Top 5 Dumbbell Chest Workouts That Are Easy and Effective

If you’d like to have rippling chest muscles not just for the summer, but all-year round, the best way to get them is to perform a dumbbell chest workout regularly. However, not all workouts of this variety are equal in ease and effectiveness. Some might require a weeks to show results, while others give you the muscles you need in the target areas that need them the most.
Below are some of the most effective and easiest chest workouts available today. All you need are a pair of dumbbells and a bench. Even with relatively light dumbbells, these workouts are proven effective and safe, even for beginners.
Bench Presses
Although bench presses are the easiest and most common form of dumbbell chest workouts, they are by far the most effective at developing your chest muscles.
  1. Lie down with your back presses flat on a bench. Hold a dumbbell on each hand at chest level alongside your body. Your palms should be facing your feet.
  1. Hold the dumbbells straight up. Your arms should be straight, with your elbows almost locking. After a tiny pause, lower your arms slowly back down to the starting position.
  1. Remember to exhale while straightening your arms and inhale while you’re lowering them back down to the original position.
For beginners, you can begin by doing 10 repetitions before taking a short rest, and gradually increase the number of repetitions as your body is getting used to the exercise. You’ll know once you’ve mastered a phase when the burning sensation in your arms and chest area are almost non-existent. When this happens, you may increase your repetitions per set. You may also do the neutral grip variation of this workout. The only difference is that instead of facing your feet, you palms should be facing each other.
Incline Bench Press
This variation of the typical bench press targets the upper pectoral muscles, shoulders and arms. While bench presses work with any type of bench, the inclined variety needs a workout bench in order to perform it accurately.
  1. The starting position is similar to a typical bench press, with you lying down and your back flat against the bench. Hold a dumbbell on each hand alongside your body at chest level. Your palms should face forward.
  1. Hold the dumbbells straight up. Similar to a typical bench press, your arms should be kept straight with your elbows nearly locked. After a short pause, lower your hands back to the starting position.
  1. As with the typical bench press, remember to exhale while raising your arms, and inhale when going back to the starting position.
To perform the neutral grip version of the incline bench press, simply switch your palm’s position so that they are facing each other, rather than forward. To work on your lower pectoral muscles and upper abdomen area, you can adjust your bench so that it declines, rather than inclines.
Lying Fly
The lying fly specifically targets muscles in your shoulders, armpits, upper arms and the sides of your chest area. While these are a bit more challenging compared to the bench press, they are still easy to do. You may want to start with light dumbbells if you don’t have much upper body strength.
  1. Lie down on the bench with your back flat against it. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hold them on either side of your body level with your arms outstretch to the side, elbows slightly arched.
  1. Raise your arms until they are above chest level and side by side, similar to the second position of the bench press.
  1. After a slight pause, place your arms back to the starting position.
  1. Remember to maintain the angle of your arms at all times, with your elbows slightly bent.
Similar to a bench press, there is an incline variation of this exercise. The incline variation specifically targets the upper and side chest area. The steps are the same, just simply adjust your workout bench.
Straight-Arm Pullover
Aside from working your pectoral muscles, this is also a great exercise for the triceps, shoulders and lateral muscles. This is a great workout for widening your upper body and expanding your rib cage.
  1. Lie down with your back nearly on the edge of the workout bench. Using a single dumbbell, grip it with both hands with your arms extended right along your chest area.
  1. Extend dumbbell straight up. Your arms must be perpendicular with the floor. After a slight pause, lower it back to the original position.
  1. Throughout the entire exercise, remember to maintain your elbow’s angles so your arm remains extended.
Bent-Arm Pullover
Another type of pullover workout, the bent-arm pullover is used with heavier weights. The elbows remain flexed in order to support the extra weight. While the straight-arm pullover is better for beginners, this workout is used mainly by bodybuilders as it is more effective at building pectoral muscles quickly.
  1. Lie down on the bench with your back at one of the edges. Grasp one dumbbell for each hand below head level with your elbows flexed at a 90-degree angle.
  1. Raise your arms until the dumbbells are close to your chest. Remember to keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle while doing this.
  1. After a short pause, lower your arms back to their starting position.
  1. Remember to exhale while raising your arms and inhale while lowering them.
Additional Reminders When Performing a Dumbbell Chest Workout
As with all types of workouts, remember to perform breathing and warm-up exercises beforehand, especially if it is your first time. You may use spotters at the beginning, so you won’t strain yourself. When performing these exercises, remember to keep your movements controlled and steady, or else it will strain your muscles and cause you pain.
Remember that chest workouts using dumbbells are effective and easy if you follow the instructions right. You’ll know the workouts are working when you feel a tolerable burning sensation in the target areas. Your body may be sore during your first try, but this will vanish as you progress with your regimen. Most important of all, results don’t come in the blink of an eye – even if you don’t feel the change at first, just keep at it and remember to never rush or exert more effort than you’re capable of. Workouts should not only be healthy and effective, they must also be safe above all.


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