Do you want to build a bigger, broader and stronger chest? Then you need to get to grips with the dumbbell bench press to add serious size and strength quickly
A decent set of dumbbells can go a very long way towards helping you transform your physique by adding muscle mass across your torso. The dumbbell lateral raise is one of the best moves for adding shoulder size, width and definition, the dumbbell biceps curl will build bigger and stronger arms, and the dumbbell pullover will give you a broader back.
But if you’re serious about adding size and strength to your chest to build bigger, broader and more defined pecs – and have already mastered the best press-up variations – then you’re ready to graduate to the dumbbell bench press and the fast muscle mass gains it provides!
The trouble is, a lot of people perform this hugely important exercise very badly, and that’s robbing them of the opportunity to build the body they want.
The biggest mistakes are using a weight that’s too heavy (risking injury), only doing half-reps and never full-range-of-motion reps (which makes each one easier but fails to really fatigue the muscles), and never control the lowering part of each rep instead allowing the weights to rapidly “drop” back to the start position (which takes tension of the muscle so it’s not working at full capacity).
All of these errors make the exercise a lot easier, but if you want to add the maximum amount of new muscle mass is the quickest time you need to make the move as hard as possible by performing it perfectly! Anything else is cheating yourself out of the muscle gains you so desperately want.
Here’s how to do the dumbbell bench press with perfect form so you can see results fast, and don’t forget to check out our list on the the best exercises for a bigger and broader chest!
The Dumbbell Bench Press
Targets: Chest, triceps, anterior delts (front shoulders)
How to do it
Lie flat on a bench with your bum and upper back pressed into the bench and have your feet planted firmly into the floor.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip either side of your torso.
Press the weights directly up so that they meet together over the middle of your chest, but don’t bang them together.
Slowly lower the weights back down to the start position, controlling the descent and not letting them “drop” back to the start. That’s one rep.
At the bottom pause briefly to eliminate any momentum before starting the next rep. Really think about your chest muscles acting to lift and lower the weights with each rep for greater muscular activation (which will result in faster and greater gains!)