On this site you find dozens of chest exercises for men and women, and you can use dumbbells in many ways to challenge your chest muscles and stabilizer muscles.
When compared to machines, dumbbells will challenge the stabilizer muscles in the shoulders to a higher degree.
In addition, you can change up many exercises to further increase the challenge to your shoulder stabilizers and core muscles.
By moving your arms in an alternating fashion during the dumbbell chest press you will engage significantly more stabilizer muscles because of the rotational forces.
If you've only done the dumbbell chest press moving both arms simultaneously, try the alternating chest press exercise and you'll notice a huge difference in the way your muscles feel.
Here are the instructions.
Starting Position: While lying on a flat bench hold the dumbbells with your palms facing down at chest level.
You can place your feet on the floor for extra stability or place your feet onto the bench to challenge your stability and keep your lower back from arching excessively.
Form: Exhale and press one dumbbell straight towards the ceiling while keeping the other dumbbell at chest level. Lower that dumbbell and then press the other dumbbell towards the ceiling.
Personal Trainer Tips: You can actually do this exercise 2 ways. You can hold one dumbbell at chest level as in the instructions above, or you can hold one dumbbell at the top of the range of motion.
To do the second variation, start by pressing both dumbbells towards the ceiling, then lower one and press it back up to the top before lowering and pressing the opposite side.
This exercises will be much harder than the regular dumbbell chest press, so you should use a lighter weight for the alternating press.
Make sure you engage your core muscles so that your body remains stable throughout.
This chest exercise is great for men and women, and you can use it to build strength and it can help tone flabby arms.
If strength is your primary goal use a weight that you have a hard time doing less than 10 reps. If you want general fitness and toning choose a weight that you can do 10-20 times on each side.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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