks back

                              This channel is so awesome
                              Great little tips to make your training way more awesome

                              • Saad Fazelpour
                                Saad Fazelpour  2 weeks back

                                You talk too much!

                                • Mymy
                                  Mymy  2 weeks back

                                  Nói nhiều quá pa

                                  • George Anastasopoulos
                                    George Anastasopoulos  3 weeks back

                                    Another excellent training video.

                                    • john mccormack
                                      john mccormack  3 weeks back

                                      Heel spurs good video what about planter plate tear one year still in pain I need relief

                                      • Rahul Puri
                                        Rahul Puri  3 weeks back

                                        Have started following you and trying to transform my body as I too love to stay fit and look fit. Thanks a lot for educating all of us and up the good work.

                                        • C B
                                          C B  3 weeks back

                                          I love this channel!

                                          • Antony
                                            Antony  3 weeks back

                                            I’m using this video because I I don’t have access to gym equipment because I’m at home, but the workouts involve gym equipment, the point of dumbbells are to not use gym equipment, pointless video in the “home workouts”

                                            • mtgulley
                                              mtgulley  3 weeks back

                                              Any chance you could do a video covering fat pad impingement in some way. The doctors think this is what might be causing my problems. I've been having pain standing, and effusion around the knee for the last 10 months. I've visited my general practitioner, an orthopedist, and physical therapist and paid out over a grand for MRI's. Nobody really seems to have any comments on if or when I should start lifting again with my legs. With some prednisone, and hip work from the physical therapy at least I have been able to do my job without to much discomfort. I've been lifting for 27 years not being able to jog, squat or do dead-lifts is driving me crazy.

                                              • YipTic
                                                YipTic  4 weeks back

                                                Bro you’re speaking Spanish to me saying all these super sciency terms lol

                                                • abcmaya
                                                  abcmaya  4 weeks back

                                                  10:45 OMG i didn't think anyone else in the world would do that same exercise. LOL.

                                                  • Strive And Prosper
                                                    Strive And Prosper  4 weeks back

                                                    What's the difference between strength and power?? Honest question, I really don't know

                                                    • Ali raza
                                                      Ali raza  4 weeks back

                                                      Strive And Prosper I will try answer it the way I know it. Well strength is one’s ability to push or pull heavy weights without the regard of time whilst power is the ability to push/pull weights as quickly as possible.
                                                      Hope that helps.

                                                  • Scrill The beast
                                                    Scrill The beast  4 weeks back

                                                    (The roof is the limit )
                                                    Saitama: make that the sky

                                                    • TRIΔNGLE
                                                      TRIΔNGLE  4 weeks back

                                                      1:24 bar benchpress
                                                      10:40 posture

                                                      • Luke Lee
                                                        Luke Lee  1 months back

                                                        Is it good to both training for hyprotrophy and kick boxing? Cause I am going to be trained for free combat soon.

                                                        • robert tahe
                                                          robert tahe  1 months back

                                                          that's true may only exercise equipment is a dumbbell this video is very helpful

                                                          • Felix35vega
                                                            Felix35vega  1 months back

                                                            Shits confusing I’m leaving

                                                            • Dell Jr
                                                              Dell Jr  1 months back

                                                              Who was AB training for, it wasnt the Raiders.

                                                              • Gary Yeomans
                                                                Gary Yeomans  1 months back

                                                                hi Jc,
                                                                what are your thoughts on so called meal replacement ie
                                                                a lot of the reviews are obviously
                                                                bias towards it being great or awful
                                                                and give you cancer!!!!
                                                                just wondered your thoughts on this.
                                                                ps I eat real food!

                                                                • Team Athl3t
                                                                  Team Athl3t  1 months back

                                                                  magnifico thanksyou !

                                                                  • Shpatipp
                                                                    Shpatipp  1 months back

                                                                    A few months late but the shoulder thing helped, I thought i just had to work out more for the tingly feeling to go away but I realised that i am actually kinda hunched over so now i can work towards fixing it, ty.

                                                                    • One Touch Graphic Design
                                                                      One Touch Graphic Design  1 months back

                                                                      Can you please do a video on how to fix your sacral torsion? Most Physical Therapist don’t address this problem. They confuse it with SIJ but don’t address sacral torsion.

                                                                      • Charles Garcia
                                                                        Charles Garcia  1 months back

                                                                        These workouts hella

                                                                        • Jason
                                                                          Jason  1 months back

                                                                          9:26 An overhead twat?

                                                                          • Vincent Razo
                                                                            Vincent Razo  1 months back

                                                                            Would you do the peck minor stretch before or after a routine???

                                                                            • CHEVY NOVA
                                                                              CHEVY NOVA  1 months back

                                                                              Fck A.B.

                                                                              • Shravana H L
                                                                                Shravana H L  1 months back

                                                                                wheather masturbation affects our gain

                                                                                • Himanshu Gahlawat
                                                                                  Himanshu Gahlawat  1 months back

                                                                                  I don't have a dog 🙄

                                                                                  • Joseph Guy
                                                                                    Joseph Guy  1 months back

                                                                                    Vid for guys with only dumbbells
                                                                                    Uses dip bar
                                                                                    Good vid tho lmao

                                                                                    • creator Space
                                                                                      creator Space  1 months back

                                                                                      It's done well.

                                                                                      • lgn mkn
                                                                                        lgn mkn  1 months back

                                                                                        THANK YOU

                                                                                        • Suresh Kumar251099
                                                                                          Suresh Kumar251099  1 months back

                                                                                          Weight gain foods?
                                                                                          Soya Bean good or bad?

                                                                                          • ran pagh
                                                                                            ran pagh  1 months back

                                                                                            Thanks for this video, Jeff

                                                                                            • Alex Nikoo
                                                                                              Alex Nikoo  1 months back

                                                                                              This is one of your best videos