Stop Doing Dumbbell Bench Press Like This

Learn the correct technique for dumbbell bench press to maximize your gains and avoid common mistakes. Enhance your chest and upper body strength effectively.


Do you really know how to dumbbell bench press for a bigger chest? Look, when it comes to building a bigger chest, the dumbbell bench press my be much more valuable than being a fallback “option” to the classic barbell bench press. In this video, I am going to the show you how to fix the 5 most common mistakes people make when performing the dumbbell press and you my just find that it’s the superior exercise choice for you to make your overall best chest gains. Perfect Your Bench Press Here - Subscribe to this channel here - The first mistake you might be making has to do with your posture. Have you ever noticed what it looks like before you even ready to press the dumbbells? I’m talking about when you’re sitting at the end of the bench with dumbbells on your thighs. Instead of slumping over your dumbbells with your shoulders rounded, sit up tall and pull your shoulders down and back. From here, engage the lats by digging your elbows into your sides. The easiest way to think about this is to focus on your traps and shoulders. Un-shrug them. Again you should feel your elbows packed tightly against your sides and your chest and lats should already feel engaged. Your posture should be noticeable better regardless of what angle someone looks at you from. The second mistake is not making sure that your elbows are in there right place. Not getting this right can lead to unnecessary and avoidable shoulder pain whenever you bench press. Instead of making your body a “T”, make yourself a tree. In other words, stop bench pressing with your elbows flared directly out the your sides. Tucking your elbows while keeping your wrists stacked above them at all times will place you in the optimal position to press. An easy way to make sure that you are getting this right every time you bench press is focus on the dumbbell touch point. Make sure that the inside of the dumbbell touches the outer lower corner of your chest muscle on every rep. Aim for contact right at tis outer portion of the lower chest and the only way you can do this is with a 45-60 degree elbow tuck. The next mistake you are likely making when performing the dumbbell bench press is allowing the dumbbells to lower without control. While we often focus on the concentric pressing during the lift, not paying attention to the eccentric lowering of the dumbbells is a problem. You should actively be pulling the weight down and engaging your back through the movement. You almost want to “row” the dumbbells to the bottom as opposed to just letting gravity take over. Doing so will ensure that the shoulder blades stay engaged and that the chest doesn’t collapse or disengage in favor of the shoulder muscles at the bottom of the rep. Speaking of lowering, that brings us to our next mistake; rushing the eccentric. A slow eccentric is perhaps more vital on a dumbbell bench press than it is any other exercise you’ll perform in the gym. This along with the tucked elbows makes the bench press a viable exercise for anyone that stopped due to shoulder pain or discomfort. Remember to slow down the tempo that you use when performing the eccentric portion of this chest exercise. A controlled eccentric will help create stability in the shoulder joint that will likely remove any of the pain and discomfort you were feeling prior. Another mistake on the dumbbell bench press is ignoring your feet. Yes, your feet! If you engage your feet and create leg drive while pressing the dumbbells up, you will likely experience a 10-15% increase in the amount of weight you can press. Push down into your tows and think about straightening your legs out in front of you like during a leg extension (just keep your feet on the ground during this movement). This will assist you in generating that up and back force you’re using to drive the dumbbells along their proper bar path back to the top. The next problem facing the db bench press is allowing your shoulders to dominate the press. Remember, you want to make sure you’re initiating the ascent of the dumbbells with your chest first - think about what your sternum and rib cage are doing. When you press, drive your shoulders back into the bench and reach for the sky with your sternum. Think about lifting your ribs to the ceiling. Mistake #7 is forgetting to manipulate the dumbbells in space as you press them up. We know that the function of the pectorals major is to horizontally adduct the arms as you press. To simulate this adduction, tilt your thumbs up to the sky to bring the dumbbells closer to the midline of your chest, almost like bringing your biceps together. A bonus tip for those that don’t have a well developed upper chest or still experiencing shoulder issues - change the angle of the bench. Put the bench at a 15-30 degree angle max to reposition the shoulders just enough to take some excessive strain off the rotator cuff and decrease your risk of injury.

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