10 Best Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench (with Pictures)

By | May 17, 2022


The chest is undoubtedly one of the most noticeable muscle groups. Well-developed pectorals make your body appear strong and aesthetic. However, to build them you need to ensure that you are subjecting them to adequate training.

Even though all the chest exercises that are performed on a bench are pretty effective, that doesn’t mean that you can’t train your chest without a bench. And we know that you are here to know about those exercises. Right?

The dumbbell chest exercises that we are going to mention in this post require no bench at all. Still, performing them can elevate your chest development. You can incorporate those in your home workouts as well as your gym training sessions when you are unable to find an empty bench.

10 Best Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench

If you think that training the chest could be a bit challenging when you don’t have a bench, then the following exercises are going to change your thinking forever. They are some of the most effective dumbbell chest exercises that require no bench whatsoever.

Let’s proceed to know more about them.

Dumbbell Push-Ups

Push-ups are often regarded as the king of all chest exercises. They are a fundamental exercise for developing the chest and acquire a prominent position in the chest training sessions of almost all fitness enthusiasts.

When you incorporate the use of dumbbells for performing pushups, it takes its effectiveness to a whole new level.

Why is it important?

When you use dumbbells while performing push-ups, they provide your chest muscles with a greater range of motion caused by the deficit created by the dumbbells. This in turn gives your pectorals an additional stretch that stimulates more muscle fibers.

Dumbbell pushups are undoubtedly one of the simplest chest exercises that you can perform without a bench.

How to do it?

  • Grab two sturdy (hexagonal/octagonal) dumbbells that have flat edges.
  • Place them on the floor keeping your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Get into a push-up position.
  • Now inhale and lower your chest towards the floor. Your elbows will be pointing back at around 45 degrees.
  • Once your chest comes in contact with the floor press yourself back to the starting position with full power using dumbbells as handles.
  • Repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.

Dumbbell T-Push Ups

Dumbbell T-push-ups are another great variation of the regular pushup. But its execution requires you to have a certain level of athleticism.

Why is it important?

Each repetition of the dumbbell T-push up comprises a pushup and a twist. Apart from hitting pectorals, this exercise also works on your core stability. Including it in your chest workouts can fetch you greater chest gains.

How to do it?

  • Grab two sturdy (hexagonal/octagonal) dumbbells with flat edges.
  • Place them on the floor keeping your arms shoulder-width apart and the dumbbells directly under your shoulders. Your palms must be facing each other.
  • Now perform a regular pushup.
  • After performing 1 complete rep of a pushup, lift your right arm holding the dumbbell off the ground. Now twist your body and rotate the dumbbell upward until your body gets in a ‘T’ shape.
  • Get back to the starting position.
  • Again perform a pushup and this time rotate your left hand.
  • Perform as many sets and reps as needed.

Dumbbell Floor Press

The execution of this exercise just requires two dumbbells and a flat surface where you can lie down. So if you are looking out for a horizontal pushing movement that requires no bench, give floor presses a shot.

Why is it important?

One of the best things about floor presses is that this exercise doesn’t put excessive strain on your front delts. This in turn makes floor presses a favorite chest exercise for those who have shoulder injuries.

The floor press is one of the most effective dumbbell chest exercises that can be performed without a bench.

How to do it?

  • Grab two moderately heavy dumbbells.
  • Sit on the floor keeping the dumbbells on your thighs.
  • Now recline on the floor placing your upper back and upper arms flat on the floor.
  • Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Position your elbows at around 45-degrees from your shoulders.
  • Now press the weight up mimicking the execution of a bench press. Extend your elbows and flex your pecs at this point. Don’t let the dumbbells touch each other.
  • Slowly lower the weight until your upper arms touch the floor.
  • Perform the desired number of repetitions.

Standing Upward Chest Fly

If you intend to train your chest from a standing position, the standing upward chest fly must be in your dumbbell chest workouts. Its execution only requires two dumbbells and your strong will to transform your pectorals.

Why is it important?

When you perform a standing upward chest fly, you train your pectorals in the direction of their muscle fibers. This leads to greater activation of them facilitating more muscle growth.

Try out this dumbbell chest exercise that requires no bench to fire up your upper pec fibers.

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  • Grab a light-to-medium weight dumbbell in both hands and keep your wrist in a supinated position. Place your arms by your sides.
  • Now raise your both arms in an upward slanting motion towards the centerline of your body. Stop when your arms are parallel to the floor. You will feel a tight contraction in your upper chest region.
  • Hold this position for a second and flex your upper pecs as hard as you can.
  • Slowly lower your arms down to your sides.
  • Do as many sets and reps as required.

Standing Dumbbell Svend Press

This exercise was named after Svend Karlsen whose name appears in the list of some of the world’s strongest men. The standing dumbbell svend press combines the element of horizontal pushing and adduction which makes it a unique exercise to target the pecs.

Why is it important?

Most dumbbell chest exercises fail to hit the inner pec fibers adequately. The standing dumbbell svend press serves that purpose pretty well.

Perform this exercise at the end of your chest training sessions to feel a skin-bursting pump in your pecs.

How to do it?

  • Stand firmly on the floor keeping your feet hip-width apart.
  • Now grab a dumbbell and clasp it around with both hands. Position it perpendicular to the floor.
  • Depress your shoulder blades and position the dumbbell against your chest. Press your palms together as hard as possible. This will activate your pectorals.
  • Now press the dumbbell away from you by extending your elbows until your arms are perpendicular to your upper body. Keep pressing your palms against each other.
  • Slowly return to the starting position by bringing the dumbbell against your chest.
  • Perform 3 sets of 12-15 strict reps.

Don’t miss:

Standing Chest Exercises
Dumbbell Lat Exercises
Pull Up Alternatives
Lower Back Workouts with Dumbbells

Dumbbell Floor Fly

The dumbbell floor fly is an isolation movement for the chest. Its execution requires you to adduct your arms across your chest which is the prime function of the pectorals. When you perform this exercise, it targets both your pectorals and anterior deltoids.

Why is it important?

When you perform a conventional dumbbell fly on a bench, it maximizes the stress on your shoulders. This in turn leads to shoulder injuries at times. However, the execution of a dumbbell floor fly keeps your shoulders in a safe position. It further activates your chest muscles optimally.

How to do it?

  • Grab two relatively light dumbbells.
  • Sit on the floor keeping the dumbbells on your thighs.
  • Now recline placing your upper back flat on the floor. Your arms holding the dumbbells must be slightly bent and perpendicular to the floor. Your palms must be facing each other. Flex your pectorals at this point.
  • Now slowly lower your arms by your sides until your elbows touch the ground.
  • Bring the weights back up over your chest by adducting your arms and flexing your pecs.
  • Choose to perform around 12-15 reps.

Stability Ball Dumbbell Pullovers

This exercise can be a great addition to your dumbbell chest workouts. However, to perform them you will need an exercise ball.

Why is it important?

Dumbbell pullovers target both your chest and back muscles. Their execution allows your pectorals to get a decent stretch and contraction. It also works effectively in developing your upper chest region.

 

How to do it?

  • Grab a medium-to-heavy dumbbell and an exercise ball.
  • Sit straight on the exercise ball keeping the dumbbell on your lap.
  • Now place your feet away from the exercise ball and lean back until your upper back lies flat on the exercise ball.
  • Position both your arms cupping the dumbbell over your face. Your arms would be completely extended with a slight bend in your elbows. Your feet must be flat on the floor.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly move the dumbbell back until your arms are either parallel or slightly below parallel to the ground.
  • Now get back to the starting position by lifting the dumbbell over your face. Exhale at this point.
  • Do as many sets and reps as needed.

Stability Ball Dumbbell Incline Chest Press

If you want to target your upper pecs with a compound movement but don’t have access to an incline bench, the dumbbell incline press performed on an exercise ball can serve you pretty well. Just make sure to use medium-heavy weight dumbbells on this exercise to optimally stress your upper chest.

Why is it important?

Well-developed upper pecs make your chest appear fuller. So if you want to train them effectively with minimal equipment, you must include the exercise ball dumbbell incline press into your dumbbell chest workouts that can be performed at home without a bench.

How to do it?

  • Grab two medium-heavy dumbbells and sit straight on an exercise ball. Place the dumbbells on your lap.
  • Now place your feet away from the ball and shift your butt down and out. Keep doing this until your upper body forms 45-degree angle with the floor. Your upper back must be lying flat on the exercise ball.
  • Now lift the dumbbells to your sides, bending your elbows at a right angle.
  • Push the weight up over your upper chest by extending your elbows. Don’t make the mistake of banging the dumbbells at the top.
  • Then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Perform 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Decline Dumbbell Floor Press

You can include this exercise in your chest training routine. It trains your lower chest effectively. Being a compound movement, the decline dumbbell floor press also trains your anterior delts and triceps to some extent.

Why is it important?

When it comes to developing a round and fuller chest, training the lower chest area is unavoidable. The decline dumbbell floor press stresses the lower part of your chest and gives it a three-dimensional appearance.

How to do it?

  • Grab two medium-heavy dumbbells and lie down flat on the floor. Your upper back and your upper arms must be firmly planted on the floor with your hands pointing towards the ceiling. Your elbows must form a right angle with your torso.
  • Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Now using your leg drive, lift your hips so that your upper body forms a decline. Your upper back, shoulders, and head must be firmly planted on the floor at this point.
  • Press the weights up in a straight line and contract your lower chest area. Don’t let the dumbbells hit each other.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Decline Dumbbell Floor Fly

The decline dumbbell floor fly is an isolation movement for your lower chest. Its execution requires no bench at all but still, it stresses your lower chest fibers optimally.

Why is it important?

When you perform the decline dumbbell floor fly, your shoulders are in a safer position. This enables you to specifically train your lower chest area and establish a better mind-muscle connection with it.

How to do it?

  • Grab two light-medium weight dumbbells and lie down flat on the floor. Plant your feet and upper back firmly on the ground and keep your knees bent.
  • Position your arms holding the dumbbells perpendicular to the floor keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Your palms must be facing each other.
  • Now using your leg drive, lift your hips. Your upper body will form a decline. Your upper back, shoulders, and head must be firmly planted on the floor at this point.
  • Start the movement by inhaling and slowly lowering your arms in an arc shape until your upper arms touch the floor.
  • Adduct your arms back to the starting position and contract your pecs. Exhale at this point.
  • Choose to perform around 10-12 reps in each set.

Don’t miss:

Dip Alternatives
Dumbbell Chest Fly Alternatives
Decline Bench Press Alternatives
Reverse Pec Deck Alternatives

Final Thoughts

You must be excited to try out all the dumbbell chest exercises mentioned in this post that can be performed without a bench. Isn’t it? That’s great as now you won’t have to rely on a bench to give your chest a brutal workout.

Even if you prefer training at home, those dumbbell chest exercises can act as a savior for you. So now you won’t have to confine your chest training sessions to performing endless sets of bench presses and dumbbell flys on a bench. Give a shot to the exercises mentioned in this post and your chest development will surely meet your expectations.



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