Get Creative With Dumbbell Chest Exercises | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Get Creative With Dumbbell Chest Exercises

November 6, 2012 | Mitch Calvert

Must See Strength Training Videos

Dumbbells can be used for more than old standby weight training exercises. Introduce some variety into your chest routine. Training outside the box in different angles will lead to strength gains and muscle soreness. (Try another unique approach: Double Tension Training: Taking Your Dumbbell Chest Exercises to the Next Level.)

You shouldn't do the same set workout on every chest day. After some workouts, I can feel the burn in my upper chest the next day. On other days, because of my exercise selection the day before, my lower chest and the pec fibers near my sternum experience serious DOMS [delayed onset muscle soreness]. Keep your body guessing, and you won't stall your progress.

Dumbbell Twists

A John Meadows special. If you do them properly, you won't be able to go too heavy.  Aim for sets of 12 to 15 reps.

  • Begin in normal, pronated dumbbell press position
  • As you drive up, turn your pinkie fingers in toward each other and flex, letting the ends of the dumbbells touch in the middle at peak contraction
  • Return to a pronated position on the negative and repeat

Dumbbell Flys

This is a good warm-up exercise to fill your chest out before tackling heavier pressing movements. Be careful not to go too wide in your range of motion or your shoulders might suffer.

  • Lie on bench holding dumbbells with elbows slightly bent and parallel with sides
  • Using chest muscles, bring dumbbells together overhead until they're about a foot apart
  • Lower back to start position; repeat

Hammer Presses

  • Lie on flat bench
  • Take a hammer grip on the dumbbells (like making a fist and punching straight in the air)
  • Keep elbows pressed against sides and push dumbbells up (this engages the triceps, but you'll feel it in your chest if you hold at peak contraction for a second or two and bring the dumbbells down slowly on the negative)

Mitch Calvert
- Mitch Calvert, born and raised in Canada, chose a life of health and fitness eight years ago, transforming himself from a severely overweight teenager to...
Mitch Calvert
- Mitch Calvert, born and raised in Canada, chose a life of health and fitness eight years ago, transforming himself from a severely overweight teenager to...
Must See
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,197
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 82,927
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,154,655

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,991
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 29,436
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,276
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,811
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,582
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,872,125
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

Have you ever met a farmer? Did you shake his hand? If so, did you notice a few things, like massive forearms that would make Popeye jealous? Or a death...

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Todd Durkin

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Mike Boyle: 4 Small Muscles That Can Lead to Big Gains

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game