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Chest Press

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The Dumbbell Chest Press is another fantastic exercise for builder a stronger, bigger chest. Unlike the Barbell Bench Press, the Chest Press forces your weaker arm to act in isolation, rather than being assisted by the stronger arm.

It also has a wider range of independent motion that will activate secondary muscles to guide the weights along their path.

How to do a Chest Press

Start with two dumbbells of equal weight in either hand. From a sitting position on a weight bench, lie back until your back is firm and flat against the bench.

Get your dumbbells into starting position by moving them to either side of your shoulders with your elbows bent downwards. Your palms should be facing down towards your feet. Exhale and push your arms upwards, raising the dumbbells in a straight line up into the air above you.

Stop once your elbows are fully locked out and the weights are held out above your chest region. Pause at the top, but make sure the dumbbells do not touch together as this reduces the fatigue on your pectoral muscles. To return, inhale and slowly lower the weights back down, bending at the elbows until the dumbbells are again at either side of your shoulders.

Congratulations, you have completed one repetition.

Chest Press Variations

For other more challenging variations of this exercise, try using an incline bench (where your head is raised up at an angle higher than your body), or a decline bench (where your head is declined down lower than your feet).

Chest Press Video Demonstration

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on