How To Do & Muscles Worked

dumbbell bench press

The bench press or chest press exercise is a horizontal push exercises that primarily targets the chest. Depending on whether you have the elbow close in or out at 45-degrees, it also works the triceps as they’re important helpers for any push movement.

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging

Which Muscles Are Worked?

Diagram of primary and secondary muscles worked from Dumbbell bench press

Primary Muscles

Chest Triceps

Secondary Muscles


Exercise Type

Dumbbell icon

How to do dumbbell bench press Properly

Step by Step Guide

Begin lying down on your back on a bench with the legs bent and feet planted firmly on the ground. (Note: If your feet don’t touch the ground, place a plate underneath each foot).

Hold dumbbells in your hands near your chest with a pronated grip (palms facing away from you). Have the elbows out about 45-degrees from the torso. Your shoulder blades should be down and back, squeezing together the entire time.

Press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling as you straighten both arms.

Then, lower the dumbbells back down toward the chest with control.

Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Common Mistakes

A common mistake is having the elbows flared out too much. This may lead to excessive shoulder internal rotation and causing a pinching pain at the shoulder. Instead angle your upper arms less than 45 degrees away from the torso - tucking the elbows in slightly.


Animation of how to do Dumbbell bench press