Chest Exercises for Women with Dumbbells

November 24, 2021 9 min read

chest exercises for women with dumbbells

The benefits of strengthening your chest muscles are endless. If you’re a woman looking to strengthen your chest, you only need a set of dumbbells and the right exercises.

We are giving you a whopping 14 dumbbell chest exercises that are perfect for women. We will guide you through each exercise and tell you which muscles work.

Whether you want to tone, shred, or know  how to build a big chest with dumbbells, we have you covered.

You’ll find combination moves, isometric exercises, single-dumbbell workouts, and much more. Our exercises target the chest, but they’ll also make you feel the burn in your abs, shoulders, arms, and back.

Here’s our complete guide to chest exercises for women with dumbbells.

Dumbbell Pullover

chest exercises with dumbbells for women

This is one of the simplest  dumbbell exercises for your lower chest that women and beginners can do. You can do these with light or medium weights. It also engages your core. You only need one dumbbell.

Lie down near the end of the bench, with your shoulders still supported by it. Your head should be hanging slightly over the bench. You need space behind your head to lower the dumbbell backward.

Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart to support you. Grip the dumbbell with both hands in the middle.

Hold the dumbbell over your chest in the air. Extend your arms, but keep your elbows bent slightly. Now, lower the dumbbells backward over your head until it’s in line with your head, or slightly below it.

Slowly bring the dumbbell up again to the starting position. This is one rep. If you’re looking for a challenge, do the pullover with two dumbbells.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Lats

Squeeze Press/Crush Press

chest workout with dumbbells for women

This one is a Herculean chest move, that will make you feel the burn. But is still a simple and effective middle and  inner chest workout with dumbbells that is perfect for women and beginners.

You need two dumbbells and a bench. Lie with your back on the bench.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand on your chest. Your palms should be facing, and the dumbbells should be squeezed together. This is the starting position.  

Squeeze your chest muscles, and keep the dumbbells pressed together as you slowly extend your arms to press them up into the air above your chest.

This should be a slow and controlled movement. Squeeze your chest, and feel your triceps contract.

Pause at the top of the move before you slowly bring the dumbbells back down to your chest in the starting position. This is one rep.

Muscles Targeted

  • Middle chest
  • Inner chest
  • Pecs
  • Arms
  • Core

Bench Press

dumbbell chest exercises for women

The bench press is one of those timeless and simple  dumbbell chest exercises that are perfect for beginners, experts, and women alike. You need two dumbbells and a bench.

Lie flat on your back on a bench with your feet planted on the floor. Hold your dumbbells out to your sides, in line with your shoulders.

Your palms should be facing your feet, and your elbows are bent 90 degrees. This is your starting position.

Contract your chest muscles and extend your arms to push the dumbbells upward into the air. The dumbbells should be in the air above your chest, almost touching.

Slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position with controlled movements. This is one rep.

Muscles Targeted

  • Pecs
  • Arms
  • Delts
  • Triceps

Dumbbell Floor Press

dumbbell chest press women

This variation of the classic bench press is one of the simplest and most effective  dumbbell workouts for your chest without a bench.

Lie with your back and hold your dumbbells out to your sides, in line with your shoulders. The back of your upper arms will rest on the floor. Your elbows should be bent 90 degrees, and palms facing forward.

Your knees should be bent, and your feet should be flat on the floor to stabilize you. squeeze your chest muscles and extend your arms to press the dumbbells into the air over your chest. At the top of the move, your dumbbells should nearly touch.

Lower them back down to the starting position. This is one rep.

Muscles Targeted

  • Pecs
  • Arms
  • Delts
  • Triceps

Alternating Dumbbell Floor Press

This is a great variation of the floor press, where you alternate arms after each rep. This is a safe way to work your muscles without creating strength imbalances

You need two dumbbells and you should lay flat on the floor.  

Your knees should be bent, and your feet should be flat on the floor to support you. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Your starting position is with both dumbbells in the air straight above your chest. Your arms should be extended, and your palms should face your feet.

Keep your right arm straight and still in the starting position. Slowly bend your left arm to lower the dumbbell down. At the bottom of the move, your left tricep will be touching the floor.

Press the dumbbell back up to the starting position with slow and controlled movements. Now, repeat this move with your right arm, while your left arm remains in the starting position.

Muscles Targeted

  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Core

Single Arm Dumbbell Floor Press

The single-arm dumbbell floor press is a variation of the alternating floor press we explained above.

With this move, instead of alternating arms between each rep, you will complete a set of reps with one arm, before moving on to the next.

This also prevents muscle and strength imbalances, but it ups the intensity by working one arm at a time.

Lie on your back with your knees bent, and your feet planted on the floor. The starting position is also with both dumbbells in the air straight above your chest, extended, and your palms facing your feet.

Keep your right arm straight and still in the starting position. Slowly bend your left arm to lower the dumbbell down. At the bottom of the move, your left tricep will be touching the floor.

Push the dumbbell up again. This is one rep. Instead of switching to the right arm for the next rep, complete your set of reps with your left arm. Then move on to your right arm.

Muscles Targeted

  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Core

Rear Lateral Raise

chest exercises for women with dumbbells

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your hips so that you are leaning slightly forward. Keep your back straight and bend your knees slightly.

Your upper body should almost be parallel to the ground. But don’t lower it down that much.

Let your dumbbells hang down in front of your body. Your palms should be facing away from you.

Do not move your upper body as you raise your arms out to your sides. Your arms should be extended, but bend your elbows slightly.

The dumbbells should be raised until they are in line with your shoulders. This is the top of the move. Lower them back down slowly to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Delts
  • Lats

Renegade Row

dumbbell chest exercises for a woman

Grab two dumbbells. Get into a straight-arm planking position with your hands resting on the dumbbells. Hex rubber dumbbells are usually a great idea for better support.

The dumbbells should be beneath your shoulders, and your feet hip-width apart. Keep your abs engaged throughout.

Keep your hips still and remain in this plank position as you bend one elbow to pull the dumbbell up until it’s in line with your body. Keep your elbow close to your body.

Slowly lower the weight down to the starting position. This is one rep. repeat the move with your other arm.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Abs and Obliques
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders

Renegade Row to Push-Up Combo

chest workout with dumbbells for a woman

This variation takes renegade rows to the next level by incorporating a pushup too. This really ups the ante for your core and arms.

Grab two dumbbells and position yourself in a straight-arm plank. Your hands are resting on your dumbbells, which should be directly under your shoulders.

Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Now, bend your elbow to pull one dumbbell up until it’s in line with your body. Your elbows will move up past your body. Make sure to keep your elbow close to your body.

Lower it back down to the floor with slow and controlled movements. Do a renegade row with your other arm, before doing a push-up, with your hands still resting on the dumbbells.

Engage your abs and keep your hips still throughout the move. Try not to sway to the side when performing the renegade row.

This sequence where you do a renegade row with each arm, followed by a push-up, is one rep.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Pecs
  • Upper back
  • Arms

Y-Raise

dumbbell chest press woman

Grab two light or medium dumbbells and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

Let the dumbbells hand and rest in front of your thighs. Your palms should be facing away from you. this is the starting position.

Squeeze your abs ad shoulder muscles to raise your dumbbell. Your arms should remain straight out to the sides as you raise them to form a Y-shape above your head. This is the top of the move.

As your raise the dumbbells toward the top of the move, they will turn so that your palms face more towards each other when you reach the Y-shape at the top.

Lower the dumbbells to the starting position with slow and controlled movements.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Core
  • Triceps

Elbow Squeeze Shoulder Press

women chest workouts with dumbbells

This is a variation of the shoulder press that incorporates an extra motion where you bring the dumbbells together in front of your chest, before moving into the shoulder press.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in both hands. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lift your arms until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.

Bring your elbows towards each other, so that your upper arms and the dumbbells are nearly touching in front of your chest.

Your palms should be facing each other, and your upper arms should be parallel to the floor. This is the starting position.

Keeping your upper arms parallel to the floor and your elbows bent 90 degrees, open your arms up and spread them out to your sides until they are in line with your shoulders. this should look like the starting position for a normal shoulder press.

Now extend your arms and lift the dumbbells overhead. Your palms should be facing forward, and your arms nearly fully extended above your head. This is the top of the move

Slowly lower them back down and into the starting position. Make sure to squeeze your chest muscles as you bring the dumbbells toward each other at the bottom of the move.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Biceps

Floor Fly

women dumbbell chest exercises

You need two dumbbells for a floor fly.

Lie flat on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and plant your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor.

Hold both dumbbells in the air above your chest with your arms extended. Face your palms to each other and bend your elbows slightly.

Contract your abs and bring your arms to the floor outward to your side. Your arms and shoulders are in a straight line and the dumbbells are near the floor out to your sides.

Squeeze your chest muscles and engage your core to slowly bring your arms back to the starting position. Squeeze your chest muscles at the starting position in the air. This is one rep.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Abs
  • Inner biceps

Dumbbell Plank Rotation

women dumbbell chest press

This move requires core stability and the right form. Having the correct form is imperative for the move to effectively target your muscles. Start out with lighter dumbbells for this one.

This is a chest exercise, but it is also a killer workout for your abs, obliques, and back. You need a dumbbell in each hand.

Position yourself in a straight-arm plank with your hands resting on the dumbbells. The dumbbells should be beneath your shoulders, and your feet hip-width apart.

Hex rubber dumbbells provide better stability for this move.

Squeeze your abs and rotate your torso as you pull one dumbbell up into the air. keep your arm straight, but elbows slightly bent throughout. You should lift the dumbbell up in a smooth motion while you are rotating your torso.

Bring the dumbbell back down to the starting position, and repeat for the other side.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Abs
  • Obliques
  • Shoulders

Isometric Chest Squeeze

chest exercises for a woman with dumbbells

Isometric exercises up the intensity, and this one will make your chest and triceps burn.

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and engage your core.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest height, in front of your chest. Your elbows should be bent and your palms should face each other, with the dumbbells squeezed together. This is the starting position.

While still squeezing the dumbbells together, press them straight up. Your elbows should be slightly above your shoulders. hold the dumbbells there for five seconds as you squeeze your chest muscles.

Return to the starting position, and repeat.

Muscles Targeted

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Delts

Conclusion

Now you know exactly how to master our dumbbell chest exercises and work your chest to the max.

There are many benefits to strengthening your chest for women. Some of them include improved posture and stability and enabling you to breathe deeply and with more ease.

You will also make daily life easier – whether you are hitting the gym, carrying groceries, loading the car, or carrying and pushing heavy objects around.

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