6 Best Dumbbell Chest Exercises to Do without Bench

Dumbbell chest exercises can be done without a bench. (Photo via Pexels/Joseph Wayne Buchanan)
Dumbbell chest exercises can be done without bench. (Photo via Pexels/Joseph Wayne Buchanan)

While most dumbbell chest exercises are done on the bench, there are several chest exercises you can do without it that cam still ensure your chest is being targeted and worked on.

Chest training is integral to overall upper body strength and endurance, but chest workouts don’t necessarily require a bench. Dumbbell chest exercises without a bench are just as useful and productive and offer great results as well.

In this article, we’ve outlined a few great dumbbell chest exercises that don’t require a bench.

Dumbbell Chest Exercises You Can Do Without a Bench

Whether you work out from the comfort of your home or go to a crowded gym where benches are limited, the following six pecs exercises can be done anywhere with just a little space and a pair of dumbbells.

These exercises are enough to give your chest the training it needs, so let's get started:

1) Dumbbell Push-up

One of the best and most effective dumbbell chest exercises, dumbbell push-ups are a staple workout when it comes to building upper body strength.

This exercise is versatile and allows for a wider range of motion while targeting different parts of the pecs. Besides developing muscles, it also helps strengthen your grip and boost muscle mass.

To do it:

  • Assume a standard push-up position, and grip a dumbbell in both hands. Keep your palms facing down, and ensure that your back is flat.
  • Bend your elbows slowly to lower your body, and pause at the bottom before pushing your body back to the initial position.
  • You can do this exercise on your knees or toes, depending on your fitness level.
  • Continue for at least ten reps.

2) Standing Dumbbell Upward Fly

The dumbbell upward fly is an isolation exercise that largely engages the mid and upper chest and helps strengthen them.

It may resemble a front raise but, during an upward fly, the arms and hands move through an arch without using the elbow.

To do it:

  • Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing up. Position your feet at shoulder width and arms straight in front of you.
  • Slowly extend both arms up and out to your sides while keeping your elbows straight and arms at chest height.
  • Bring your arms back to the center, and repeat the exercise a few more times.

3) Standing Chest Press

A standing chest press is a great dumbbell chest exercise that works on the pecs in a unique way. It helps build new muscle stimulation and growth and hits deeper chest muscles too.

To do it:

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder distance, and grab a dumbbell between your palms.
  • Position it in front of your chest with your arms bent, and slowly squeeze the dumbbells using your palms to activate your chest.
  • Push the weight away from you till your arms get fully extended.
  • Return to the starting position, and continue for the desired number of reps.

4) Dumbbell Single-arm Floor Fly

The dumbbell single-arm floor fly is a variation of the chest fly exercise that helps contract one chest muscle at a time. Moreover, it eliminates any additional stress on the shoulders.

To do it:

  • Lie down on the floor with your legs extended straight out. Hold a dumbbell using a neutral grip.
  • Activate your arm out perpendicularly, and with your triceps against the floor, bend your elbows.
  • Bring the dumbbell up while engaging your chest till the dumbbell gets above your shoulders.
  • Return to the starting position with control, and repeat the exercise for the desired reps.

5) Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell floor press is another productive dumbbell chest exercises that's quite simple to execute and is beginner-friendly as well. This exercise reduces shoulder extensions while also preventing strain that’s common in traditional bench press.

To do it:

  • Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet straight.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip, and extend your elbows so they're at 90 degrees.
  • Rest the dumbbell above your chest level, and engage your abs as you extend the dumbbells up.
  • Pause at the top, and slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Continue for a few more reps.

6) Dumbbell Floor Alternating Chest Press

This dumbbell chest exercise offers great benefits, as it allows you to target one side at a time, thereby engaging even smaller muscles as well.

To do it:

  • Lie on the floor with your legs extended, and hold dumbbells in both hands using an overhand grip.
  • Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees, and slowly push one dumbbell up till your arm gets fully extended.
  • Return to the starting position, and push the other dumbbell up.
  • Continue the alternating movements, and repeat the exercise for a few reps.


The aforementioned dumbbell chest exercises don’t require a bench, are suitable for beginners and pro exercisers alike, and can be done any time.

Include these super-effective dumbbell chest exercises into your regular strength training session to see great development in your upper body muscles. You can perform them standalone, or add them in a chest workout sequence.

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Edited by Bhargav
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