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How to Do a Dumbbell Bench Press for an Arm Workout

Learn how to do a dumbbell bench press from personal trainer Brett Azar in this Howcast home arm workout for men video.


Okay. So I'm going to go over with you how to do a dumbbell bench press. This is a very basic exercise working your chest, your shoulders and your triceps. Little different from a barbell bench press because now you have dumbbells so the stability in this is the factor. But also with this, because you're not using a barbell, your shoulders aren't locked in place so it's actually safer on your shoulder joint to use the dumbbells for that free motion. You tend to have to go a little lighter in weight just to make sure you get the right range of motion and the right contractions that you're supposed to get for the muscle.

But again, very basic exercise, very easy to learn. Any time you do a lying exercise, make sure that your six points of contact are firmly planted. Left foot, right foot, butt, shoulder blade, shoulder blade and head. All six points you want well supported for your stability.

You want to choose a weight that you're comfortable with doing, that you can get ten to 15 reps, 12 being a solid amount of reps for the goal of size. Now again, all six points are firmly planted. Feet, butt, shoulders, head. You can have someone hand you the dumbbells. They can start up high or you can do them on your own depending on your comfortably, depending on the weight of the dumbbell. As you come down, stretch that chest out. You want to make sure that you come down far enough to get a good stretch in your chest but not too far to injure your shoulders and not too little to not even get enough range of motion.

Now with this, you're going to keep your palms facing your feet. Okay? So there's no turning in the wrists, your palms face your feet. You come down, inhale, push up, and exhale. Squeeze your chest, squeeze your triceps. At the top of the range of motion you're not going to lock out your elbow because that'll injure the joint. Keep a soft elbow. Always a slight bend. Always keep tension on that tricep. Come down, press up.

Now, a lot of guys will see bad habits form, where if the weight's too much they'll start shifting their body weight, trying to go one dumbbell up over the other, picking their butt up off the pad, all can result in serious injury. So pick a weight that you can actually do the right form with. Come down, stretch, come up, squeeze. Inhale, exhale.

After about three or four sets of that, of 12 reps you'll be good to go. And that is the lying dumbbell bench press.

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