MUSCLES IT WORKS
Chest, Shoulders, Ticeps (Back of Upper Arms)
HOW TO DO IT
This move can be done on a mat (as shown in our photo) or on a stability ball (as shown in our video). If you're doing it on a mat, lie on the ground or on a step bench with your feet on the ground (or bench), approximately hip-distance apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand directly above your chest. Bend your arms to about 90 degrees (in other words, make football goal posts with your arms), with your palms faced towards your feet. As you exhale, straighten your arms and bring the dumbbells together directly above your chest. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
If you're doing the chest press on a stability ball, use the same position, but start by positioning yourself on the ball so your back is fully on the ball and your feet are flat on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees.
SETS & REPS
Do 3-5 sets of 10 repetitions (reps).
Do 1-3 sets at 60 seconds for each set.
WEIGHT OR RESISTANCE
5- to 20-lb. dumbbells or a 15- to 24-lb. body bar. Most men will start at the upper end of the dumbbell range (or a heavier body bar); most women will start at the lower end (less weight).
A medium-to-heavy pair of dumbbells (5- to 12-lbs. for women and 8- to 15-lbs. for men) or body bar (15- to 24-lbs. for women and men), or a medium-to-heavy (red, blue, or purple) resistance band. Mat, stability ball or step bench are optional.
DON'T DO THIS MOVE IF
you have shoulder problems.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT
You should feel your chest, shoulders, and triceps (back of upper arms) working during this exercise. To maintain correct form, keep the movement of the dumbbells controlled and avoid letting them touch when you straighten your arms.
HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Use lighter dumbbells, a lighter body bar, or an easier resistance band.
HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF OR PROGRESS
If you can do 2 additional repetitions per set or complete 60 seconds without getting tired, consider adding repetitions, time, and/or sets. For example, instead of doing 10 repetitions for 3 sets, try 15 repetitions for 3 sets. To increase intensity without changing sets or time, try adding weight. Doing chest presses on a stability ball or with your feet raised off the ground so your lower and upper legs form a 90-degree angle at the knee (table-top position) will challenge your core more.
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