Why I Recommend Dumbbell Chest Exercises for Athletes

Dumbbell Bench Press
Athletes in the weight room flock to barbell chest exercises. There's a sense of satisfaction that comes with pushing massive amounts of weight off your chest. However, this might not be the best strategy for building chest strength.

Instead, try dumbbell chest exercises. They might not be as flashy, or you might not be able to lift as much weight, but you will benefit in the long run.

Dumbbell chest exercises, such as the Alternating DB Press, are safer to perform than their barbell counterparts. Since your hands are not locked in a fixed position and can move freely, you place less stress on your shoulders. Also, dumbbell exercises help build equal strength on both sides of the body, and they can be modified to challenge single-arm and even core strength.

Below is a workout that includes dumbbell chest exercises. It also calls for few back and arm exercises, so that you get a complete upper-body workout. (Learn more about the importance of training your back.)

Dumbbell Chest Workout

Coaching Points

  • Perform each lift with control and through the full range of motion
  • Find a weight you can handle for the right amount of sets and reps
  • Always use a spotter when performing exercises with weight overhead (check out STACK's guidelines for spotters)


Raymond Tucker Raymond Tucker - Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement Systems, holds a doctorate in sports management, with honors, from the United States Sports Academy. He is currently employed as a speed development
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