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Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Building Muscle in 2022 and Beyond 

This is the Mission Jacked official top 10 dumbbell chest exercises for building muscle in 2022. If you're serious about building a better chest and all you have are dumbbells, a light resistance band, and a bench, keep reading.

This list of dumbbell chest exercises is designed to give you the tools to be able to raid your treasure chest and ransack the muscle fibers to stimulate growth. Here, we don’t just leave you staring at a list of exercises and call it good. We want you to succeed and that’s why we’ve added pictures and cues for each exercise so you can be up and building today!

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Psymon H Top 10 Dumbbell Chest ExercisesPsymon H., the man making his name from improving physiques and growing natural muscle with minimal equipment.

Hi, I’m Psymon H., the man making his name from improving physiques and growing natural muscle with minimal equipment. In my nearly 40 years of going head-to-head with the iron, I've come across my fair share of dumbbell exercises, and the one thing I've learned is that opinions don't count for much unless you've been under the weight and tried the exercises out more than once. You may be wondering how I came up with this list of dumbbell chest exercises. This list was compiled using three important metrics

1: Effectiveness and potential for building muscle

2: Ease of use

3: Preference (myself, clients, and social media surveys)

I know the suspense is killing you, so without further-ado, here are my dumbbell chest exercises at home top 10.

Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Building Muscle in 2022

Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Building Muscle in 2022Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Building Muscle at home!

10: Decline Floor Fly

9: Roller Fly

8: Decline Dead-stop Dumbbell Floor Press

7: Flat Reverse Dumbbell Press

6: Dumbbell Champaign

5: What are the 5 best chest exercises? Good things come to those who wait, and the wait will be worth it.

4: Read the article to find out!

3: Read the article to find out!

2: Read the article to find out!

1: Read the article to find out!

You will see on my list of dumbbell chest exercises, there are some tried, tested, and well-expected movements, but there are also a few unusual suspects including a few dumbbell chest exercises with no bench required. What are the 5 best chest exercises on the list? I’ll reveal all as we go through the list in detail.

Before I get into all of that, I want to quickly answer a few questions I’ve seen asked in training forums and online.

Can you build a chest with dumbbells and how do you target the chest with dumbbells? I will share three tips that will help you get the best out of all of the movements on this list.

Tip One: Always keep your core stable and locked in place. Too much movement can change the plane and angle of the exercise. To do this, first, you need to extend at the Thoracic spine and not at the Lumbar spine by tensing your core and bringing your chin to your chest so you are looking down your torso.

Dumbbell chest exercises list.Three tips that will help you get the best out of all of the dumbbell chest exercises on this list.

Tip Two: Learn how to create distance from the top of your Sternum to the insertion of your Pectoral muscle. The greater the distance created at the beginning of the movement, the greater the opportunity to create mechanical tension. In a Dumbbell Press, you would start by moving the dumbbells away from the chest so they're at a 90-degree angle to the muscle. This limits too much front delt and tricep involvement.

Every muscle has an origin and insertion point. The idea is to bring the origin ( sternum) and insertion points (the humerus, the long bone of the upper arm) together by squeezing your arms into the side of your chest.

 Tip Three: Lock your shoulders into place by retracting your Scapula at the beginning of the movement, especially on all pressing movements. This will get the chest to do more of the work. In a dumbbell press, you would pin your shoulder blades into the bench or floor and tense through your mid and lower traps to initiate the first part of the movement. Only when you are near the top of the press, would you follow through with your shoulders.

Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Building Muscle in 2022 – List and Cues:

Number 10: Decline Floor Fly

Number 10: Decline Floor FlyNumber 10: Decline Floor Fly - Start Position

At number 10  in our top 10 dumbbell chest exercises list is the first of four movements listed on my “dumbbell chest exercises no bench required” article, and an exercise reacquainting yourself with if your outer and lower chest needs a remodel. 

This is a great exercise made even better once you forget about everything and concentrate on two areas; creating distance from the origin to the insertion points at the beginning, and bringing the two points as close together at the end of the movement.

Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells and a low platform, crate, or box.

Cue 1: Lie back on the floor and assume a Hip-thrust position so that you are resting on the very top of your upper back muscles and Shoulder-Blades. Tense your core and bring your Chest up as high as you can go. If you wish to create more of a decline angle, place your feet on top of a low platform or box.

Number 10: Decline Floor FlyNumber 10: Decline Floor Fly - End Position

Cue 2: Start with dumbbells overhead and palms facing in. Slowly lower the dumbbells out to the side until your elbows touch the ground. Maintain a slight bend in the arms so as not to place unwanted stress on the elbows.

Cue 3: Before bringing the dumbbells up for the next rep, tense your chest and torso to generate additional tension on the pec fibers.

Cue 4: Focus on bringing the two points together (origin and insertion)on the way up and squeeze at the top.

Number 9: Roller Fly

Number 9: Roller FlyNumber 9: Roller Fly - Start Position

Squeezing its way in at number 9 on our list of top 10 dumbbell chest exercises is a unique fly variation that tackles the chest fibers from top to bottom. The significant difference between doing your fly on a flat bench and performing it on a roller is potentially how much more of the Chest you can activate and how much shoulder stability is needed.

Items Needed: Medium to long foam Roller and a pair of dumbbells. (If you don't have a roller, you can perform the movement on a couple of rolled-up bath or beach towels.)

Cue 1: Place foam roller on the floor, grab the dumbbells, and lay back on the foam roller, so it starts at the base of your spine and runs up the center of your Back.

Cue 2: Start as if you were doing a routine fly with arms straight and dumbbells together. Before lowering the dumbbell, retract your Shoulders and squeeze your mid and lower Traps into the roller.

Number 9: Roller FlyNumber 9: Roller Fly - End Position

Cue 3: Lower the dumbbells until your elbows touch the ground. On the way back to the top of the movement, practice focusing on your Back muscles bringing the dumbbells together.

Cue 4: Retract your Shoulders at the start of every repetition.

At Number 8 In Our top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises: Decline Dumbbell Floor Press:

At Number 8 In Our top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises: Decline Dumbbell Floor Press:At Number 8 In Our top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises: Decline Dumbbell Floor Press - Start Position

We use this same exercise movement in our Best Chest and Tricep Workout With Dumbbells Blueprint but added a real chest-pumping spin on it. After reading this article, check it out.

For the number 8 on our top 10 dumbbell chest exercises, we're taking this to the floor so that we can use the ground as a dead-stop to put more stress on the chest and allow time for resetting between reps to get the consistent technique.

Items Needed: A pair of dumbbells and a small platform or crate.

Cue 1: Grab the dumbbells and assume a hip-thrust position on the floor. To get more of a decline, place your feet on the top of a low platform, box, or crate. You should feel yourself resting on the very upper portion of your back. Set your arms so that the dumbbells are set at a 90-degree angle to your Chest muscle.

Cue 2: Retract your Shoulder-Blades by pulling them down and pinning them into the floor. Tense your core and bring your Chin down.

Decline Dumbbell Floor Press:Decline Dumbbell Floor Press - End Position

Cue 3: Before pressing the dumbbells, tense your Chest muscles to generate more mechanical tension and as you press the dumbbells up, concentrate on bringing your inner arms and outer Chest together and squeeze.

Cue 4: Bring the dumbbells back to the 90-degree starting position, keeping elbows directly under the dumbbells. Think about nailing all of the cues before starting every repetition.

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On Our top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises Pressing Its Way In at Number 7:
Flat Reverse Dumbbell Press:

On Our top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises Pressing Its Way In at Number 7:
Flat Reverse Dumbbell Press:Flat Reverse Dumbbell Press - Start Position

This is the first movement on our list of dumbbell chest exercises that requires a bench; and while this is set at a flat angle, we're focused on the upper chest fibers located right under the clavicular head just under the collarbone.

Items Needed: Flat bench and one pair of dumbbells.

Cue 1: Lay back on a flat bench with dumbbells in hand and palms facing you. The dumbbells should be in line with your nipple area. Retract your shoulder blades, tighten your core and lift your chest.

Cue 2: Tense your chest as you drive the dumbbells overhead. Bring your arms to the side of your chest and squeeze.

Cue 3: Slowly lower the dumbbells so they fall in line with your lower chest area at the bottom of the movement. Bring your shoulder back so at the bottom of the movement

Number 6: Dumbbell Champaign

Number 6: Dumbbell ChampaignNumber 6: Dumbbell Champaign

How do you target the chest with dumbbells? A way to aim stimulus at the upper chest fibers is to sit upright and press overhead. Some lifters avoid this through lack of knowledge or that they believe it focuses too much on the front delts.

 If you follow the cues, you can initiate a ton of stress on the chest/delt tie-in, and this is why I've added this awesome exercise to the top 10 dumbbell chest exercises list. For this exercise, we're going to add a light resistance band to add more tension to the top of the movement.

Items Needed: Upright bench, light resistance band (optional), and a dumbbell.

Cue 1: Set your bench up in an upright position and place the band securely under your feet before looping the other end over the knuckle of your dumbbell.

Cue 2: Turn the dumbbell on its head and place the meaty part of your palms under the top knuckle before bringing it to the start position just under your chin. Raise your Chest, tense your core, and slightly flare your Elbows.

Cue 3: Retract your Shoulders by bringing them down before smoothly pressing the dumbbell overhead. Lower the dumbbell to Chin height before retracting your Shoulders and setting off for the next repetition.



What are the 5 best chest exercises on the Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List?

Soaring In at Number 5 is The Incline Fly:

Soaring In at Number 5 is The Incline Fly:Soaring In at Number 5 is The Incline Fly - Start Position

This is one of the most respected exercises and a movement that does its best work when the bench is set at between 45 and 75-degrees.

Items Needed: High incline bench and a pair of dumbbells.

Cue1: Set your bench between a 45 and 75-degree angle. Hold two dumbbells directly overhead with palms facing in and straight arms.

Soaring In at Number 5 is The Incline Fly:The Incline Fly - End Position

Cue 2: As you slowly lower the dumbbells, rotate your palms so that they are facing away from you. Bring the dumbbells down to a comfortable stretch and maintain a slight bend at the elbows.

Cue 3:  Concentrate on using your Lat muscles to bring the dumbbells together at the top of the movement.

Number 4: Incline Barrel Press:

Number 4: Incline Barrel Press:Number 4: Incline Barrel Press - Start Position

Gliding its way in at number 4 on our list of dumbbell chest exercises is the Incline Barrel Press. Named the Barrel Press because it resembles pressing something the size of a barrel or beer keg, this dumbbell press variation will throw major stress on the upper Chest fibers.

For the exercise, you can perform various height inclines, but we’re going to concentrate on a 45-60-degree angle. As with all pressing movements, setup is crucial.

Items Needed: Incline bench and one pair of dumbbells.

Setup: Always keep your core stable and locked in place. This prevents movement at the spine which can change the plane and angle. To do this, sit back on an incline bench set between a 45 and 60-degree angle. Next, extend at the Thoracic spine and not at the Lumbar spine; you do this by pulling your Chest up, tensing your core, and bringing your chin down towards your chest so you are looking down your torso.

Cue 1: Learn to create distance from the top of your Sternum to the insertion of your Pectoral muscle. The greater the distance, the greater the opportunity there is for muscles to create mechanical tension. To do this, start with palms facing each other and arms set at a right angle with elbows out.

Cue 2: Lock your shoulders into place by retracting your Scapula and pinning your shoulders blades into the bench. By doing this, the chest gets to do more of the work.

Number 4: Incline Barrel Press:Number 4: Incline Barrel Press - End Position

Cue 3: Before pressing the dumbbells up, tense through your mid and lower traps to initiate the first part of the movement. This will help to create more tension in the muscle.

Cue 4: Maintain the distance with each dumbbell and follow through with the shoulders as they reach the top. Return to the start position.

Number 3 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List is Anti-Fly Single Arm Floor Press

Number 3 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List is Anti-Fly Single Arm Floor PressNumber 3 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List is Anti-Fly Single Arm Floor Press

When I hear the question, "can I build a chest with dumbbells without a bench?" straight away my mind settles on the Anti-Fly Single Arm Floor Press.

This is a great two-for-one movement you can add to any Chest workout at home with dumbbells. You only need one dumbbell and a light resistance band to be cooking on gas. What makes this single-arm press so bloody good is that although you're actively pressing the dumbbell up, you are also trying to battle the tension from the resistance band while attempting to bring the dumbbell to the centerline of your body as if you were completing the end portion of a fly.

Items Needed:  Light to medium resistance band, upright anchor, and one dumbbell.

Cue 1: Attach a light to medium band to the bottom of an upright anchor and place a dumbbell nearby.

Cue 2: Lay across from the band, so it's level with your upper chest. To pick up both the band and dumbbell safely, roll in towards them and use your non-working arm to get them in place. Have the band in the palm of your hand instead of wrapped around the handle of the dumbbell.

Cue 3: Take a palm facing in grip and shuffle out until you feel a little tension in the band. Lock your shoulders into place by retracting your Scapula and pinning your shoulders blades into the floor. By doing this, the chest has to do more of the work.

Next, extend at the Thoracic spine and not at the Lumbar spine; you do this by bringing up your Chest, tensing your core, and bringing your chin down towards your chest so you are looking down your torso.

Cue 4: Start similarly to the Barrel press by having the palm facing in and arm set at a right angle with Elbow out. Press the dumbbell up while trying to pull the band across the centerline of your Chest.

Cue 5: Slowly lower the dumbbell to the start position and repeat.

Safety First: Have the free hand ready to assist your working arm.

Number 2 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List:
Standing Fly into Press and Squeeze

Number 2 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List:
Standing Fly into Press and SqueezeStanding Fly into Press and Squeeze - Position 1
Number 2 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List:
Standing Fly into Press and SqueezeStanding Fly into Press and Squeeze - Position 3
Number 2 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List:
Standing Fly into Press and SqueezeStanding Fly into Press and Squeeze - Position 2
Number 2 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List:
Standing Fly into Press and SqueezeStanding Fly into Press and Squeeze - Position 4

This is probably the most torturous dumbbell chest exercise on the list and one that demands respect and its number 2 position. The moment your upper chest feels this, it will have little to no choice but to play ball and grow.

Items Needed: One pair of dumbbells.     

Cue 1: Stand with feet Shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your arms. Have your palms facing forward.  

Cue 2: Tense your core, lift Chest high, and retract your Shoulder-blades before bringing the dumbbells up to Chin height.

Cue 3: At the top of the movement, you should have an underhanded grip of the dumbbells. Focus on bringing the origin and insertion points of your chest together and at this point squeeze the two nearest knuckles of the dumbbell together as hard as you can.

Cue 4: Turn the dumbbells so that your knuckles are touching each other and maintain the squeeze.

Cue 5: While still squeezing the life out of the dumbbells, lift them and bring them towards you so that they are sitting on your upper Chest.

Cue 6: Reverse all of the cues to get back to the start position.

The King of The Chest Mountain & Number 1 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List is?

Precision Incline Dumbbell Press

Precision Incline Dumbbell PressPrecision Incline Dumbbell Press - Start Position

The king of the mountain & the number 1 on Our Top 10 Dumbbell Chest Exercises List is the Precision Incline Dumbbell Press.

Ok, we've all done incline dumbbell press before, so what is so special about this movement? If you're not able to grow a decent chest while using bad form, then this pressing movement is a great introduction to learning how to be meticulous with all parts of an exercise.

This is the king of the list of dumbbell chest exercises because of the return on the muscle you get when you invest care and attention to the details.

You'll quickly realize after a few reps of this magnificent top-shelve chest builder that it's not the run-of-the-mill Dumbbell incline press. Your ego will have to give way to technique and good form for this to work.

Items Needed: An incline Bench set at a 60-degree angle and one pair of dumbbells.

Cue 1: Sit back on the bench with dumbbells in hand. Set the dumbbells at a 90-degree angle to your upper chest.

Cue 2: Lift your chest high, tense your core and bring your chin towards the top of your Chest so you are looking down your torso.

Precision Incline Dumbbell PressPrecision Incline Dumbbell Press - End Position

Cue 3: Retract your shoulder blades by pulling them down and pinning them into the bench.

Cue 4: Tense your chest as you press the dumbbells up to maximize the mechanical tension of the muscle.  As you reach the top of the movement, you're going to focus on squeezing your upper arms against the side of your chest (this is what's known as bringing the origin and insertion points closer together.) It's only near the top of the movement do you start to follow through with your shoulders.

Cue 5: Bring the dumbbells down using that same line as if you are pressing between two panes of glass. Repeat all of the clues before each repetition.

I hope you benefit from this top 10 dumbbell chest exercises list. Don’t sit on this information; get started on implementing these movements as your most important dumbbell chest exercises at home.

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