6 Best Chest Exercises with Dumbbells To Build Your Chest

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Dumbbell Press

A strong chest improves the overall physique of the body and is imperative that one should work stepping-up the chest.

The chest could be improved using barbells, cables, and dumbbells. In this article, we take a closer look at the chest workout tips one could perform using dumbbells.

Working with the dumbbells is highly versatile as it ensures better control and superior customisability during the training sessions.

These work on multiple levels ensuring enhanced inter-muscular and intra-muscular movement for better muscle activation and control.

Targeting the chest region with dumbbells and an incline-decline bench allows the user to work on their muscles with elevated levels of adjustability and higher levels of precise control. In addition, the variation of inclination angle aids in shifting the focus on various muscles groups.

Also, read 5 Best Chest Exercises You Can Do At Home

Let us shed some light on the five best chest workouts involving dumbbells that you could add to your workout routine to build a strong and a robust chest.

#1 Dumbbell Press

The dumbbell press is quite basic and is easy to perform, making it an ideal activity for amateurs and casual trainers. The exercise works on chest muscles with precision. Moreover, it is a great exercise for building upper arms and shoulders.


It is traditionally performed on a flat bench, but variations are also seen using incline benches for variable resistance.


Step 1: Hold the dumbbells with palms facing away from the head and bent elbows. The dumbbells should be held just above the torso on the sides.

Step 2: From the initial position, slowly move the arms in upward motion such that the arms are almost straight. Care should be taken that the lift is only performed using the chest and there is minimal movement from the lower parts of the torso.

Step 3: Hold the dumbbells in this position for a moment and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tip: Keep in mind that the time required to lower the dumbbells should always be longer than the time required to lift the dumbbells from the starting position. Moreover, be careful not to drop the dumbbells in rapidly as it could damage the shoulder and the rotary cuff.

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Next up: Dumbbell Fly

#2 Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly not only strengthens the muscles in the chest region, but also works on bettering the overall upper body strength including the deltoids, biceps, and triceps. It even works on improving the overall flexibility, thanks to its simple yet effective movement.


Similar to the dumbbell press, this exercise is usually performed on a flat bench or by lying flat on the floor. One could even train using an incline bench for variable resistance and to also work on the shoulder.


Step 1: Lay on the bench while holding the dumbbells above the chest region with slightly bent elbows, which will be the initial position of the exercise. Ensure that the distance between the palms is not greater than the width of the shoulder.

Step 2: Lower the arms to sides with a slight bend in the elbows until the dumbbells are almost level with the chest.

Important tip: The mentioned motion should be achieved only due to the shoulder, and the arms should be kept stationary throughout the exercise. Hold for a moment and return to the initial position. Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Next up: Straight Arm Dumbbell Pullover

#3 Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

The straight-arm dumbbell pullover activates the muscles in the chest, arms, shoulders and the back.


Before starting the workout routine, always have a good idea of the weight and never work with weights that push muscle fatigue at a rapid pace. Beginners and novice trainers are advised to take the help of a spotter while performing this exercise.


Step 1: Lay flat on a bench, either parallel or perpendicular to it and hold the dumbbell over the chest. Both the hands should firmly grip the dumbbell on the underside of one of the ends of the dumbbell.

Step 2: From the initial position, slowly move the arms in an arc behind the head. Ensure that the arms do not bend while performing this motion. Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Next up: Incline Dumbbell Fly with A Twist

#4 Incline Dumbbell Fly with a Twist

The incline dumbbell fly with a twist is very similar to the regular dumbbell fly. This exercise actives most of the chest muscles like a dumbbell fly, but also acts on the rotary motion of the shoulders. This is an excellent supplement to the traditional bench press.



Step 1: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie on an incline bench.

Step 2: Then, move the arms in an upward motion with a twist such that the thumbs of both the arms are facing outwards. In this position, the arms should be straight, and the weight should be held vertically above the chest region.

Step 3: Hold this position for a moment and then return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Next up: Around the World

#5 Around the World

Around the world exercise with the dumbbells primarily targets the chest muscles for better strength and endurance. In addition, the exercise activates the shoulders during the movement.



Relatively, the exercise is easy to perform and is ideal for even beginners and amateur trainers.

Step 1: Rest on a flat bench and hold the dumbbells with palms facing the roof. The arms need to be firm. The dumbbells should be positioned parallel to the ground near the thighs.

Step 2: From the initial position, move the arms in a semicircular motion such that the dumbbells are positioned over the head. Care should be taken that the arms are kept parallel throughout the duration of the exercise.

Step 3: Pause for a moment and return to the initial position.

Perform the workout for the recommended number of repetitions.

Next up: Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

#6 Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

The flat bench dumbbell press is a personal favourite because of its effectiveness. The dumbbells allow a greater range of movement and activate numerous stabilizing muscles. It should be noted that dumbbells are harder to control than a barbell so it helps to strengthen the lower pecs.



Step 1: Lie on a flat bench with your elbows bent holding the dumbbells with an overhand grip (elbows facing upwards) beside the chest on the sides.

Step 2: Now straighten your elbows out at your sides to raise the weights upwards by both hands (your upper arm and forearm creating a 90-degree angle).

Step 3: Bend your elbows out at your sides to lower the weights down and come to the starting position.

Important Tips: Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps. This exercise can be performed in an incline as well as a decline position. Avoid pushing the head back against the bench and lifting the hips.

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Edited by Akhilesh Tirumala