How to Dumbbell Bench Press

Boost your bench strength and drill into stabilizing muscles with this handy guide on how to dumbbell bench press from gymgirl. Stick with us and you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to perfect this variation on the bench press.

How to dumbbell bench press

1. Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand

2. Raise the weights so they’re just below and slightly outside your shoulders

3. Your elbows should be out and your palms facing toward the end of the bench

4. In a smooth, controlled motion, simultaneously push both dumbbells up until your arms are straight. In this position your weights should almost be touching and sitting above your upper chest

5. Return to the start position by bending the arms and bringing the dumbbells back down. Don’t let them dip too far down or outside otherwise you could overextend at the shoulder

Tip: Take this slow as you learn the movement. Because you have two weights, it might be a little harder to get both arms working at the same time initially, but keep practising and it’ll even out.

Benefits of the dumbbell bench press

It might seem like this isn’t too different from the conventional bench press. However, there’s a whole lot more going on beneath the surface with this baby. Because you’re dealing with two weights at once, this variation can highlight a variety of weaknesses you didn’t even know you had.

For example, one arm might not be as powerful as the other. Or you might find you struggle to maintain a straight light when you push the weights up. And both of these things are absolutely fine, girl. You just have to learn how to dumbbell bench press and the unilateral element (two arms working separately) will hit those weaker muscles, helping you even out your physique.

Discover how to these exercises for a killer upper-body workout:


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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