There are many ways to strengthen your chest using minimal equipment. If you don’t have access to a gym or fancy home gym, you can still get the results you want without spending a ton of money on weights and machines.
In this article, we will show you how to use dumbbells for chest exercises for beginners. The best part about these exercises is that they require minimal equipment (other than a pair of dumbbells) and can be done almost anywhere.
Beginner Dumbbell Chest Exercises With Minimal Equipment
Here’s a look at five such exercises:
#1 Bench Dip
Bench dips are a great, easy way to work the chest and triceps without any equipment. Before you begin, make sure that the bench is sturdy. If it’s not, it could tip over and cause injury. Bend your knees slightly to help keep your balance during the exercise.
Proceed as follows:
- From a sitting position, with your butt at the edge of the bench and feet flat on the floor, place both hands against its center for support.
- Make sure to keep your arms straight throughout the exercise.
- Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower yourself down till the elbows reach 90 degrees or less before returning back up again keeping the elbows close to your chest at all times throughout the movement.
- You can also use dumbbells, if needed, to increase the difficulty level by holding one in each hand while performing dips.
Push-ups are a signature chest exercise, for beginners and advanced gymgoers alike. They’re also a staple in most no-equipment bodyweight workouts, making them a perfect option for gym-free workouts.
Do push-ups as follows:
- Lie face down on the ground with your hands underneath your shoulders.
- Lift yourself off the ground by straightening your arms and pushing them back to their starting position.
- Lower yourself back down again, keeping your elbows close to your body.
- Repeat for as many reps as you can manage.
#3 Dumbbell Chest Press
The dumbbell chest press is a classic exercise that involves lying face-up on a bench and raising your arms till they’re perpendicular to the floor. In this position, lower the weights back down to your sides.
You can do this exercise with either one or two dumbbells. If using one dumbbell, make sure to keep both arms parallel as you lower them down (you may want to rest the side of your head on a rolled-up towel).
Proceed as follows:
- Lie down on a bench or any flat surface, and grip your dumbbells.
- Press them till your arms are fully extended, and bring them back down till they’re almost touching the chest.
- The chest should feel fully contracted on the concentric and eccentric motion.
#4 Dumbbell Fly
This exercise targets the chest muscles, including pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior, which are responsible for shoulder flexion and shoulder adduction as well as external rotation movements of the shoulder joint.
It also engages the triceps brachii muscle groups located at the back of the upper arm region that help stabilize elbow joints while performing this exercise movement pattern.
Perform the dumbbell fly as follows:
- Lie flat on a bench with your feet flat on the floor and arms slightly bent. Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length above your chest, with your palms facing inward.
- Slowly lower the weights out to either side till they’re even with your shoulders.
- Lift them back up to their starting position.
- Repeat for reps if desired (or required).
#5 Dumbbell Pullover
This workout can be performed with either one or two dumbbells. This move can strengthen and stretch the chest muscles as well as improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support it.
You will also work on strengthening any weak links in this area — which are usually near where you carry most of your bodyweight — by performing this move regularly.
Do the dumbbell pullover as follows:
- Start with the weight in your hands, with your palms facing up and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Flexing your core, lower the weights till they’re parallel to the floor (or just slightly above), and extend your arms back up to complete one rep.
You will want to begin by doing 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions each. Gradually increase both sets and reps as you’re able to till you reach four sets of 15 repetitions each for best results.
The chest is one of the most important muscle groups to work on, and it can be frustrating to not have access to equipment. We hope this article has given you some ideas on how to work your chest without having any equipment or much space.
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