The dumbbell bench press targets the chest area and mimics the normal barbell bench press technique. Other than chest muscles, it also strengthens the shoulders and triceps. Unlike the barbell bench press, dumbbell bench presses require building up strength on each side of the muscles because you’ll be lifting an equal amount of weight.
Because the barbells and machines are pretty simple and easy, dumbbells are often ignored.
It must be noted that if you have shoulder, elbow or lower back problems, you should either recover from it or limit the range of your motion.
Here is the right technique to do a dumbbell bench press that effectively targets your chest muscles.
Dumbbell Bench Press Exercise
Grab a pair of dumbbells of your desired weight and lay back onto the bench. Your feet must be flat and firmly placed on the floor.
Now, press the dumbbells upwards over your shoulders. Be sure that you don’t lock your elbows out. Tighten your abs and keep your head placed on the bench. This will be your starting position.
Take a deep breath and lower the dumbbells until your elbows go below your shoulders. Push the dumbbells back up up to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Perform one warm-up set and 2 working sets of 8-12 reps each or until failure.
Benefits of Dumbbells Bench Press
Helps in Balance and Stabilisation
Using dumbbells keeps your mind focused throughout the exercise. It requires more balancing and stabilization and is very effective for functional training. Due to this, your muscle fibers are fully engaged which in the case of barbells and machines isn’t possible. This results in a better physique, strength, and balance.
It’s Joint Friendly
When you are doing the barbell bench press, your range of motions is often limited. However, in the case of dumbbells, it gives more movement to your joints and you can also alter the technique if you have a joint problem.
Nowadays, the aesthetic and physical unbalanced physique is mainly due to muscular imbalance. If you stick to machines or fixed weights like barbell bench press, you’ll hinder the unilateral exercise. Dumbbells allow to effectively target one side of the body and offer unilateral exercise throughout the workout.
Tips for Dumbbells Bench Press
- Keep your back in a natural arch so that there is a gap in between the lower back and the bench.
- Contorting your body to lift the weight can be risky. It’s better to lift the weight that you can handle while maintaining a good rhythm.
- While pushing the dumbbells back to the starting position, turn them a bit so that they form a triangular motion and do not touch or bounce against each other.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Lifting More Weight
Do not try to be a hero at the gym just to impress that chick passing by or the thin bros around you. If you lift a weight that you are not capable of, it will never engage all the muscle fibers in the chest region. Instead, the whole stress will be exerted on a specific muscle group that will have a negative impact on your chest growth.
Lifting the Head and Neck
Why are your head and neck lifted up? This is a very common mistake often seen while doing dumbbell bench presses. This will result in posture issues or a pulled muscle in the neck region.
Arching the Back too Much
I did mention to arch the back but in a natural position. Arching it too much for support or an extra rep can result in a nasty lower back injury. Moreover, it also limits your range of motion and results in poor stabilization and control. Just maintain a natural arch.
Locking Your Elbows
Though you have to hold the position for a second when you lower the dumbbells but never lock your elbows. Keep them in a smooth motion throughout the reps.