What Are The Best Dumbbell Exercises For Chest? All The Exercises You Need To Know To Get Perfectly Toned Pecs!

What are the best dumbbell exercises for chest? This is one question that we are all dying to know the answer to. For sure, you want to get those well-chiseled colossal pecs we all admire and aspire to have, but you have no idea how to get that.

Well, you might be surprised at how easy and how much progress you can achieve with the usual workout essential you may even have at home: dumbbells. For many years now, dumbbell exercises are the go-to exercises of bodybuilders in toning up their chest muscles.

But what are the best dumbbell exercises for the chest? Before answering this question, we must first know some basic information about the pectoral or chest muscles and how they can be developed.


The Chest Muscles

The chest muscles the collective term for the “pushing muscles” that are located in the upper portion of our body.

What Are Drop Sets

To fully develop your chest, you would need to use weights and perform the right type of strength training exercises. One thing that you need to know about chest muscles is that it is a single muscle. Because of this, the number of sets that you should do must be reasonable. It must also not exceed the amount of sets that you do during your leg or back training. According to experts, you should not perform more than 15 sets for chest workouts.

How To Pick Up Dumbbells Safely

Having learned more about the chest muscles, the next thing you need to know is how to properly handle and pick up dumbbells to prevent muscle tissue damage and other injuries.In handling dumbbells, especially the heavy ones, safety must come first before anything else.

The first thing that you need to do is to be comfortable with holding the dumbbells and bringing them into the starting position. You should also be comfortable enough to put them down without any help.

Once you establish that, get a pair of dumbbells then sit on the bench. Place the dumbbells on your thighs with your hands facing each other. Keep the grip as firm and secured as possible.

Next, lie on your back and push the dumbbells up using your thighs.

Then, you need to place dumbbells above the chest as you keep feet planted on the floor. As you do this, your chest should be pushed up, the shoulders pulled back, and the upper back and butt firmly planted on the bench.

What Are The Best Dumbbell Exercises For Chest Muscles?

Now, you are ready to start with the exercises. These include the three types of dumbbell exercises for the chest-- Chest Press, Chest Flys, and Pullover.

1. Chest Press Exercises

Here’s how you do the three types of chest press exercises:

  • Flat Dumbbell Chest Press

Flat dumbbell chest press targets the pectoral muscle, triceps and front deltoids.First, lay on the bench with back flat and feet flat on the ground. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward.

Push the dumbbells up until the arms are fully extended with your pectorals contracting as you do so. Go back to original position.

  • Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Incline dumbbell chest press works the same muscles as flat dumbbell chest press. It is also done the same way flat bench press is done. The only difference is that the bench is inclined at 45 degrees.

  • Decline Dumbbell Chest Press

This move targets the lower pectoral muscles and the movement is the same as the previous two bench presses.

This time, the bench should be declined 45 degree and your head will be pointing towards the ground.

2. Dumbbell Chest Flys

Dumbbell Exercises For Chest

Via: bodybuildingadvisor.com

For this exercise, the elbow remains at a same angle as the arm moves through an arch.

  • Flat Dumbbell Chest Fly

For the chest flys, a flat bench is needed.

Grab the dumbbells and extend your arms with elbows slightly bent, forming a T position, with your palms facing up.

Then, bring your hands together above your chest through an arch movement. The pectorals must be contracted during this movement. Go back to initial position.

  • Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly

The bench must be positioned at 45-degree incline mode. The movement is the same, you just need to concentrate more to keep yourself balanced.

  • Decline Dumbbell Chest Fly

This time, the bench is declined 45 degrees.

If you're not used to the movement, you may get off-balanced which may result to shoulder or elbow sprains.

3. Pullover

This is an exercise for enlarging the chest cage. Curved bench is recommended for this but a flat bench will do if you do not have one.

Grab a dumbbell firmly with both hands and extend your arms behind your head. Then, bring the dumbbell above your chest by making an arch movement, keeping your elbows slightly bent but locked at the same angle.


Since bench presses, flys and pullovers are the least complicated and easiest to understand without compromising their overall effect; I believe these are the best dumbbell exercises for the chest, or probably even the best chest exercises there are, for that matter.

Although proper execution, the number of sets and the right type of chest exercises are usually enough to attain the results we want, we may still find ourselves wanting faster and more pronounced progress.We might think that we are doing the exercises wrong or in too few repetitions, but this is not always the case.

More often than not, one of the reasons for this is that our food intake does not supply enough nutrients to sustain muscular growth.

An obvious solution to this is to take a multivitamin for bodybuilding, food supplements and protein shakes that are specifically designed for athletes and bodybuilders. However, I would still recommend consulting fitness professionals and experts to find out which options will work best for you.

Do you have any questions? If so, please feel free to share them with me in the comments section! I would love to answer those there!

Emily Brathen

Hi there! I'm Emily Brathen. I am a fitness and yoga instructor and a mom of one. Despite my hectic schedule, I still find time for doing the thing I love most - fitness and yoga. I love doing and teaching fitness and yoga because in my own little way, I am able to encourage people to take health and fitness back into their own hands.

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