Best Dumbbell Chest Workout to Get Ripped



Best Dumbbell Chest Workout to Get Ripped 1

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Best Dumbbell Chest Workout to Get Ripped 2

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For developing a balance, you just can’t rely on pushups or lifting heavy weight on a bench press.  No doubt, the chest is an important and noticeable muscle of your body.


For training all the muscles in your chest, you need to pay attention to hitting it with every angle.


If you think that barbell training hurts your shoulders or you don’t have a trusted spotter to help you in lifting then the dumbbell chest workout has got your back.


Apart from the efficiency of dumbbell chest exercises, they also solve a wide range of logistical problems.


You don’t have to wait for someone to finish their set so you can use the machine, and ask a spotter to help you with heavy bench presses.


Many of the trainers claim that you need access to barbells, machines, chains, and a whole bunch of other fancy equipment to shock your muscles.


But all you need for an effective chest workout is to hit all the major and minor muscle groups of your chest with different angles.

Also Read: The Best Chest Workout for Defined Pecs


Why Use a Dumbbell for Chest Workout?

After spending some months at the gym, you might feel bored and frustrated whenever your trainer tells you to do exercises using a dumbbell.


A dumbbell chest workout won’t be as exciting as putting heavyweights on a barbell for bench press or feeling the burn in your muscles during a cross cable.


The dumbbell often doesn’t get more credit than the other equipment at the gym. People ought to think that using dumbbells is old school and not very effective.


Here are some reasons that prove the effectiveness of a dumbbell chest workout and how it can improve your performance.

Eradicate Strength Imbalances

Shirtless Men Hold Dumbbell in left hand

It’s a common problem among all bodybuilders that there is a slight strength difference between their left and right arm.


This happens naturally that if a person is right-handed, they will have more strength in their right arm and the same goes for a left-handed person.


While lifting a barbell or using any chest machine at the gym, you are more likely to take increased support from your strong side. This ends up causing muscle imbalance.


But the dumbbells force your muscles to work unilaterally. This means that if one side is significantly weaker than the other, you can’t make any compensating movements.


You can’t overcompensate with dumbbells; this makes them effective for dealing with the war on imbalances.


Allow a Greater Range of Motion

Allow a Greater Range of Motion 3

A good range of motion is very important in chest exercises. An increased range of motion allows your pectoral muscles to contract effectively which helps in breaking muscle fibers.


Dumbbell chest exercises are best for increasing the range of motion. While you are performing a chest workout with a barbell, it hits your chest before your pecs can achieve a full stretch.


But while using dumbbells you can lower the weights past chest level. This allows maximum stretch to your chest muscles and hits more muscle fibers.


The greater is your range of motion, the more you will impact your muscles which will eventually improve your muscle growth.


You Can Easily Increase Intensity

Increase Dumbbell intensity

You can’t test your strength by using heavy weights on a barbell unless you have a trusty spotter. Similarly, if you try to overload the weight on a cross cable, it would lose the efficiency of the workout.


Through dumbbells, you can easily intensify your workout even without a spotter. Doing drop-sets, hitting failure without risk of injury and the rest-pause mechanisms are easy to perform in a dumbbell chest workout.


Work Harder on Your Pecs

Work Harder on Your Pecs

Training your chest using dumbbells is a safe way to build stronger and bigger pecs.


While lifting dumbbells you have to engage your core and chest muscles to maintain balance. This is not the case with the barbell or other chest machines.


A dumbbell chest press activates more muscle fibers than doing the traditional barbell press.


You will feel the contraction in your pecs as you reach the top position while doing a dumbbell press. Your pecs perform compensating movements to prevent dumbbells from falling.


Your triceps are not fatigued when using dumbbells for a chest workout. This allows you to prolong your workout without feeling exhausted.


If you want to combine the chest and tricep workout then you can perform isolation exercises for the triceps after finishing chest training.


This will allow your triceps to grow better as they won’t be fatigued previously.


To Learn About Effective Muscle Recovery, Click here


The Workout

There are a lot of dumbbell exercises you can try for building your chest. This workout consists of some of the most effective dumbbell exercises for your chest.


We have also mentioned the number of sets and reps for every exercise. Make sure to read out the tips for getting the best out of all exercises.


1.     Chest Press Dumbbells

Chest Press Dumbbells

This exercise mainly targets the pectoralis major muscle of your chest. This is a unilateral movement that helps in improving your form and correcting muscle imbalances.


This exercise is done mostly for gaining muscle mass. A flat dumbbell press will mainly target your middle chest but as it’s a compound movement so it also engages upper chest muscles.


It also works on the anterior deltoids and triceps. The dumbbell chest press can burn fat in the serratus anterior region. This is the muscle wrapped around your upper ribs.


How to Do It

Lie with your back on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand at the sides of your shoulders.

  • Your palms should be facing your feet.
  • Push the weights above your chest by extending your arms until they are straight.
  • Bring them closer together as you push them upwards.
  • Then bring the weights back down slowly.
  • Lower the weight past your shoulders when you are bringing them back.


Sets: 4

Reps: 12RM-10RM-8RM-6RM (Increase weight on each set)



  • Squeeze your pecs as you press the weights upward.
  • Exhale while pushing the weight upwards and inhale while bringing down.
  • Don’t lock your elbows as you reach the top position.
  • Allow your wrists to move freely.


2.     Flat Dumbbell Fly

Flat Dumbbell Fly

This exercise is performed to target the sternal heads of your pectoralis major muscles. It helps in developing the inner chest so you can have the chiseled chest line.


The growth in this region of the chest creates a defined chest separation look.


It significantly targets the sternal fibers but is beneficial for overall pec development.


The flat dumbbell fly is an effective chest opener exercise, it also helps to deal with upper back pain and tightness.


How to Do It

  • Lie on a flat bench holding dumbbells in both hands.
  • The palms should be facing each other.
  • Open your arms a little wide and lower the dumbbells to your sides.
  • Your elbows should be bent slightly.
  • Lower the dumbbells until your elbows are a little lower than your chest level.
  • Press the dumbbells back up.


Sets: 4

Reps: 15RM-12 RM-10 RM-8 RM (Increase weight on each set)


  • If your shoulders hurt while you lower the weights fully then limit your range of motion when you come down.
  • Use lighter weights for this exercise. Try to lift half of the weight you are lifting in dumbbell chest press


3.     Superset: Incline Dumbbell Press- Incline Dumbbell Fly

The upper chest can be hard to grow. Your gains might be plateaued after some time of basic training.


To target the upper chest using dumbbells we will be doing two exercises as a superset.


The incline dumbbell press will target the clavicular head of the major pectoralis, this head works with your shoulders so when the bench is inclined you can effectively target this region.


Through this exercise, you will develop a defined chest and muscular shoulders. This is superior to the traditional bench press because more muscle fibers in your chest are used to stabilize each dumbbell throughout the exercise.


Similarly, the incline dumbbell fly is used for growing the major pectoralis muscles. It develops your chest line close to the clavicular region through an addiction mechanism.


It is a noticeable feature and looks cool when you are wearing a button-down shirt.

3.1 Incline Dumbbell Press

Incline Dumbbell Press

How to Do It

  • First set the bench at a 45-degree angle incline
  • Sit on the bench with dumbbells in your hand, they should be near your shoulders.
  • Your neck should be against the bench and elbows below the ribs.
  • Press the dumbbells upwards over your chest
  • Squeeze your upper chest while doing it.



  • Engage your core as you lift.
  • Exhale while pressing and inhale while lowering
  • To lift heavy weights, first put on your thigh and take help by pushing your legs.

After doing one set of this exercise complete one set on an incline dumbbell fly.

3.2 Incline Dumbbell Fly

How to Do It

  • First set the bench at a 45-degree angle incline
  • Sit on the bench with dumbbells in your hand, they should be near your shoulders.
  • Raise the dumbbells with your elbows bent slightly, the palms should be facing each other.
  • When you bring the dumbbells down, your arms should be in an arched position.
  • Keep lowering them unless you start to feel a stretch in your chest.
  • Now lift the dumbbells again.



  • Don’t try lift heavier, always use a lighter weight than you used for dumbbell chest press
  • Don’t touch the dumbbells together at the top position.

Sets: 4

Reps: 12RM-10RM-8RM-6RM (Increase weight on each set)


4.     Single Arm Dumbbell Press

Single Arm Dumbbell Press

This exercise is similar to a bench press. It involves the lifting of a dumbbell using one hand at a time.


It is beneficial for adding unilateral strength to your muscle development. This exercise demands greater stability from your pecs, shoulders, and core.


The single-arm dumbbell press can help in building the balancing capacity of your body and also works on strengthening the core.


How to Do It

  • Lie on a flat bench but only hold the dumbbell in one hand
  • Lift the dumbbell by extending your arm until the weight is in line with your shoulder.
  • Lower your arm while maintaining tension in your chest.
  • Do the required reps and then repeat this movement with the other arm.




Sets: 4

Reps: 12RM-10RM-8RM-8RM (Increase weight on each set)


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5.     Dumbbell Pullover

Dumbbell Pullover

This is one of the best dumbbell chest exercises to finish off your chest day. It activates all the muscles in your chest.


Pullover also engages your lower back muscles, core, and glutes. This exercise is used by all professional bodybuilders and is considered among the best isolation chest exercises.

How to Do It

  • Lie on a flat bench holding one dumbbell with both of your hands.
  • Now extend your arms behind your head and lower the dumbbell.
  • Pull it back and bring it near to your middle chest.
  • Make sure to squeeze your chest as you reach the top position.



  • To stabilize the dumbbell, you have to engage your core and back muscles.
  • Your hands should be relaxed throughout the exercise but maintain the position with strong wrists.
  • For lifting heavyweight, you should always use a spotter or you are more likely to fall the dumbbell on your body.