We don’t want to come over all about chest exercise variations, but frankly, the barbell bench press is not an effective enough chest exercise to justify its massive popularity. It’s a great exercise, sure, but its place as a workout staple is perhaps down to the fact that benching a big weight is as good for the ego as it is for your muscles.
Using dumbbells allows a greater range of motion than using a barbell and this, in turn, means you can work more of the pec muscles during the exercise. “Your pecs are the main muscles targeted by the exercise, but as an added bonus it also works your triceps. Opting for dumbbells also trains each side in isolation, so you can’t rely on a stronger side to muscle up the weight like you can when using a barbell”. If you do find that one side is struggling when using dumbbells, you can then focus on building your strength on that side to balance your body.
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If you’re ready to look beyond the bench press, we have suggestions for eight chest exercises you should do instead – one of which is the dumbbell bench press. That’s right, all you need to do to improve on the bench press is to switch out the barbell for a brace of dumbbells, especially if you’re looking to bulk up your chest.
“The dumbbell chest press is an excellent exercise but shaking up your training will not only help you be a well-rounded athlete but also keep things fun”. Therefore, coach Phil Gervais offers his 8 best dumbbell bench press variations.
Spice things up and hit your pecs in a different fashion.
Table of Contents
- 8 Best Dumbbell Bench Press Variations
The 8 Best Dumbbell Bench Press Variations
1 – Neutral Grip Dumbbell Press
This is a good exercise for people with shoulder issues, as it requires less shoulder rotation.
2 – Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press
Same as the exercise above, this is another good dumbbell bench press variation if you suffer from shoulder issues.
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3 – Half-Half-Full Press
This Dumbbell Bench Press variation forces you to spend more time at the bottom of the exercise, so if you generally struggle to bring the weight back up give the Half-Half-Full Press ago.
4 – Legs on Bench Press
This variation takes away the leg drive, bringing the focus to the pecs, delts, and triceps.
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5 – Floor Press
Similar to the last exercise, this variation emphasizes the triceps lockout as lying on the floor won’t allow for going as deep.
6 – One-Arm Floor Press
The One-Arm Floor Press will address any imbalances you might have in your pecs and works the obliques more than variations including both arms.
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7 – Crush Grip Dumbbell Press
Similar to a close grip barbell bench press, this variation is simply done with dumbbells and is excellent for working the triceps. Just keep in mind that it’ll be hard to do if you don’t own hexagonal dumbbells.
8 – Pause Dumbbell Bench Press
This is one of the best Dumbbell Bench Press variations if you’re looking to increase your strength at the bottom of the bench. Pause 3-5 seconds at the bottom and make sure your pecs are well stretched.
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