Bench Press is one of the three essential exercises in bodybuilding, along with squats and deadlift. Usually the bench press is executed with a barbell, but to vary the exercise, you can also take the help of dumbbells. Dumbbells make the bench press exercise slightly more difficult as you have to maintain sideways balance in both arms as well.
Dumbbell Bench Press- Correct Form
The following steps will teach you how to perform the dumbbell flat bench press correctly.
- Lay down on a flat bench, and grab hold of dumbbells in each hand.
- Keeping your head and back flat on the mat, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and push the dumbbells towards the roof.
- As with the barbell bench exercise, your grip should be such that your palms face the roof, and your thumb is curled around the dumbbell.
- Inhale as you bring the dumbbells down towards the sides of your torso, keeping them perpendicular to your torso.
- Exhale as you push the dumbbells back towards the roof. Make sure NOT to lock your elbows at the top.
Dumbbell Bench Press- Errors and Safety Precautions
While the dumbbell bench press might seem easy to do (all you do is push dumbbells out,right?) there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Prevention is better than cure, so avoid making these few errors.
1. Use lighter *total* weight than you normally bench- Since you also have to maintain balance to avoid your arm from moving in any direction except perpendicular to the floor, you will be able to lift lesser weight than you would normally in a barbell press. In barbell press, we dont have to care about our arms going anywhere, as they hold onto a common object- the barbell.
2. Use a spotter always- You wont be looking any macho if the dumbbell falls on you. Use a spotter always so that he/she can control the direction in which your arms are going at the end of a set, when fatigue sets in. They will also help to ensure that you dont injure yourself.
3. Wrap that thumb around the dumbbell- While putting all your fingers on one side of the dumbbell might help you lifting more weight, isolating the thumb to the other side of the dumbbell rod might help you avoid the horror scene of the dumbbell slipping from your grip and falling on your face.
4. Up and down, in one straight line- The dumbbells should go up and down in one straight line, and not here and there. Use a spotter or pick lighter weight if you cant ensure this.
5. Do not lock your elbows at the top- Do not lock your elbows out when you reach the top, as this will shift the entire pressure from your chest to your elbows. When you are using heavy weights, that wont make a pretty site.
Barbell Bench Press vs Dumbbell Bench Press
While the barbell bench press is for the advanced and semi-advanced people, as it allows to lift more weight than dumbbell press, dumbbell press is good as it uses more muscles to maintain stability, and hence works out more muscles at a time.
Alternate Exercise: Barbell Flat Bench Press
Main Muscles Used in Dumbbell Bench Press