Thursday, April 24, 2014

13+ Muscle Building Dumbbell Bench Press Variations

September 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Strength Training

The dumbbell bench press exercise is a great choice for your accessory lifts.  It allows for a elbow tuck while keeping the wrists inline.  A bench press locks the wrists in place and causes some torsion during the lift.   While I’m a fan of the straight bar press, the dumbbell version can be easier on the elbows and wrists.

Also, since the arms are moving independently, both sides of the body are trained equally.

I’ll summarize my 13+ favorite pressing variations.  Each one serves an important purpose.  Choose ONE of the exercises below that you want me to further explain and provide a set and rep scheme.  (The reason why it is 13 “+” is that you can perform most of the full bench exercises in the shoulder only format as well, I didn’t want to repeat in the video though).

1.  Dumbbell Flat Bench.  Nothing fancy, just press.

2.  Neutral Grip.  Turn the DB’s in and keep your elbows tucked the entire time.

3.  Bow and Arrow Bench Press.  Hold one, draw the other one down to your body.

4. Iso Hold Bench Press.  Similar to Bow and arrow, but do not alternate.

5. Bottoms Up DB Bench.  Hold one near the bottom (use your muscles, not your joints.)

6.  Bottoms Up Alternating.  Hold one at the bottom.  Switch pressing arms between each rep.

7. Single Arm.  Use a single arm….

8.  Single Arm Offset.  Set up with your pressing arm glute and shoulder off the bench.

9.  Shoulders only w/ Glute Bridge.  Shoulders on the bench, glute bridge, and press.

10.  Single Leg Glute Bridge with Sprinter Hold.  

11.  Single Leg Glute Bridge Marcher Presses.  Lower the leg as you lower the arm and march up during the press.

12.  Glute Bridge and Press. 

13+.  All the single arm, offset, bottoms up, etc done on the flat bench can be done in the shoulders only position.

Dumbbell Bench Press Exercise Video

100 “likes” gets part II!

- Joe Hashey, CSCS -

PS.  If you like these exercises, you will love Bull Strength Training.

Bull Strength


4 Responses to “13+ Muscle Building Dumbbell Bench Press Variations”
  1. Tim says:

    Number 10. What does it do to you differently?
    For that matter what do any of them do differently from number 1

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Tim,

    Good question! I’ll explain one of them (lots of good comments coming in on facebook and YT on which one). For now, try them out, especially the offset one hand – way different than regular.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!


  3. Dale says:

    Looks good. You could have added more positions with the arms. One of them is have your elbows locked close to your sides and push the DB’s vertically in line from the belly button and pull down,repeat. You get the idea. Thanks for the DB varitions.

  4. Ralph says:

    Whats your opinion on DB floor press?

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