When it’s time to work your chest, your thoughts may turn to popular exercises such as push-ups or barbell bench presses. But you don’t have to ignore the dumbbell rack on chest day. Dumbbell exercises can work your chest from top to bottom, particularly if you have access to an adjustable bench. As with any exercise equipment, don’t lift a dumbbell until you’ve warmed up for at least five minutes with some moderate cardio activity.
Lie with your upper back on an exercise bench. An imaginary line drawn through your shoulders should run across the bench lengthwise. Set your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees at right angles.
Hold a dumbbell above your face or upper chest with both hands cupped beneath the upper plate. Extend your arms toward the ceiling, but don’t lock your elbows. This is the starting position.
Inhale as you lower the weight in an arc above your head. Stop when your upper arms are roughly parallel with the floor. Maintain a fairly consistent elbow bend throughout the exercise.
Exhale as you lift the dumbbell along the same trajectory back to the starting position. Keep your lower body still at all times. Perform eight to 12 repetitions.
Stability Ball Fly
Lie face up with your upper back, shoulders and head on top of a stability ball. Using a stability ball engages your core muscles to help keep you balanced. Position your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees 90 degrees.
Hold a pair of dumbbells over your upper chest with your palms facing each other and your arms extended toward the ceiling. Don’t lock your elbows. Keep them flexed at all times.
Tighten your abs and push your hips upward so your torso is roughly parallel with the floor. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells to each side until they’re about chest-high.
Exhale and return the dumbbells to the starting position while maintaining your elbow flex. Move your arms as if you were hugging a tree. Perform eight to 12 reps.