Dumbbell Exercises: Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press

A dumbbell is a great exercise tool to keep around the house. It can be appropriated for use in a multitude of unique exercises, and it can singlehandedly help you to maintain fitness and to develop your muscular strength throughout your body. Best of all, dumbbell sets are inexpensive and don’t take up much space.

Using a dumbbell set to do a number of pectoral and shoulder exercises, like the alternating dumbbell chest press, is a good idea if you have a weight bench or another flat surface on which to lay. It’s best if you have an adjustable weight bench if you plan to do this, as the weight bench will help you to be sure that you can have the appropriate height based on your own height and comfort level. Read on for a brief guide to how to best do the alternating dumbbell chest press.

Exercise Basics

In order to get into the basic position for this exercise, start by lying on your back on the bench with your feet resting comfortably on the floor and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. You should hold two dumbbells of equal and moderate weight, one in each hand. Begin by holding them directly above you with your arms shoulder width apart. Lower the dumbbells slowly by drawing your elbows in to your body and keeping your forearms at a perpendicular to the bench and the floor. When the dumbbells are just above your chest, that is the starting position for this exercise.

To execute the alternating dumbbell chest press, begin by moving one arm all the way up to the fully extended position. As you do this, allow the other to rest. When you bring the first arm back slowly to the resting position, move the second arm up to extension at the same time. When both arms have gone up and come back to the resting position, this constitutes a single repetition of the alternating dumbbell chest press.

Safety and Injury Prevention

There are a number of ways that you can help to make sure that you remain safe while you do this exercise. First, it’s important that you not use weights that are too heavy for you. Start with lighter weights and gradually work your way up to heavier ones. Additionally, be sure that you continue to breathe as you workout. Finally, employ a spotter to help be sure that you don’t accidentally drop the weights, as they could land on your head, chest or neck and cause you injury.


There are some ways to intensify this exercise. You can hold your legs up in the air to increase the work on your core muscles as well. You can also incorporate a reverse skull crusher exercise into the movement, where you lower your dumbbells toward your head when they’re at the fully extended position (before returning them slowly to the sides of your body).


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