How to do a Dumbbell Bench Press

Authored by Fitbod

About Dumbbell Bench Press

Sets Logged
7,508,941
Popularity Rank
3rd
Difficulty
Beginner
Chest Strength
88 mSCORE 16th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

Dumbbell Bench Press is a variation on the standard Bench Press. Like Bench Press, this compound exercise primarily targets the chest, while also training the triceps and shoulders. The use of dumbbells allows for greater instability which can help you become more stable on pushing movements in general, while also isolating each side of the body to prevent you from compensating for any weaknesses between sides.

  1. Lie your back onto a bench while squeezing your shoulder blades together and placing your heels firmly on the ground underneath your knees.
  2. The bench should be in contact with your head, shoulders, and butt at all times.
  3. Position the dumbbells so that they are just outside shoulder-width apart.
  4. Keeping your core braced by breathing into your stomach and flexing the abdominal muscles, extend your elbows while keeping them at a 45 degree angle from your torso.
  5. Once your arms are fully extended over the shoulders, exhale to return the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Common Mistakes

  • Flared Elbows

    Flaring your elbows out can sometimes help you lift heavier weights, but it places more tension on your shoulders. The ideal position can vary slightly from person to person, but try to keep your elbows around 45 degrees from your torso, and make small adjustments from there.

  • Heavy Dumbbells

    Dumbbells are less stable than a barbell. This added instability means you won't be able to move the same weight you would with a barbell. Keep your weights on the lighter side, and focus on stability and control.

Reps & Weight: How much to lift

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    8
    reps
    12.5
    lbs
    1 Rep Max
    15
    lbs
  • intermediate
    8
    reps
    17.5
    lbs
    22.5
    lbs
  • advanced
    8
    reps
    20
    lbs
    25
    lbs

Enter your stats to calculate your Reps & Weight