Can You Build Your Chest with Just Dumbbells?

Can You Build Your Chest with Just Dumbbells?

The good news is that you can target a specific area, like building your chest, with easy-to-use equipment, like adjustable dumbbells and a weight bench.

Dumbbells: Versatile, Effective, and Affordable 

Dumbbells are easy to use and an affordable investment in your home fitness routine. With a one-time investment in a dumbbell set, you’ll have all the weights you need for strength and building muscle. 

In fact, all you need to target your chest muscles is a set of adjustable dumbbells and a weight bench. In addition, dumbbells offer multiple benefits:  

  • Training with dumbbells improves your flexibility, along with building strength, because you have a wide range of motion.

  • This additional range of motion also activates more muscles to build strength quickly. 

  • By working stabilizing muscles and joints, dumbbells increase your balance and coordination. 

  • Strengthening your muscles also helps protect you from injury, whether during your workouts or other daily activities.

An affordable option is to buy an adjustable set like the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set. You get the equivalent of 10 pairs of dumbbells ranging from 5 to 50 pounds in a single set. The bonus of adjustable dumbbells is that they are also space saving.Each dumbbell is small enough to fit in a closet, under a bed, or in your home office. They can stow out of the way when you’re not using them. Then when you’re ready, you can just grab them and get to work. 

Best Exercises to Build Your Chest with Dumbbells 

Plan to work out three times a week to build strength, or two times a week to maintain it. Begin with comfortable weights and perform one set of each exercise (8 to ten repetitions per set), and add sets as you build strength. Use these exercises below to build your chest at home using just dumbbells and a weight bench.

Standing dumbbell chest fly: 
  • Choose comfortable weights and stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand, your feet hip width apart.  

  • Turn the dumbbells so you have an underhand grip, with your palms facing forward and the tops of your hands facing backward.

  • Contract your chest muscles and use them to lift the dumbbells up to shoulder height until they meet in the middle of your body.

  • Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position, and repeat 8 to ten times. 

Dumbbell single arm fly: 
  • Lie down on your back on a weight bench, feet comfortably on the floor, or lie flat on the floor with your legs extended. 

  • Your active arm will hold a dumbbell with a neutral grip, while the other lies relaxed next to your torso. You can use this arm to gently brace yourself for stability if you need to.

  • Hold your active arm out, perpendicular to your body, with your triceps down.

  • Contract your chest muscles to bring the dumbbell up until the weight is above your shoulder.

  • Slowly return the weight to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 10 reps, then switch arms and repeat.

Dumbbell chest press: 

  • Lie down on your back on a weight bench, or on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor. 

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand in an overhand grip (palms down, facing the floor).

  • Hold your arms perpendicular to your body and bend your elbows, holding the weights up in the air.

  • Push the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until you extend your arms fully.

  • Slowly lower your arms back down so your upper arms are level, while the weights remain in the air.

  • Repeat 8 to ten times.

Dumbbell pushups: 

man in yellow shirt on exercise mat doing dumbbell pushups core home fitness

  • This exercise is like a regular pushup but requires more balance and stability, while being more comfortable for those with wrist mobility issues.

  • Place your dumbbells on the floor, shoulder width apart.

  • Get into a plank (pushup) position, arms straight, gripping the dumbbells.

  • Keeping your body straight, bend at the elbows and lower your torso to a comfortable position with your chest close to the floor.

  • With a controlled motion, press yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat for 8 to ten times, or your desired amount of reps.

  • Repeat, up to 8 to 10 times.

All you need is a set of adjustable dumbbells and a weight bench to build your chest strength at home. As an added bonus, both of these items can be stored conveniently out of the way, under the bed or in a closet, when you’re not using them.