How to Dumbbell Bench Press

About the Dumbbell Bench Press

If you wish to target the chest, it’s hard to find an exercise which beats the dumbbell bench press. The bench press is often labelled the king of upper body exercises, successfully stimulating the chest, shoulder, triceps and assisting muscle groups with each repetition. The dumbbell variation goes a step further, requiring greater coordination, stabilisation and unilateral recruitment compared to the barbell bench press.

As with all exercises, the athlete should start out with a weight they can comfortably manage. Once strength levels increase the athlete may begin to use dumbbells which become more difficult to get into the starting position. The technique discussed and shown in the instruction section should help the athlete get heavier dumbbells into the starting position, but it is always recommended to train with a partner who can assist you with heavier loads.

How to perform


  1. Find a set of dumbbells of a suitable weight
  2. Sit on the end of the flat bench, dumbbells rest on your thighs
  3. Lay back onto the bench, bringing your thighs up so that they manoeuvre the dumbbells above you
  4. Lay flat on the bench, feet planted on the floor, with the dumbbells extended above your chest


  1. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the side of your chest, so that your upper arms reach parallel with the ground and are perpendicular to your torso.
  2. Contract the chest and extend your arms to press the dumbbells upwards
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

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