The dumbbell bench press is an upper-body train that entails mendacity on a bench and urgent dumbbells over your chest.

Just like the barbell bench press, it trains your entire “pushing” muscle tissue and permits you to deal with heavy weights safely and progress frequently, which suggests it’s ideally suited for constructing muscle and gaining power.

It additionally has just a few benefits over the barbell bench press that make it value periodically together with in your exercise routine. 

On this article, you’ll be taught what the dumbbell bench press is, the way it compares to the barbell bench press, the advantages of the flat dumbbell bench press, how one can dumbbell bench press with correct type, the very best dumbbell bench press alternate options, and extra.

What Is the Dumbbell Bench Press?

The dumbbell bench press, or “flat dumbbell bench press,” is an upper-body free-weight exercise that entails mendacity in your again on a flat bench and urgent dumbbells above your chest.

The dumbbell bench press is an identical to the barbell bench press by way of method, besides you utilize dumbbells as an alternative of a barbell.

Dumbbell vs. Barbell Bench Press

The flat barbell bench press is broadly thought of to be the very best train for gaining chest muscle and urgent power, and that is largely true.

You possibly can lift 17% extra weight once you bench press with a barbell than once you use dumbbells, which makes it one of the efficient methods to progressively overload your chest muscle tissue.

That stated, the dumbbell bench press isn’t any slouch on this regard. 

Research reveals that the dumbbell bench press prompts your pecs barely greater than the barbell bench press, which at the least partially makes up for the actual fact you’ll be able to’t raise as a lot weight.

That’s why it’s finest to not suppose by way of barbell or dumbbell bench press, and as an alternative suppose by way of barbell and dumbbell bench press (which is the method I exploit in my best-selling health books Bigger Leaner Stronger for males, and Thinner Leaner Stronger for ladies).

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Advantages of the Dumbbell Bench Press

1. It helps you prepare your muscle tissue by means of a full vary of movement.

Multiple studies show that muscle tissue grow extra when educated by means of a full vary of movement, particularly in the event that they’re stretched as effectively. 

The draw back of the barbell bench press is that your vary of movement is restricted by the bar. That’s, it’s important to cease every rep when the bar touches your chest, regardless that you could possibly most likely decrease your fingers just a few extra inches with out a drawback.

You don’t have that restriction when utilizing dumbbells. This implies you’ll be able to prepare your muscle tissue by means of a larger vary of movement and stretch your pecs extra completely in every rep.

That isn’t to say the dumbbell bench press is superior to the barbell bench press, although. Your pecs get lots stretched within the barbell bench press when you use correct type, and as we’ve already seen, the barbell bench press permits you to raise extra weight than the dumbbell model, which is mostly higher for muscle and power achieve.

All in all, it’s finest to make use of the dumbbell bench press as an adjunct train to the barbell bench press, and it’s best to embrace each in your program if you wish to maximize chest progress.

2. It helps to appropriate muscle imbalances.

Within the dumbbell bench press, each side of your physique should raise the identical quantity of weight independently. 

That is useful as a result of it helps you determine and proper muscle and strength imbalances as a result of one aspect can’t “take over” or “choose up slack” from the opposite, which regularly occurs within the barbell bench press.

3. It lets you prepare round accidents.

Dumbbell workout routines permit your limbs to maneuver extra freely than many barbell workout routines, which allows you to barely alter your actions to keep away from ache.  

For instance, your wrists are locked in the identical place in the course of the barbell bench press. However in the course of the dumbbell bench press, you’ll be able to rotate them right into a extra snug place.

That is significantly useful when making an attempt to “prepare round” an damage, corresponding to a wrist sprain, shoulder niggle, or elbow tendinitis.

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Dumbbell Bench Press: Muscle groups Labored

The dumbbell bench press trains your entire upper-body “pushing” muscle tissue, together with the . . .

  • Pectoralis main (each the sternocostal and clavicular heads)
  • Anterior deltoid
  • Triceps brachii

Right here’s what the muscle tissue labored by the dumbbell press appear to be in your physique:


Dumbbell Bench Press: Kind

One of the simplest ways to be taught correct dumbbell bench press type is to interrupt it into three elements: arrange, press, and descend.

1. Set Up

Seize a dumbbell in every hand, sit on a flat bench, and relaxation the dumbbells in your thighs.

Lie again and hoist the dumbbells up by giving them a nudge along with your thighs so that you simply maintain them on both aspect of your chest.

Arch your again barely, plant your ft on the ground, elevate your chest, and tuck your shoulder blades down and squeeze them collectively. cue is to consider pulling your shoulder blades into your again pockets like this:

Incline-BPress-2-Blogpost-Size-2 (1)

2. Press

Press the dumbbells towards the ceiling. As they rise, permit the weights to float nearer collectively (some folks like to the touch them on the high of every rep, however this isn’t essential). On the high of the rep your elbows must be virtually locked and the dumbbells must be 1-to-2 inches aside or barely touching.

Hold your shoulder blades “down and again,” your elbows about 6-to-12 inches out of your torso, your decrease again barely arched, your butt on the bench, and your ft on the ground.

3. Descend

Reverse the motion and decrease the dumbbells to both aspect of your chest. 

You need to really feel a deep stretch in your pecs and the handles of the dumbbells must be consistent with your nipples.

The Greatest Dumbbell Bench Press Options

1. Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

The principle advantages of the one-arm dumbbell bench press are it permits you to deal with all sides of your physique individually, which helps you develop a larger “mind-muscle connection.” It additionally trains your core muscle tissue, which need to work laborious to stop your physique from twisting.

As a result of the one-arm dumbbell bench press is inherently unstable, although, it’s important to considerably cut back the quantity of weight you raise, which limits the muscle-building potential of the train.

2. Dumbbell Ground Press

The dumbbell flooring press is a dumbbell bench press variation that entails mendacity on the ground as an alternative of a bench. This shortens the train’s vary of movement (you’ll be able to’t decrease your elbows so far as you do within the common dumbbell bench press as a result of they run into the ground) and makes it much less efficient at coaching your pecs.

That stated, it’s efficient for coaching your triceps, that are largely answerable for “locking out” your elbows on the high of every rep, and it’s a viable dumbbell bench press variation when you don’t have entry to a bench.

3. Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

The principle motive for doing the alternating dumbbell bench press is that the arm that isn’t urgent will get a brief relaxation between every rep, which ought to hypothetically will let you use barely heavier weights or do an additional couple of reps. 

The draw back of this train is that even when your arms are “resting” they’re nonetheless supporting the load, so you could discover that you simply fatigue sooner with this method. 

The alternating dumbbell bench press additionally requires extra coordination and steadiness than the common dumbbell bench press, which suggests some folks discover it tough to carry out accurately.

FAQ #1: Dumbbell Press vs. Bench Press: Which is healthier?

Neither train is healthier or worse than the opposite. Each workout routines prepare the identical muscle tissue to an analogous diploma, so you need to use them interchangeably in your exercises.  

The advantages of the dumbbell bench press are that it permits you to prepare by means of a bigger vary of movement, which is useful for muscle progress, and it could be extra snug for some folks. 

One downside of the dumbbell bench press is that it doesn’t will let you raise as a lot weight because the barbell bench press, which suggests the barbell variation is superior for gaining absolute power.

In fact, there’s no motive to decide on only one. One of the best resolution for most individuals is to incorporate each workout routines in your program. 

That is how I personally like to prepare my coaching, and it’s much like the tactic I advocate in my health books for women and men, Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

FAQ #2: Are there correct dumbbell bench press requirements to purpose for?

One rule of thumb you’ll usually hear for a very good dumbbell bench press customary is that it’s best to have the ability to dumbbell bench press 80% of your barbell bench press (that’s together with each dumbbells). 

For instance, when you barbell bench press 200 kilos, it’s best to have the ability to dumbbell bench press 160 kilos (80 kilos in every hand).  

When you don’t do a lot barbell bench urgent, although, then use these pointers as an alternative:

Dumbbell bench press requirements for males:

  • Newbie: 0.6 instances your physique weight
  • Intermediate: 0.9 instances your physique weight
  • Superior: 1.2 instances your physique weight

Dumbbell bench press requirements for ladies:

  • Newbie: 0.3 instances your physique weight
  • Intermediate: 0.5 instances your physique weight
  • Superior: 0.7 instances your physique weight

Word: With these requirements, “Newbie” refers to anybody who’s been persistently coaching for 6-to-12 months, “Intermediate” refers to anybody who’s been persistently coaching for 1-to-3 years, and “Superior” refers to anybody who’s been persistently coaching for greater than 3 years. All strength standards seek advice from the minimal complete weight (each dumbbells’ weight mixed) it’s best to have the ability to press for a single rep (one-rep max).

FAQ #3: Is it potential to make a dumbbell vs. barbell bench press weight comparability?

It’s tough to make a exact dumbbell to barbell bench press conversion, however you’ll be able to estimate your max barbell bench press weight primarily based in your max dumbbell bench press weight utilizing the outcomes of a study carried out by scientists at Sogn og Fjordane College School.

On this research, the researchers discovered that, on common, folks might raise slightly below 20% extra weight on the barbell bench press than they may on the dumbbell bench press.

Because of this when you might do one rep on the dumbbell bench press with dumbbells weighing 80 kilos every (160 kilos complete), you’ll seemingly have the ability to do one rep on the barbell bench press with round 200 kilos.

+ Scientific References


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