13+ Muscle Building Dumbbell Bench Press Variations
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.