Because of its aesthetic significance, the chest receives the most attention of any body part when building muscles. As a result, many different programs target the chest and develop them. However, most of these exercises utilize a bench press, including most that you do with a dumbbell. Nevertheless, there are several other dumbbell chest exercises that do not require a bench and will develop your chest, as well as popular dumbbell exercises with a bench will. That said, this article will list and discuss some of the dumbbell chest workouts that you can do without a bench for the best chest gains.
Standing chest press
The standing chest press is a common dumbbell chest exercise you can do without a bench. The exercise uniquely works your pectoral muscles, as the form you take for the exercise is equally unique. However, to do the workout, you only require one dumbbell. With your single dumbbell, stand on your feet, keeping them shoulder-width apart. After that, hold your dumbbell within your palms, bending your arms in front of your chest. Ensure you squeeze the dumbbells between your palms to stimulate your chest muscles. This gives you the starting form of the standing chest press.
💡 Quick Tip: If you would rather do your exercises with a bench, check out the AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Weight Bench
AB-5000 ZERO GAP Adjustable Weight Bench
In this position, extend your arms away from you, squeezing the dumbbells between your palms. After fully extending your arms, wait for a few seconds, then draw your arms to return to your starting position. You should note a few key things as you perform the standing chest press. It is necessary to maintain focus, especially as you get fatigued, so you do not drop your arms or the dumbbell. Besides keeping your arms up, ensure they remain aligned with your chest when you fully extend them. In addition, ensure you engage your core during the motion to avoid stressing your lower back as you extend your arms.
📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: Can You Get Results From Using Dumbbells Only?
Standing upward chest fly
This is an unconventional dumbbell exercise you can use for your chest in the absence of a bench. The exercise closely resembles the shoulder front raise with dumbbells but with a slight tweak to recruit your chest rather than your shoulders. You start by keeping your feet at a comfortable shoulder-width distance like you would with a shoulder dumbbell raise. While holding the pair of dumbbells, keep your arms at your side, extending them a bit away from your body, like the Vitruvian man.
The motion will see you lift both arms, from that angle, upwards towards your chest until both dumbbells meet in front o your upper chest. Keep a slight elbow lock so your chest does most of the pulling rather than your biceps. Likewise, ensure you stay in full control of your arms and the dumbbells to avoid unnecessary swings. You should also remain in complete control of the dumbbells as you bring them down. Avoid letting gravity bring down the weights as it robs you of work that your chest muscles should do, thereby reducing your gains. This exercise is similar to bicep curls, and one tip you can take from bicep curls, or front raises, is to do each arm raise unilaterally so you can focus on the motion in that arm for optimal form. If you want to get new dumbbells for the exercise, try Hex Dumbbells.
💡 Quick Tip: If you want more precise control over how much weight you carry with a dumbbell, you can get the Rogue Loadable Dumbbell
Rogue Loadable Dumbbell
Reverse dumbbell chest press
As the name implies, the exercise resembles the dumbbell chest press you perform on a bench. The primary difference is that you perform it on the floor rather than on the bench. You may think it is challenging to get the full hand motion on the ground as you would on the bench; the bench allows you to bring your elbows lower than your body, which would be impossible if you were on the ground. However, the quick fix for this lies in your wrist and elbows.
In a regular bench-based dumbbell chest press, you hold the dumbbells with your palms away from you. In this case, you grip the dumbbells the other way around, with your palms facing you. This minor tweak enables the exercise to hit your pectoral differently. Likewise, to increase the motion range, instead of bringing your elbows directly down, bring your elbows slightly forward so your arms travel down a bit more, keeping your chest under tension for longer.
This is a straightforward use of dumbbells to work your chest without a bench. Furthermore, this combines the benefits of standard push-ups and the increased height the dumbbells give you the space to take your torso lower than usual. With the extra height, you can take your torso even lower, increasing the range of motion, keeping your arms and chest under tension for longer, and recruiting other parts of your chest for extra power and balance. Another benefit of this push-up variation is that it trains your grip. Because you have to tightly grip the dumbbells’ handles as you perform the push-ups. As an extension of working your grips, it also develops your forearms. If gripping the dumbbells’ handles causes your palms discomfort, consider getting the ATERCEL Workout Gloves.
📖 Related Article: If you're enjoying this article you may want to also check out: How to Convert Your Dumbbell Bench Press Weight to the Equivalent Barbell Bench Press Weight
Stability dumbbell chest fly
This exercise is unique in combining a regular chest fly with a stability ball for support. With a regular dumbbell chest fly, the bench provides balance and stability while you focus exclusively on the dumbbells in your palms. However, with a stability ball, you also have to provide your stability yourself, essentially twice the work. When performing it, ensure that your back is perfectly positioned on the stability ball so you begin with the best possible balance. Furthermore, extending your arms during the exercise helps you remain stable as it spreads the weight. However, because of how dangerous the exercise can be, you should only use dumbbells you can comfortably carry. If you do not have your stability ball, check out the ProBody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball.