Choose the appropriate weight to match your type of training and fitness level. Lie down on the bench and push your feet against the floor. Grab both dumbbells with an overhand grip. As you lie down, extend your arms with elbows flexed to 90 degrees. Palms are facing forward (thumbs are placed next to each other). Your elbows and your shoulders are at one level.
Contract your chest muscles to extend your arms over the chest. Continue with extension until the dumbbells touch each other in the upper position. Keep your wrists in the same position, avoid rotation. Maintain correct stance without bending your back backwards (lumbar lordosis). Breathe in as you go down; breathe out as you go up.
Do not over overrate your capacity while selecting the appropriate weight. Make sure your hands are in the correct position and avoid extensive dorsal flexion in your wrists Make sure you avoid straining your lower back; both your chest and entire torso must be straight and firm all the way through. Eliminate using your upper trapezius muscles.
It is advised to use a spotter, especially if you are working out with heavier weight. Choose the number of repetitions to match your training type.
Dumbbell bench press is an excellent exercise whose only disadvantage when compared to barbell bench press is that you can’t work the same weight.
Dumbbells can be held with wrists slightly bent inwards - this protects the wrists from injury.
Never lower the dumbbells too much. You can make use of that extra trajectory which you have as there is no barbell in the way but if you lower the dumbbells very low you endanger your shoulders.
You can also lift the dumbbells to a position where they almost touch each other but do not confuse the dumbbell press with dumbbell flyes (which is a potentially much more dangerous exercise).
Advantages of dumbbell press comparing to the barbell press:
- Both arms (and both parts of the body) are doing the same work regardless of how developed they are.
- You need to apply additional muscles to stabilize your arms.
- You can turn your palms slightly inside (so that they are closer to the position when they are facing each other) in order to prevent wrist and shoulder injuries.
- You can alternatively turn the palms so that they are facing each other that is a good alternative to the more common form of this exercise.
- You don’t need a spotter (although having one is definitely an advantage – he/she can help you with the last 1 or 2 repetitions).