5 Dumbbell Chest Exercises without Bench:Better Activation!

dumbbell chest exercises without bench

Dumbbell chest exercises no bench needed!

Chest day is everyone’s favourite, all the dudes humping onto that barbell bench press with those heavyweight plates on it and chanting yeah? That’s true that barbells give you the strength and mass building ability, but don’t let that resist you from doing all those dumbbell chest exercises without using a bench.

Today we will dig deep to know why you should more often use the dumbbells in your chest workout and even only dumbbell chest exercises without a bench, that’s weird. Without a bench? Yes, let those dudes have that bench for the whole day, and you don’t need to keep waiting for your set. You can even perform these exercises at home with just a pair of dumbbells, so let’s get started.

Why are dumbbell chest exercises important?

First, we need to know that dumbbells are crucial in your full chest activation and give you more focus and concentration on your chest muscle fibers. Both the pectoral major and minor get hit well through dumbbell exercises. One should add the dumbbell exercises in their chest routine or even some days using only dumbbells for their chest.

A study even showed that out of the three main chest exercises, which are barbell press, dumbbell press, and smith machine press. The dumbbell press was the best in terms of chest activation and least activation of triceps brachialis against the other modes [1].

dumbbell chest exercises

This suggests that when these exercises are performed in succession to tricep extension or when the tricep gets exhausted, dumbbell exercises tend to have higher activation for your chest.

Benefits of dumbbell exercises for chest

1. Higher activation– As even discussed earlier, the chest activation is more in dumbbell press activities rather than using a barbell or a smith machine; Hence better overall chest activation.

2. Better hypertrophy– A greater hypertrophy is induced because more activation can lead to a greater level of micro-tears in the chest muscle fascia, facilitating more hypertrophy.

3. More pump- You focus more only on the chest, and more repetitions can be done, which will transfer more blood into those muscles and give you the pump you want in those muscle fibers.

4. Muscle Shock– A Shock will be put on the chest muscles as more dumbbells will give higher activation to the muscles .Which the chest is not capable of bearing and will lead to a better growth environment.

5. Plateau break– It might lead you to break your plateau in building the perfect chest and get those size and striations in your chest.

dumbbell chest exercises without bench

Limitations of dumbbell only workout

The only limitation of this dumbbell only workout is no use of cables and barbell which also are essential exercises to build a perfect chest, add strength and hit the chest from different angles, but even using all the dumbbells; you would still be getting nice chest activation and a break from other conventional and old school chest exercises. Try these workouts if you want to enhance your chest gains further Chest&Tri workout OR Unique Upper Chest Workout

5 Best Exercises to be performed for chest with dumbbells without a bench

All these exercises will hit all the heads of pectoral muscles and is designed in a way  for optimal muscle growth and to attain the benefits of only dumbbell workout. These following exercises are to be followed in the same order and with same set, rep range to make the most out of it.

1. Dumbbell Push-Ups-This is a gold standard exercise you can start your workout with this exercise it is similar to pushups. You just have to take a dumbbell and put in the ground then grip it firmly and do the regular pushups, it has many variations ;the grip and body balancing takes it to another level for a better chest activation.

4 Sets; 12-15 Reps

2. Underhand Front raise (Standing chest fly)-This exercise helps in expanding your chest in width and stretch your muscle fibers; you do not need to use a heavy weight in this exercise a low to medium weight is more than enough .The thing which needs to be taken into consideration is the number of reps and the contraction which is to be applied onto the chest. Properly squeezing the chest in this exercise is all you need. This exercise focuses more on your upper pectorals.

3 Sets; 12-15 Reps

3. Around the world exercise-This exercise can be performed on floor, a bench or a stability ball it focuses more on your lower pecs ,the movement is very unique and you need to contract your chest more when dumbbells are brought in forward direction. The following video demonstrates how to perform the exercise; a medium weight of 7-10 kg is more than enough.

3 Sets; 15 Reps

4. Dumbbell Floor Press-This is an another super exercise for your chest because of the locked movement of your hands you cannot go beyond certain point ;as a result your chest is always in a contracted state during the exercise. High repetitions and a medium to heavy weight is to be performed in this exercise.

4 Sets; 12-15 Reps

5. Svend Press with a dumbbell– The svend press uses a squeezing movement and can be performed on the floor or on a stability ball, this exercise focuses on your inner chest and is super effective in building the inner muscle fibers. Moderate weight will do wonders for your chest.

3 Sets; 12 Reps


All these exercises can be performed on a bench. They will definitely bring some more chest activation and give a break from the bench press and other routines where you try to push the weights and instead not concentrate on contracting and activating the muscles. Dumbbells are extremely important in forming a complete chiselled chest, Hope now you will surely add these dumbbell exercises into your routine or at your home.

Daniel Kirk

Daniel Kirk

Daniel Kirk holds a Bachelor's degree in human body kinetics and a diploma in exercise physiology. He is also a certified Coach and owns a physical training centre. He also believes in sharing knowledge to the world and writes on topics related to anatomy and exercise approaches.

One thought on “5 Dumbbell Chest Exercises without Bench:Better Activation!

  • September 28, 2020 at 8:48 am

    You make some great points-however I am concerned you are generalizing. I would like to see you clarify some things, because you are a good blogger and I get immense value from reading your articles.


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