Bench press with dumbbells

Bench press with dumbbells is one of the most effective exercises for training the large chest muscles alongside the classic barbell bench press. The isolated working of the arms ensures an even strain on the chest muscles. However, since training with dumbbells requires a certain degree of coordination, this exercise is not particularly suitable for beginners.

Trained muscles

The athlete lies flat on a training bench, as in bench press. In order not to lose balance, less experienced athletes should place their feet at least shoulder width apart on a second bench. Taking up the starting position is particularly difficult when bench pressing with dumbbells.

The athlete sits on the bench and places the weights on the thighs. While lying backwards on the bench, the arms take up the starting position. This is no problem when training with low weights. During the contraction phase, the arms are gradually brought closer together until the dumbbells touch at the highest point of the movement. The yielding (eccentric) phase should take place as slowly as possible.


It is possible to vary the angle of the training bench when bench pressing dumbbells. The steeper the bench is, the more upper parts of the chest muscles are used. The use of an expander allows a steady increase of the load during the contraction phase.