This Dumbbell Press Variation Builds a Stronger Chest and Core

You know the Bench Press builds a strong chest, but use this variation of the popular exercise to improve your core strength as well.

The Dumbbell Bench Press is an excellent variation of the typical Barbell Bench Press for building chest strength. But have you ever considered the Bench Press as a core strength exercise?

Try the Alternating Arm Stabilization ("AAS") variation below to add a core strength element to the exercise the next time you complete it.

The AAS version of either the flat or incline Dumbbell Bench Press adds a higher level of stabilization of the shoulder and the anti-rotators of the core musculature. Your core muscles have to resist rotation while the dumbbells are being lowered to prevent you from falling off the bench.

Doing this type of Bench Press variation will not allow you to press more weight. The goal is to incorporate core strength, specifically core stabilization, to the exercise.

How to Complete the Alternating Arm Stabilization Bench Press

1. Decide on the flat bench variation (safer for overhead athletes) or incline variation (more upper-chest strength).

2. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground and your heels are driven into the ground.

3. Press the dumbbells up slightly out in front of eye level. If you're using the incline bench, it will feel like out in front, but not overhead.

4. While keeping one arm pressed up and your elbow locked out in front, lower the other dumbbell with your hand angled slightly (approximately 45 degrees).

5. Lower the dumbbell to your chest at nipple level in line with the sternum at a 3-second lowering tempo.

6. Press the single dumbbell back up with speed and repeat the same process with the other arm.

In the video above, watch one of my clients perform this exercise.

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