It is the fact that in weight training, most people are more familiar with the barbell bench press than the dumbbell bench press. However, it doesn’t mean that the barbell bench press is better than the other. Actually, training with dumbbells is much more beneficial for your muscle and strength than you thought. That’s why in this article, I’ll share with you how to dumbbell bench press properly.
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- What Do You Need?
- How To Do It
- Tips For The Perfect Dumbbell Chest Press
What Do You Need?
To be honest, this is the primary reason why I prefer the dumbbell bench press than the barbell bench press. Everything you need is just a couple of dumbbells which is heavy enough for you and a weight bench.
In this case, an adjustable bench with several angle adjustments will be your best bet. This is because you don’t have to go anywhere to train different parts of your chest muscles. Besides, elbow compression sleeves are also a necessary accessory for you to prevent elbow injury from lifting heavy weights.
How To Do It
There are 4 main steps.
You can watch this video for more details.
Tips For The Perfect Dumbbell Chest Press
1. Choose The Right Weight
Do not contort your body in order to lift the weight. Instead, only lift as much weight as you are able to handle while you still can maintain good form.
2. Don’t Let The Dumbbells Touch Each Other
At the top of the movement, try not to let the dumbbells touch each other. Just make sure they form a triangular motion so you can maintain chest muscle tension.
3. Use Deadlift Techniques For Heavy Dumbbells
The point is even if you know how to dumbbell bench press properly, you may still have difficulties with heavy dumbbells. In fact, it’s a bad idea to grab heavy dumbbells and pick them up like you usually do with light dumbbells. This will probably make you exhausted right after you lie on the bench.
Therefore, you should place the dumbbells in front of the bench, get them squared off and keep your feet underneath the dumbbells. Now, keep your head and back neutral, then use hip hinge technique to lift the dumbbells just like you’re doing a deadlift. Afterwards, put the dumbbells high on your thighs, sit down on the bench, kick them up one by one and lie back.
4. Avoid Locking Out Your Elbows
Remember to press the dumbbells all the way up but do not lock out your elbows entirely. This way you can maintain more chest muscle tension and more importantly, preventing elbow injury.
5. Do Not Arch Your Back Excessively
Some many lifters out there arch their back too much so they can lift heavy weights. Trust me, this is unnecessarily dangerous and can cause extreme extension to your spine. Actually, this is more common with the barbell bench press but you still need to know to avoid lower back pain. Just retract your shoulder blades and arch your back enough for you to fully activate your chest muscles.
6. Keep Your Feet Flat On The Floor Instead of Resting Them On the Bench
This way, you can balance your whole body better, and this is especially important when lifting heavy weights. Nobody wants to be unstable and fall off the weight bench with those heavy weights around, right?
7. Do Not Drop The Dumbbells Freely
As mentioned above, dropping the dumbbells onto the ground may cause injury if there are people around. Also, this may cause shoulder joint injury if you don’t have any control over the dumbbells. However, in case you have to do it, just do it properly.In my experiences, before you drop, make sure the handles of the dumbbells are parallel to your body. Then gently extend your biceps until the dumbbells touch the ground.
In my experiences, when you’re stuck with 2 heavy dumbbells, make sure they are close to your chest and parallel to each other. Bring your feet up, kick forward and at the same time, push your upper body just a little bit. Once, your body is off the bench, drop the dumbbells.
1. Rotational Dumbbell Bench Press
If you want to try something new and different from the traditional dumbbell bench press, here is another choice. Actually, the only difference between the traditional dumbbell bench press and this one is the elbow position.
With this exercise, when descending, just twist your elbows a little so that your palms face each other. Then push the dumbbells all the way up and twist your elbows to make your palms face away from each other.
2. Neutral Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
Are you looking for a dumbbell bench press variation which can promote more tricep recruitment? Well, if so, this is the right option for you. Everything you need to do is keep your palms facing each other with the elbows close to your body.
3. Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press
This exercise helps you promote stability and build endurance in your chest, shoulder and triceps muscles. For anyone who plays football, basketball or baseball, their muscles usually start to fatigue due to repetitive motion, especially late game. That’s why this alternating dumbbell chest press is beneficial.
It’s just like the traditional dumbbell chest press, but you don’t lift both dumbbells at the same time. Instead, you only press one dumbbell while fully extend the other arm. Once the dumbbells are both over your chest, slowly lower the other. Importantly, make sure both of your arms lift the same amount of repetitions. Keep going like that until you reach the intended amount of repetitions.