It’s every lifters favorite day of the week, and almost assuredly means bench pressing with a barbell. But, as you’ve most likely found out for yourself on Mondays, all the bench press stations are occupied.
Does that mean you have to skip your chest workout and do another body part like legs?
Just because you don’t have access to the barbell bench doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing, gains-making chest day.
Enter dumbbell chest training.
Dumbbells not only allow for greater range of motion that barbells do when performing chest presses, many lifters also find they have an even better mind-muscle connection when performing dumbbell chest presses. And, to top it off, there’s less shoulder irritation when performing bench presses with dumbbells than with a barbell.
Here we present three great dumbbell bench press alternatives to try the next time you’re ready to smash a chest workout!
1-½ Rep Dumbbell Chest Presses
1-½ reps are a great way to increase time under tension, build mental toughness, and strengthening the bottom portion of the lift (which is the portion of the bench press where most lifters struggle).
Start by doing a normal eccentric as you typically would. Once the dumbbells reach chest level, press up halfway, then pause and slowly lower the dumbbells back to your chest before driving all the way up.
This variation will have your chest screaming! Trust us.
Make sure to start lighter than you normally would, too.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press
The single-arm DB bench press is an excellent way to hammer the pecs and triceps while also forging an iron core. Due to the unilateral loading of this exercise, your body will have to fight like hell to remain in place while pressing and lowering the dumbbell.
Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press
This chest press helps build endurance and stability in the upper body pushing muscles, particularly the shoulder.
Begin as you typically would, lying on the bench with arms fully extended holding a pair of dumbbells.
Initiate your first rep by keeping your left arm fully extended while lowering the right arm in a slow and controlled manner. Then, press the right arm back to the top, and once it is fully extended begin lowering your left arm, and then extending it back to the top.
That is one complete rep.
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