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...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Exercise of the Week: Explosive Sled Row

Improve Punching Power With Physics

Master the Hang Clean in 4 Steps

Avoid These 6 Mistakes to Boost Your Athletic Power

7 Ways to Build Explosive Strength

Rolling in the Deep End: Aquatic Plyometric Training

Use Combo Lifts to Increase Strength and Power

Increase Power With Sand Plyos

Add Size and Power With Contrast Sets

Boost Power With This Med Ball Chest Workout

Alternatives to Olympic Lifts for Power Development

Master the Power Snatch in 4 Steps

5 Reasons Why Football Players Should Power Clean

Get Faster: Strength and Power for Speed

Train Like Steven Jackson

3 Effective Power Clean Alternatives

Increase Your Power Output With Strongman Training

Power Training Without Olympic Lifts

Get Powerful With These Exercises

Plyometrics to Improve Explosive Football Power

3 Ways to Develop Fast-Twitch Muscles

Size Does Matter: Understanding Power-to-Weight Ratio

Get More Powerful With Perfect Reps

Build Power With Partner Med Ball Drills

Moves to Improve Your Clean and Jerk

In-Season Baseball Strength and Power Workout

The Differences Between Strength and Power Training

How to Get More Powerful

3 Workout Styles Every Athlete Should Try

Explosive Power Tips from UFC Fighter Jessica Eye

Off-Season Football Workouts, Part 5: Developing Power

Exercise of the Week: Straight-Arm Hang Pull