Your Cart is Empty

Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without A Bench

October 19, 2021 8 min read

Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench

You don’t need to limit yourself to doing dumbbell chest exercises with a bench! Benches are an extremely useful foundation of exercise, but they can take up a large amount of space. This makes them less ideal for smaller home gym setups. Thankfully, there are quite a few dumbbell exercises that you can do without a bench.

If you just have a set of dumbbells and the determination to complete a great workout, then you’ll love this guide. We at Factory Weights have rounded up the top exercises for you to add to your workout routine if you’re a fitness-conscious person who wants to build muscle without the hassle of a bench.

Let’s dive right in.


We’ve rounded up the top most effective exercises you can perform without a bench. For these exercises, we recommend that you do 3 sets of 12 repetitions. We’ve found that this ratio offers the most burn with the least chance for injury. We also recommend that you use dumbbells with a variety of weights.


Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench

This exercise is the standing variation of the classic bench press and is one of the best lower chest exercises with dumbbells.

To perform this exercise, you start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Clasp the dumbbell directly in front of your chest between your two palms, with bent elbows.

To activate your chest muscles, you need to squeeze the dumbbell with your palms. Push the dumbbell away from you by fully extending your arms. You will feel a burn in your front delt region and upper back. After you stretch your arm out its limit, you can return to the starting position. 


  • You’ll reap the most out of the standing chest press if you have solid form throughout. Never lower your dumbbells over your shoulders, and keep your core engaged to avoid injury.

  • Pick a comfortable weight that you can press in and out at chest height without having to round your shoulders or collapse your back.

  • If you feel like you’re becoming fatigued, keep an eye out when you finish your rep. Always keep your chest level when you extend your dumbbells.


  • This simple movement is not as easy as it seems, as you are fighting gravity throughout the exercise.

  • This dumbbell exercise improves balance by engaging stabiliser muscles. It increases muscle power and builds strength.

  • It predominantly targets your arms, shoulders and pecs.


dumbbell chest workout without bench

If you want to work on dumbbell chest exercises while standing up, why not try a standing upward chest fly?

Start by standing in a neutral position and clasping a dumbbell with each hand, palms facing forward. Your feet should be as wide as your shoulders, and your arms should be positioned downwards to your centre.

Then, extend your arms upwards and outwards to the sides, with your elbows kept straight and arms at chest height. To finish the rep, you will bring the dumbbells back to the centre. 


  • Do not go overboard with the weights to avoid possible injury. Start with lighter weights and increase to heavier dumbbells every week to challenge yourself.

  • You can also do this movement while sitting on an exercise ball. This will work out your core and stabilise you more throughout the exercise.

  • Do not swing your arms to create unnecessary momentum. Lift the dumbbells with slow and controlled movements. For the best results, you can count to 3 when lifting, pause for 1 second, and then count to 3 when bringing the weights down.

  • If you want to challenge yourself, do this as a unilateral workout with only one arm. You can then alternate from right to left or vice versa.


  • This is a simple inner chest dumbbell workout that anyone can do. It’s extremely easy to fit into a set and is a solid alternative when you want a change of pace.

  • You can choose the difficulty level by simply altering the sets, repetitions, or dumbbells. It’s an excellent workout for your chest, arms, and shoulders that is quite versatile.


dumbbell chest exercises no bench

If you want to level up your push-up game, then why not incorporate dumbbells into the exercise? Dumbbell push-ups are extremely easy to do but take a little adjustment in your posture and form.

To start, get into a plank position and grip a dumbbell in each hand. Your palms should face the floor. For the most difficult variation, do this on your toes. Otherwise, you can perform the exercise on your knees for an easier variation.

To perform the push-up, bend your elbows to lower your body to the floor without touching it. While doing this movement, ensure that your back is flat.

Pause when you are at the bottom of the push-up. You will then explosively extend your elbows to push your body into the starting plank position. You will feel that your shoulders and arms are engaged during this movement. This is one repetition. 

If you feel that there is too much contraction occurring in your triceps, move the dumbbells outwards. This will activate your chest muscles more than your arm muscles.


  • When you are in the starting plank position, ensure that your shoulders are rotated down and back. Place the dumbbells slightly wider than your shoulders and ensure that the dumbbells are in line with your body. Keep your core activated throughout the exercise. 

  • To avoid excess strain on your lower back, make sure that you tuck your pelvis inwards.

  • This workout is only recommended to those who have mastered doing a basic push-up and are comfortable with using dumbbells. Attempting to do dumbbell push-ups off the bat may lead to injury.

  • It is also recommended that you use hex rubber dumbbells to perform this exercise.


  • This is a fantastic chest workout with dumbbells for women.

  • Dumbbell push-ups work in any setting. You just need enough space for your body’s length.

  • What is great about dumbbell push-ups is that they will not place tension on your wrists, which is ideal for people who have wrist pain.

  • The dumbbell push-ups primarily target your arms, shoulders, core, upper back, and chest.


dumbbell chest workout no bench

Continuing the trend of push-up variations, the dumbbell T push-ups level up the game even further. Similar to the prior dumbbell exercise, get into a standard push-up position and clasp a dumbbell in both hands. Ensure your hands are shoulder-width apart and your palms face each other.

Grip the dumbbells to use as a base, then lower your body to the floor for a push-up. As you push yourself back up, rotate your one side upward by rotating on your toes and lift the weight on the same side above your shoulder. Your body will create a shape that looks like the letter “T”.

Lower the dumbbell to the floor. You can then repeat with the other side or the same side. That counts as one repetition.


  • We recommend that you use a pair of hexagonal dumbbells to perform this workout. Circular dumbbells are more likely to roll and injure your wrist during the exercise.

  • You can try this exercise without a dumbbell first to have a better understanding of the body movements before attempting to challenge yourself with the weights.

  • When performing the exercise, the dumbbells should not exceed your head. If it happens, stop yourself and correct your form.

  • Do not lower yourself too deep into the push-ups — it might cause you to injure your shoulders.


  • This is a great exercise that will test your stamina and strength. With that being said, this workout is not recommended for beginners as it requires a lot of stability and core strength.

  • The dumbbell T push-up targets your upper back, core, shoulders, arms, and chest.


Our final exercise is the dumbbell floor press, which is another excellent way of working your chest without a bench.

Start by lying on your back with bent knees and feet flat on a mat. With an overhand grip, hold the weights and extend your elbows at 90-degree angles. Your triceps should rest in a flat position.

The dumbbells should be at chest level, directly above your elbows. Then, press the dumbbell upward to meet at the top. When extending your arms to the ceiling, activate your core muscles and squeeze your chest muscles. Try to avoid colliding the weights together.

Take a brief pause, holding the dumbbells at arm’s length. After the pause, return to the position that you started with to finish one repetition.


  • To ensure that you are doing the dumbbell floor press effectively, drive your shoulder blades into the floor and keep your core tight. This will add power to your press.

  • Focus on your breathing. Inhale before pressing the dumbbells and exhale when the dumbbells are lifted.

  • Remember to hold your dumbbells vertically on your thighs and keep your legs bent to acquire momentum when lifting your dumbbells.


  • One of the main benefits of this exercise is that it is quite easy to perform, making it ideal for beginners.

  • The dumbbell floor press reduces shoulder joint extension, which lessens shoulder strain. This makes it an excellent exercise when you’re experiencing shoulder pain.

  • It is also not necessary to use heavy weights to get the best results from this movement. You can get a lot out of this exercise from smaller weights and more repetitions.

  • This workout targets your triceps, shoulders, core, and chest.


We’ve spoken a little bit about what different dumbbell exercises you can add to your workout, but what makes dumbbell chest exercises a good option over a bench? Here are some benefits that you can enjoy:


When using dumbbells, you need to constantly adjust the weight. You will see your shoulder and pectoral muscles working hard to stabilise you during the movements.


Dumbbells will not lock your joints to move in a certain path. Instead, dumbbells will allow your wrists, shoulders, and elbows to move in a path that works for you.


One of the main benefits of dumbbells is that it is not a piece of big bulky fitness equipment, like a bench. If you do not have a lot of space for workout equipment, then dumbbells are a great investment.


When doing bench press exercises, you will notice that the bar will not go lower than your chest. With dumbbells, you can lower the weight past chest level, which results in a bigger stretch and more flexible exercise options.


When using dumbbells, you will notice that one side of your body might be either stronger or weaker than the other side. For example, when you do a chest dumbbell exercise, you might immediately recognise whether one side is weaker, and this will allow you to focus on that side. This helps you ensure that you develop both sides evenly.


Dumbbell chest exercises are foundational workouts for any gym-goer, whether you’re planning to work out at home or at a gym. Best of all, you do not need a bench for an effective chest exercise to fully take advantage of these exercises. 

If you want to equip yourself with the best dumbbells, browse Factory Weight’s extensive range for your home or commercial gym.

If you are interested in more dumbbell exercises, take a look at how to build a big chest with dumbbells.

Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking others:

Also in Blog

Unlocking Strength Anywhere: The Beginner's Guide to Bodyweight Exercises
Unlocking Strength Anywhere: The Beginner's Guide to Bodyweight Exercises

October 23, 2023 3 min read

Hydration and Exercise: The Importance of Staying Hydrated During Workouts
Hydration and Exercise: The Importance of Staying Hydrated During Workouts

October 16, 2023 3 min read

The Science of Muscle Recovery: Strategies for Faster Healing
The Science of Muscle Recovery: Strategies for Faster Healing

October 09, 2023 3 min read