5 Dumbbell Chest Exercises to Do at Home

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

Chest day, best day!

For many lifters, Monday is universally known as chest day. Why? Because of the internet (and memes, of course!).

But I can’t deny it, starting the week off with a chest workout feels amazing. The pump (in my opinion) is unmatched compared to other splits I’ve done on Mondays.

In this post, I’ll be going over five of my favourite and most beneficial dumbbell chest exercises—each can be done from the comfortably of your own home!

Here’s a list of equipment I use to perform these exercises:

1. Dumbbell Pullover

Let’s kick things off with a good stretch. The dumbbell pullover is an awesome (and often underrated) chest exercise that opens your chest. While the pectoralis major gets most of the attention, muscles such as the serratus anterior and the latissimus dorsi are also getting some love from this exercise.

I will demonstrate the dumbbell pullover using an exercise ball.

Man performing dumbbell chest pullover on an exercise ball.
Dumbbell Pullover

Steps:

  1. Position your shoulder blades/upper-back on a chair or exercise ball. Have the dumbbell resting on your torso.
  2. Raise the dumbbell as high as you can above your chest. This will be your starting position.
  3. Lower the top of the dumbbell until it’s directly behind your head.
  4. Push the dumbbell back to the starting position with maximum force.
  5. Repeat desired repetitions.

2. Dumbbell Chest Press

As mentioned in my Full-Body Home Workout post, the chest press is a fantastic compound exercise that works nearly every upper-body muscle.

Now that I own an exercise ball, I can show you a different version of the chest press that is much similar to the traditional dumbbell bench press.

Man performing a dumbbell floor press
Dumbbell Floor Press
Man performing dumbbell chest press on a exercise ball.
Dumbbell Chest Press

Steps:

  1. Sit flat on the floor. Place the dumbbells on both sides of your body.
    • (Exercise ball) Position your back on the ball with your legs at a 90-degree angle. Place the dumbbells on your thighs.
  2. In one consistent movement, grasp your dumbbells and put your back and arms flat on the floor. 
    • (Exercise ball) Grasp your dumbbells and bring them towards your chest with your elbows bent.
  3. Position your elbows at around 20 to 35-degrees.
  4. Push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended. Hold for a second. 
  5. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat desired repetitions.          

3. Decline Dumbbell Chest Press

When I can’t perform chest dips, I resort to my second favourite lower-chest exercise—the decline chest press.

I’ve had issues performing this exercise at most gyms. Not because it’s difficult, but because the decline benches are always in use!

Fortunately, the decline dumbbell chest press can be done by raising your legs off the floor; or, by placing them on an exercise ball. I will demonstrate both methods.

Man performing decline dumbbell chest press on the floor.
Decline Dumbbell Press Using Legs
Man performing a decline dumbbell chest press on an exercise ball.
Decline Dumbbell Press Using Exercise Ball
  1. Sit flat on the floor. Place the dumbbells on both sides of your body.
    • (Exercise ball) Position your back on the floor with your legs sitting on the ball. Place the dumbbells on both sides of your body.
  2. In one consistent movement, grasp your dumbbells, bend your knees, raise your glutes, and press your feet into the floor. 
    • (Exercise ball) Grasp your dumbbells, bring them to your chest, and raise your glutes off the floor.
  3. Position your elbows at around 20 to 35-degrees.
  4. Push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended. Hold for a second. 
  5. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat desired repetitions. 

4. Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Switching from decline to incline now activates a new set of muscle fibres. This includes the upper-chest, anterior delts, and triceps. In terms of what angle you should be in, studies have found that 30 to 45 degrees to be the most optimal for upper-chest growth.

Man performing incline dumbbell chest press on an exercise ball.
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
  1. Position your back on the side of the exercise ball with your dumbbells sitting on your thighs.
    • (Optional) Place the exercise ball beside a wall for improved balance.
  2. Grasp your dumbbells and bring them to your chest
  3. Position your elbows at around 20 to 35-degrees.
  4. Push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended. Hold for a second. 
  5. Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. 
  6. Repeat desired repetitions. 

5. Dumbbell Chest Fly

Now that we’ve worked every section of the chest, let’s conclude this list with a nice pump. The dumbbell chest fly is a great exercise for stretching as well as squeezing your pecks together.

I recommend curving your spine and driving your shoulder blades into the floor or exercise ball when performing this exercise. This will maximize muscle activation and improve your strength in the long-term.

Man performing dumbbell chest flys on the floor.
Dumbbell Chest Fly Using Floor
Man performing dumbbell chest flys on a exercise ball.
Dumbbell Chest Fly Using Exercise Ball
  1. Sit flat on the floor. Place the dumbbells on both sides of your body.
    • (Exercise ball) Position your back on the ball with your legs at a 90-degree angle. Place the dumbbells on your thighs.
  2. In one consistent movement, grasp your dumbbells, raise your arms, and create a curve with your spine.
  3. Bend your elbows slightly.
  4. Slowly lower your arms until they align with your shoulders.
  5. Push your arms back together and squeeze your chest when you reach the top of the movement.
  6. Repeat desired repetitions.

Leave a Comment

Previous

Gaming Burnout? Here Are 10 Hobbies to Explore

What Supplements Should You Be Taking?

Next