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Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without A Bench

October 19, 2021 7 min read

Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench

Although benches can be useful, they also take up a large amount of space. This means that they aren’t ideal for everyone’s home gym setup. Luckily, there are many amazing dumbbell workouts that you can do without a bench.

All you need is a set of dumbbells and the drive to do a good workout.

If you are a fitness-conscious person and want to build some chest muscle, then you might find our roundup worth a read.

Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench

Dumbbell Chest Workouts Without Bench 

We recommend that you do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

You might also want dumbbells in a variety of weights to perform these exercises at home.

Standing Chest Press

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

To perform this one dumbbell exercise, you start by standing with your foot shoulder-width apart. You will 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 performing this movement, you can return to the starting position. That will be one repetition.


It is important to note that you will only benefit from the exercise if you have a solid form. For this reason, you should avoid lowering the dumbbells over your shoulders and engage your core when performing the chest presses to avoid any injury.

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

If you start to become fatigued, watch out that you do not drop your arms. Your arms need to stay chest level when you extend them.

The Benefits

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

This dumbbell exercise improves balance through engaging stabiliser muscles, increases muscle power, and builds strength.

It predominantly targets your arms, shoulders and pecs.

Standing Upward Chest Fly

dumbbell chest workout without bench

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

You will then extend your arms upwards and outwards to the sides, with your elbows kept straight and arms at chest height.

To finish the repetition, you will bring the dumbbells back to the centre. The movement is slow and controlled.

You will notice that this exercise is like doing a front raise for your shoulders, but with a twist of your wrists.


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. You will then make your core and stabilizer muscles work harder.

Like the previous workout, it is important to maintain proper form to attain the best results. For this reason, it is very important to keep your core engaged for maximum effect. 

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

If you are concerned, we advise you to check with a medical professional whether you have an existing back, arm, or shoulder injury before performing this exercise. 

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. 

The Benefits

This is a simple  inner chest dumbbell workout that anyone can do.

You can choose the difficulty level by simply altering the sets, repetitions, or dumbbells.

This workout targets your chest, arms, and shoulders.

Dumbbell Push-ups

dumbbell chest exercises no bench

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 the 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 will be 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.


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.

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

The Benefits

This is a fantastic  chest workout with dumbbells for women.

It can be easily performed in any setting. You will just need enough space for your body’s length.

You also have the option of keeping your legs straight throughout the exercise to engage your entire body.

What is great about dumbbell push-ups, is that they will not place tension on your wrists.

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

Dumbbell T Push-ups

dumbbell chest workout no bench

Similar to the prior dumbbell exercise, you will get into a standard push-up position and clasp a dumbbell in both hands. Your hands are shoulder-width apart and your palms face each other.

Grip the dumbbells to use as a base.

You will 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. That will be one repetition. In other words, each repetition consists of a push-up and twist on both sides.


We recommend that you use a pair of hexagonal dumbbells to perform this workout.

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 as it might cause injury to your shoulders.

The Benefits

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

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

Dumbbell Floor Press

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 degrees angles. Your triceps should rest in a flat position.

The dumbbells should be at chest level, directly above your elbows. You will then press the dumbbell upward to meet the top. When extending your arms to the ceiling, activate your core muscles and squeeze your chest muscles. Try to avoid collision of the weights. Take a pause.

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.

With regards to breathing, it is recommended that you inhale before pressing the dumbbells and exhale when the dumbbells are lifted.

To negate a stretching reflex, pause at the bottom of the lift.

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

The Benefits

One of the main benefits of this exercise is that it is quite easy to perform, so even beginners can perform it.

The dumbbell floor press reduces shoulder joint extension which lessens shoulder strain.

It is also not necessary to use heavy weights to get the best results from this movement. You will certainly be able to work your chest muscles effectively.

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

What Are The Benefits of Dumbbell Chest Exercises?

You now know all the workouts, but what makesdumbbell chest exercises a good option over a bench? 

Engages Your Stabilizer Muscles

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

Less Strain on Your Joints

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.

Not Space-Consuming

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.

Wider Range of Motion

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.

Develops Strength Evenly

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 will immediately recognize 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.

The Bottom Line

You do not need a bench for an effective chest exercise. You can replicate all the classic chest exercises on the floor.

By taking some time out of your day to do these workouts, you will feel the benefits.

If you are interested, take a look athow to build a big chest with dumbbells.

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