Did you know you can complete a highly effective chest exercise at home without a bench or other traditional gym machines? Even without the actual bench, you can get all the benefits of a bench workout, including muscle stabilization, improved balance, and strength building. Let’s take a look at how this works.
- You can efficiently perform dumbbell chest exercises without the use of a bench.
- Use chest exercises to improve stability and balance.
- Be careful to monitor your form to reduce injury continuously.
Standing Chest Fly
Standing chest fly exercises are fun and relatively simple to learn. You’ll need a set of light dumbbells to perform the standing chest fly without a bench. This exercise will help you improve overall stability and balance. Performing a standing chest fly without a bench will still successfully activate your chest, shoulders, and upper back muscles. As a result, you’ll achieve better upper body strength and posture. You may notice improved shoulder mobility and flexibility. It’s important to note that completing a standing chest fly could lead to injury if you’re using heavy weights. Be sure to always to use appropriate weights for your strength and experience level. Lastly, the standing chest fly may be difficult for beginners, but consistency in form and function will ultimately help you produce great results from this exercise.
Here are the steps to perform a standing chest fly:
- Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bring your arms up to shoulder height with your elbows slightly bent and palms facing each other.
- Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you slowly lower the weights out to your sides, feeling the stretch in your chest muscles.
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then slowly raise the weights back up to shoulder height, squeezing your chest muscles at the top.
Push-ups with Dumbbell Row
Push-ups with a dumbbell row are sometimes known as renegade rows. This fun and highly effective exercise simultaneously targets your chest, shoulders, back, and arms. A compound exercise, like push-ups with a dumbbell row, can be used to improve balance and stability. racticing these exercises and proper form to reduce injury and maximize your output is important. If you have weak wrists or shoulders, use caution when you attempt exercises like these. You may need to improve wrist and shoulder stability to achieve proper form.
Here are the steps to perform a single-arm dumbbell row:
- Start in a high plank position with your hands holding a set of dumbbells, shoulder-width apart, and wrists directly under your shoulders.
- Perform a push-up by lowering your body towards the floor while keeping your core engaged and your elbows tucked in towards your body.
- Once you return to the starting position, shift your weight onto one side and perform a dumbbell row by pulling one dumbbell towards your rib cage, keeping your elbow close to your body.
- Lower the dumbbell back to the floor, then repeat the row on the other side.
- Repeat the sequence, performing another push-up and then rowing with the opposite arm.
Dumbbell Chest Press on Floor
If you’d like a variation from traditional dumbbell chest press exercises, try the floor dumbbell chest press! This exercise will help improve your stability and range of motion and requires just a set of dumbbells and a flat surface. This exercise is excellent for anyone with limited space or equipment to workout.
Reminders: Don’t let the weights drop too low, as this could unnecessarily strain your shoulder. Be sure to monitor your level of fatigue. If your chosen weights are getting too heavy, either drop weight for the next set or discontinue these exercises for the day. Finally, laying flat on your back could be uncomfortable, so ensure you have a top-quality mat for this exercise.
Here are the steps to perform a chest press on the floor:
- Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, palms facing forward, and position them at chest level with your upper arms on the floor.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body and your wrists straight.
- Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement, then push the dumbbells back up to the starting position by fully extending your arms.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
The dumbbell pullover is another excellent floor workout that helps develop your upper body muscles, including your chest, back, shoulders, and triceps. As you work this exercise into your upper body routine, you’ll notice improved shoulder mobility and flexibility. Dumbbell pullovers can help improve core stability while increasing upper body strength. As you add dumbbell pullovers into your fitness regimen, remember that this exercise can be challenging initially.
Reminder: Heavy weights and poor form can add unnecessary stress to your joints. Be cautious with your weight selection, and use a mirror or friend to help perfect your form as you workout. If you have shoulder or back problems, please ask your doctor or specialist if this exercise is appropriate for you.
Here are the steps to perform a dumbbell pullover:
- Lie down on the floor with your head and neck supported by a towel or mat.
- Hold a dumbbell with both hands and extend your arms straight up above your chest.
- Lower the weight behind your head while keeping your elbows slightly bent. You should feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders.
- Pull the weight back up over your chest until your arms are fully extended.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Single-Arm Dumbbell Floor Press
Consider incorporating a single-arm dumbbell floor press into your workout to target your chest, triceps, and shoulders while improving your upper body strength, stability, and balance. It’s important to take the time to practice unilateral exercises, like this floor press, to help correct muscle imbalances within the body. This exercise can even help people who experience wrist or shoulder pain with barbell bench press exercises. In addition, this workout is great because you can take it just about anywhere! The single-arm dumbbell floor press can be executed with very little equipment making this a great home or travel workout.
Here are the steps to perform a single-arm dumbbell floor press:
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Hold a dumbbell in one hand with your palm facing towards your feet.
- Raise your arm straight up towards the ceiling, keeping your elbow locked out and the weight directly above your shoulder.
- Slowly lower the weight down towards your chest, keeping your elbow tucked in and your upper arm in contact with the ground.
- Pause briefly when the weight is just above your chest, then press it back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, then switch sides and repeat with the other arm.
Dumbbell Svend Press
If you’re interested in an exercise that isolates chest muscles, try the dumbbell Svend press. This workout targets the pectoralis major and minor. It uses one pair of dumbbells. This dumbbell chest workout can help improve chest development and size. It can be performed with minimal equipment making it great for home workouts and travel. It’s easily modified by increasing or decreasing the dumbbells’ weight. Because the dumbbell Svend press is an isolation exercise, it may be less effective for overall muscle development.
Reminders: If you have shoulder or wrist injuries, use caution, as this exercise may add stress to those joints. This exercise may only suit some beginners, depending on your overall muscle development.
Here are the steps to perform a dumbbell Svend press:
- Sit on a chair with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing each other.
- Bring the dumbbells together in front of your chest so that the ends of the dumbbells are touching.
- Push the dumbbells away from your body, extending your arms fully.
- Hold the contraction briefly, then bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Dumbbell Push-up to Renegade Row
The dumbbell push-up to renegade row targets multiple muscle groups at once, making this an efficient exercise to add to your workout lineup. You can use the dumbbell push-up to renegade row to improve your strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. This exercise can be easily modified for people of all fitness levels by varying the weight of your dumbbell or lowering it to your knees. This exercise requires very little equipment, so you can do it almost anywhere, including on your next vacation. Prioritize mastering your form for this exercise to reduce strain and injury as you workout. Performing this exercise without modification requires some experience and strength, so be patient with yourself as you work to perform this exercise without modifications.
Here are the steps to perform a dumbbell push-up to renegade row:
- Start in a push-up position with your hands on a pair of dumbbells, your feet hip-width apart, and your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Lower your body towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides and core engaged.
- Push back up to the starting position.
- Once you are back in the starting position, row one dumbbell up towards your rib cage, keeping your elbow close to your body and your shoulder blade down and back.
- Lower the dumbbell back down to the starting position, then repeat with the other arm.
- Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
Dumbbell Crossover Punch
The dumbbell crossover punch is excellent for working for multiple muscle groups at once during your dumbbell chest workout. By incorporating this exercise into your fitness regimen, you’ll experience improved upper body strength, endurance, and coordination. You can modify this exercise to suit your fitness level by adjusting the weight or speed of each punch. You can even practice this exercise with one pair of dumbbells, making it an efficient use of time that requires very little space or equipment for your workout.
Here are the steps to perform the dumbbell crossover punch:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and a dumbbell in each hand.
- Extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward.
- Cross one arm over the other, bringing the dumbbell across your body towards the opposite shoulder.
- As you cross the dumbbell over, rotate your torso slightly to the opposite side, pivoting on the balls of your feet.
- Punch the dumbbell back out to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.
- Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.
Dumbbell Crush Press
A dumbbell crush press targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders. This exercise is most often performed on a bench, but there’s also a modification to make this exercise work just as effectively without one. If you’d like to make the dumbbell crush press more challenging, simply up the weight of the dumbbells you’re using. You can also make this a unilateral exercise using one arm at a time. This variation effectively isolates each side of the chest. As you practice this exercise, keep your core tight and your shoulders back to maintain form.
Here’s how to perform a dumbbell crush press without using a bench:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level. Your palms should face each other, and the dumbbells should be touching.
- Squeeze the dumbbells together as hard as possible, engaging your chest muscles.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest, keeping them squeezed together. Your elbows should point to the sides, creating a “W” shape with your arms.
- Pause when your elbows are parallel to the ground, and your triceps are engaged.
- Press the dumbbells back up to the starting position, squeezing them together throughout the movement.
- Continue the exercise for the desired number of reps.
Alternating Dumbbells Chest Press (Floor Press)
When completed without a bench, the alternating dumbbell chest press is also known as a floor press. As you go through this exercise, engage your core and firmly press your lower back into the ground. This exercise will help you strengthen your triceps while indirectly targeting the chest, shoulders, smaller stabilizer, and core muscles. Alternating dumbbell chest presses are also an excellent exercise for developing arm strength. Be sure to monitor your form closely throughout this exercise. You can modify this exercise by making your chosen weights lighter or heavier. If you have any pre-existing shoulder or wrist issues, talk to your doctor before trying this exercise.
Here are the steps to perform the alternating dumbbell chest press:
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level with your palms facing forward.
- Press one dumbbell up towards the ceiling, extending your arm fully. At the same time, lower the other dumbbell down toward your chest.
- Lower the arm with the dumbbell you just pressed up toward your chest while simultaneously pressing the other arm toward the ceiling. Your palms should be facing forward throughout the exercise.
- Continue alternating arms for the desired number of reps.
Now You’re Ready to Complete Your Chest Exercise Routine Without a Bench.
At Hampton Fitness, we believe the world is your gym! Learning how to perform exercises in your own space with the equipment you can access is a must for the rare breed, no excuses, fitness enthusiast! As a leading provider of top-tier fitness equipment, we are invested in helping people of all fitness levels achieve their goals while improving overall health and wellness. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, incorporating chest exercises without a bench into your workout routine can help you build strength, improve posture, and enhance overall upper body function. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for exercise demos. Visit our website to explore our wide range of fitness equipment and start incorporating chest exercises into your workouts today!