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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today I’m going to talk about the best exercises
for your chest. However, there’s a catch. That is, we can only use this. Some dumbbells. I realize there are some exercise options
that would be really, really helpful if we had a barbell, but that’s not the game here. As a matter of fact, this isn’t even a fantasy
land scenario because a lot of times guys out there that don’t have a lot of training
space find themselves training with just dumbbells. What I want to do is provide you with the
best options for that. Now, we’ve covered other videos in this
series. Namely, we did the shoulders that you’re
going to want to check out here. The idea there is, I need at least some context. If I’m going to play this game and make
the best selections for you, I need to know what we’re trying to train for. So just like we did in that video, we’re
going to cover the best options for strength, power, hypertrophy, metabolic overload, a
total body option, a corrective option, and then one that doesn’t really fit any of
these categories in the case of the chest by trying to address the lack of adduction
that we have when we’re strapped with dumbbells as our only implement. But don’t worry, guys. I’ve got you covered there as well. So, let’s get it started, guys. We’re going to break it down, one by one,
right here. First, with strength. So, we kick it all off with strength, the
goal being progressively overloading the exercises that we’re doing. Now, we know if we had access to a barbell
it would be a lot easier because we could take the barbell bench-press, which should
be a staple exercise option here if you have access, but we don’t. That’s not the rules of the video. What we have here is, we need to substitute. Look, before we make a jump to the dumbbell
variation of a bench-press, I want to show you something else. Here’s the weighted dip. It’s an exercise I like to use for progressively
overloading the chest as well. Of course, we’re involving some other muscles
as well. But I can favor the chest by leaning forward
more and making sure I keep my shoulder blades down, and back. Now, what happens when we make the substitution. If I go from a barbell bench to a dumbbell
bench-press I run into a little bit of a problem. I’m never going to be able to press, on
an equal basis, what I could with a barbell once I split those hands up and have dumbbells
in each hand. The requirements of stability are normally
what are going to undermine our ability to press with as much strength as you have. You can see that you’ve probably experienced
that firsthand as you’ve tried to correlate a move from a barbell bench-press, to a dumbbell
bench-press. Let’s reevaluate that dip. I believe there’s a great opportunity here. We can take the weight that we load up here
– which was plates – and replace them with dumbbells. I use a dog leash here. It’s a simple, no excuses way to do this. You can see me wrapping the dog leash around
and through the handle, around the dumbbell, and then to itself. Now you’ve got a perfectly weighted dip
belt of any weight. It doesn’t matter what I’m using. Whether I’m using plates or dumbbells, the
ability to carry this exercise over from a plated option to a dumbbell option is a lot
closer than what you’d expect than going from a barbell bench, to a dumbbell bench. So, for that reason, I love the weighted dip. It still gives you the chance to continue
to add a slightly heavier dumbbell, keep the progressive overload coming, and keep those
strength gains coming. So, the goal of these strength exercise selections
was one that you could progressively overload with the most weight and push as much weight
as possible on – we need to do something different here when we’re talking about
power. That is a speed component. What exercise could you move as quickly as
possible without having to sacrifice the weight, to a level that would be insignificant? Well, if I had my Druthers, I’d do this. This is a sled push away that I had Antonio
Brown do. There’s a key factor going on here that
we want to try and emulate and bring across to our dumbbell selected exercise because
it’s critical for maximizing power development. That is the ability to release the load that
we’re trying to accelerate. If I were to take a dumbbell and bring it
to a dumbbell bench-press and just try to move it as quickly as possible, as we reach
full extension with those dumbbells, we’re decelerating right at the end of each rep. That’s exactly the opposite if what you
want to do if you’re trying to maximize force development. They decelerate because they have to get on
their back and allow us to get back in the position to perform the next rep. However, we can take something very similar
to what we did with the sled push away and translate it to a dumbbell exercise, not even
using the dumbbells in our hands, simply as targets. That is the plyo-tap that you see here. Here, we’re using our bodyweight as a resistance. Trust me, this is not an easy exercise. If you choose dumbbells that are heavy enough,
the height of those dumbbells will increase higher and higher because of the additional
weight on those dumbbells. That makes you have to push off the ground
harder and harder. More forcefully, more explosively, faster. Again, I tell you this is not an easy exercise. You have to push with a lot of force. You are not hindered, however, by having to
hold anything. You push your body away from the ground with
the roof as your only limitation – which I don’t think you’re going to be hitting
– and the key here is that you perform them to a submaximal level. Don’t take these all the way to failure. Leave a couple in the tank but maximize the
force and speed with which you push, and I promise you the best gains from this exercise. Now we move onto hypertrophy. Trying to build bigger muscles. Look, you’ve probably heard at some point
that you don’t need to get sore in order to build big muscles. While that is absolutely true, at some point
you’re going to have to because you’re going to dry up with how much weight you can
contain a load to the bar. Metabolic training alone – which we’re
going to talk about – is going to, at some point, become limited in its ability to overload
your muscles because of the lighter weights that you use to perform those exercises. So, at some point, to continue the growth
and the gains coming, you’re going to need to explore an eccentrically overloaded exercise
option. That is why I want to load you and arm you
with the right one. This one right here is the eccentric floor
fly. What we’re doing is trying to eccentrically
overload the chest. We can do that with a fly. However, as I’ve said many, many times before,
to protect the health of our shoulders, we don’t want to unnecessarily have to get
up onto a bench to perform the exercise. We could perform it on the floor and have
the floor act as our safety net. The great thing is though, because we know
we have a safety net for our shoulders, we can do this exercise with a lot heavier weight
than we might usually use when we do a bench version of this. You’ve probably heard people tell you “Don’t
go ahead of me on the fly and you’ll be okay”. How about, if we want to go heavy to create
more eccentric overload? Don’t worry about the fact that you’re
not flying back to the top. We’ll cover the adduction in our later exercise
selections. Get to the top and overload, and lower slowly
on every rep. Cheat the positive back up to the top by altering
the position of your arms, and this exercise will be an absolute winner for you when it
comes to creating that eccentric muscle damage, and ultimately, more growth. So, I just mentioned metabolic training as
an option for building more muscle. However, it does require that you change your
mind set a little bit because you can do this with a lot lighter weights. As a matter of fact, you have to do this with
lighter weights. But the important factor here is that you
know what to do with those light weights. Light weights alone will not cut it. Light weights with an applied stress, meant
to increase metabolic stress instead of your muscles is how you do it. So, you’ll see I choose the dumbbell bench-press. It doesn’t matter whether or not you choose
the incline bench-press or the flat bench-press, as I’ll show you in a couple seconds, it’s
how you do the exercise that matters the most. To do this we want to revel in the burn. Find the burn and then figure out a way to
revel in it, swim in it, stay there for as long as possible. That’s what creates the spark for protein
synthesis. How do we do it? Well, we perform this ladder style. Perform a single repetition of the bench-press
and then pause for a single second at the bottom of the rep. Then do another repetition and then hold for
two seconds in the most difficult portion of the rep. If you continue to add one second to the hold
on every, single repetition performed you’ll start to burn, at some point, pretty quickly. The key here is how long you can withstand
it. I’m telling you guys, if you give in too
soon, you’re going to lose the benefits of this training. Again, I mentioned when it comes to metabolic
training, how you perform them and how intense you’re able to stay within that exercise
is what matters the most. This next one is a little bit more challenging. That’s our total body exercise selection. How the hell are you going to train your whole
body when you’re training your chest? Some people might be thinking right off the
bat “I guess a burpee could do it”, but the fact of the matter is, I think you have
a better option. Especially if you look at it in a different
way. I’m not always trying to find the exercise
that I can load maximally. I’m trying to find the exercise that I consider
total body, that I can have a maximum effect and impact on as many areas of my body as
possible. For that, I use the bench press-up. What we’re trying to do here is more on
the lighter side of the weight. It’s not about the weight we’re using. It’s about the requirements of our body
to perform. You’ll see very easily here that I need
to be able to not only perform an incline bench-press, but I need to be able to have
thoracic mobility to keep those dumbbells up overhead. Think very similar to a Turkish getup. The Turkish getup is not necessarily programmed
for any one, specific purpose, but it’s a great exercise for training our entire body
how to get off the ground, and utilize, and synchronize the different segments to do that
most efficiently. We’re doing that here with the bench press-up. I’m trying to get the dumbbells up overhead
and then sit up while maintaining as much thoracic extension as possible. If you see those dumbbells caving forward,
either you don’t have the ability to do the exercise at all, which means you need
to work on your thoracic mobility a lot, or you’ve chosen too heavy of a weight. Remember, it’s not about the weight here. When I get into that position there is one
other thing I can do. If I want to take it to another level and
take it to one other segment I would try to stand at this point. Again, we know that standing from this position,
standing from a seated position is very similar to standing as you would from the bottom of
an overhead squat. And the criteria and requirements for the
thoracic spine to be able to do that properly become even more difficult. The idea here is, as a total body option,
you are training your chest, but more so, you’re reinforcing some mobility and requirements
that are going to benefit you in other areas of your training. Now we move onto our corrective exercise,
guys. The corrective exercises, just because they’re
small, they’re no less important. As a matter of fact, here, once again, like
we do with power we’re not using the dumbbells for an exercise or overload. We’re using them as an implement, or tool
to accomplish something else. That is a stretch on the pec minor. You’re probably saying to yourself “Who
cares about the pec minor? I only want to develop my pec major.” Guys, your pec minor is a very important muscle
because what it tends to do is get tightened and short. When it does it could cause compression and
thoracic atlas syndrome, that leads to neurological and vascular issues down your arm – tingling
– things you do not want to bring to your training at any point in time, or in your
every day life. So, we want to stretch this muscle out because
when it gets tight it tends to bring your shoulders up and forward. We know from the posture videos we’ve done,
that’s not something that’s very desirable. So, what we do is position ourselves on a
foam roller with a very light set of dumbbells. I start by having my arms overheard and squeezing
my shoulder blades back down, and around. What I can do is get that retraction and that
depression of the shoulder blades. At that point I lift my arms up, out to the
side, and allow the dumbbells to sink lower than the elbow. That creates external rotation at the shoulder. Yes, once again, I’ve used that word ‘external
rotation at the shoulder’ because it’s so damn important. If we combine these together, we’re getting
a nice stretch on the pec minor that we just want to hang out here for. Allow the weights to let you sink into that
stretch. Try to stay here for 45 seconds or so. If you want to do these two or three times,
even better. But you’ll find that it really starts to
loosen up your upper chest. And more importantly, starts to help reposition
those shoulders back and down where they belong. Last, but not least, we have our miscellaneous
category. It doesn’t really fit in any specific category,
but they’re no less important and helpful to you. When it comes to the chest what we’re really
trying to do is come up with exercise options with dumbbells that allow us to adduct the
arm. To take our arm fully across midline. We realize that the main exercises we use,
like the dumbbell bench-press, or dips, or even a pushup aren’t necessarily allowing
us to do any of that. In order to get full chest activation, we’ve
covered many times that we need to be able to get that hand and arm across the center
of our body. You might think “The chest fly. He’s going to go back to the fly again.” Well, I already said I don’t like the fly
on a bench, but we’re not going to use the fly on the floor here because as you see,
you get limited to how far across the body you can get. At best, you’re getting to midline. Even at the top there, you’re not under
resistance. So, we have some other options. The first of which is this. This is called the dumbbell UCV raise. The idea here is to get that arm from the
low and away position, up and across your body. You’ll notice that it follows the fiber
direction of the upper chest. Knowing that the fibers run from the clavicle
down, and out toward your arm. So, if you could ‘follow the fibers’,
as we always talk about here, we can get good chest activation. As a bonus, upper chest activation by bringing
our arm up, and across our body. You can see how hard of a contraction we can
achieve here. This is not about using a heavy, heavy weight. It’s about achieving that contraction, that
full chest contraction, by virtue of getting to full adduction in the exercise. We have another option here, too. We can take a low approach. The low approach is holding the dumbbell down
at our side and shrugging up and across our body, so the dumbbell ends across and equal
with the other pec. That’s going to allow us to get the same
sensation, feeling it more from the bottom up. The fact is still that we’re getting adduction
across midline with a dumbbell in a way that allows us to overload one of the key functions
of the chest in the process. So, there you go, guys. There are the best dumbbell exercises you
can do for your chest and I’ve even given you some criteria and context on which to
perform them. Guys, it matters how you train. It matters what you’re training for. If you’re looking for a program that lays
it all out step by step, we’ll show you how to take whatever it is you’re training
for and get you there the fastest, and safest way possible. All our programs are available over at If you like this series leave your comments
and thumbs up below. Let me know what else you want me to cover
and I’ll do my best to do that for you. If you haven’t already done so, please click
‘subscribe’ and turn on your notifications so you never miss a video, like these in this
series, when they’re published. All right, guys. I’ll see you again soon.

100 thoughts on “The BEST Dumbbell Exercises – CHEST EDITION!

  1. NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY – Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them 🙂 Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. Thanks for this… I only have access to Dumbells. I never could get the burn that the barbell bench press gave me. But now I did.

  3. This is a great series for me for the days I can't make it to the gym but I have dumbbells at home and I can do these in my garage.

  4. If you could make a dumbbell leg exercise video that would be great. And if you already have and I've missed it, my apologies.

  5. Love the dumbbell only series. As an airline pilot I usually only get a short break for working out in a hotel gym with just dumbbells and a bench.

  6. These dumbbell only videos are great for being deployed, and don't have access to all the bigger equipment. I've done a bunch of workouts that I cant do all the exercises because we don't have that piece or whatnot to do it. Thank you again!

  7. I need to get rid of chest flab …aka man boobs 🥺 ive had them most of my life even when I was a great wrestler 🤼‍♂️ in high school . Im getting older now and I want to terminate these things. Tired of feeling like crap when I go to the beach and one day I wanna have the confidence to scuba dive.

  8. Jeff I have to say, after my hip injury and rehab I have never had better success in the gym than when I incorporated your dumbbell routines. No getting under heavy barbells. Just safe gains. Thanks again for great content. Best on YouTube!

  9. Hey Jeff I want to ask how can I make my biceps look similar because my left bicep is smaller and not so pumped like my right bicep

  10. He is making it all too complicated. This shit should stay simple and plain. Bench press, deadlift, squat, pull ups and thats it. No fucking dumbell ucv shit…

  11. Weighted Dip 1:40 2:27
    Push-up w/ plyo tap 4:16
    Eccentric Floor Fly 5:35
    Dumbbell Benchpress 6:57
    Dumbbell Benchpress-up 8:19 9:13
    Pec. Minor posture-correction exercise 10:37 – 11:22
    Dumbbell UCV raise 12:14 / 'low approach' 12:51

  12. don't have enough room for barbell but I have enough for all the extra equipment?? give me a break!

  13. What is the best schedule for performing these exercises? Dedicate a separate day for each (e.g., biceps on Mon, triceps on Tues, chest on Wed, etc)?

  14. Do a vocabulary video. Like progressive overload, concentric overload, stuff like that..^^Since strength training should be focused on safely lifting heavier and adhering to progressive overload you do not want to not have to sacrifice shoulder stability if you can avoid it. When moving to the dumbbell version of the bench press you will often find that your shoulder instability from holding separate dumbbells is going to undercut your overall strength to a much greater degree than what would happen with a dip. Strap a dumbbell up to a dip belt and keep pushing the heavy loads that are already additive to the weight of your own body.^^What is the best schedule for performing these exercises? Dedicate a separate day for each (e.g., biceps on Mon, triceps on Tues, chest on Wed, etc)?.. visit my channel. okay?

  15. Hi Jeff – how could I get a ATHLEAN -X 365 shirt? I would to promote your site even more. I try to spread and share your knowledge to anyone I talk to currently

  16. Any tips for even my pecks? , cus i had back injury on the left side and now my left side is everything stronger from head to toes 😀 , and my right side is a bit weaker than the left one, so my pecks aren't even , so i need some help with exercises and techniques how to get them even? Thank you so much if i'll help me :DD

  17. This channel has changed my life. Years of doing exercise wrong will lead you down a road of injury. Thank you for your research and sharing your information. I’m back on the road to recovery

  18. Yh all this time I haven't been working chest, i hate and love his videos, I always leave like I'm a part timer to working out.

  19. Hey, I know this is an old video, but a question.I'm using dumbbells for my chest for 2 reason. I'm a beginner and for safety as I usually train late hours so I don't have a spotter, so safety. What am I losing when not doing a barbell lift? I'm using now 16KG dumbbels, so adding a 2,5kg to a 20kg bar if I were to almost match the weight. In my head I'm using as a beginner all the muscles required to lift it so most benefit..?

  20. I don't own a set of dumbells but I excerise using my own body weight, resistance bands and jump rope but I'd like to get a set of dumbells. I have no idea what weight I should get as I haven't lifted before, so I don't know what my one rep max is. What would you recommend for someone starting out that weighs 70 kg (154 lbs) and stands at 5 foot 8?

  21. If someone "only has dumbbells" maybe they don't have a dip/chinup bar. Nice to have that 'other option' but it'd sure be nice to make sure every exercise type/category has a 'just dumbbells and floor' option.

  22. Jeff I have shoulder pain but if I force my arms up behind my back that help my pain in my shoulder what do you think is wrong with my shoulder when I do a shoulder lift with my hands out to my sides it heart like hell only on my right shoulder

  23. How would I know if I should focus on strength, power, hypertrophy, metabolic, correctives, or adduction exercises? Can't find anything online and I have no clue myself.
    I'm a fairly skinny teenager (male), with a BMI of about 18.7, if that would help somehow.

  24. This video makes me NOT want to work out. Talk about talking in an over complicated technical jargon. It's ridiculous. Prefer following Franco Columbu who trained stallone for Rambo 2.

  25. Is there any free advice you can give me to lose some chest fat to get a better rounded chest maybe some exercise that focus on the chest please thanks

  26. Thank you for all the efforts that go into these free videos, they are very helpful. But Jeff, usually the dumbbell exercises are useful for people who cannot afford more expensive things and don't want to go to the gym for their own different reasons. So please try not to include things like a sledge, or an inclined bench, because my guess is 70 yo 80% of the audience will not have these things too.

  27. guys, im about 50 pounds overweight. i do job and some light weight lifting. do you guys think this program would work for somebody like me?

  28. I need ask you another question not that they always get answered but when you are on the floor with the dumbbells, what is the safest way to load up into that position with a heavy weight.

    Do you sit on floor load up on your legs then roll back with your legs in the air to get them into position?

  29. A long time ago I invested in a set of quality dumbbells [Gold's Gym brand] as my interest was more in defining my muscles, not in power and bulking up. Anyway, this brand of dumbbell uses a corkscrew style bar long enough to wrap your hands around the part beyond the weight allowing for single weight presses. Obviously it takes more reps but that's 'exactly how you get definition, small weights and increased reps.

  30. Thanks for this. Planet fitness has no bars except for the fixed bar Smith machines, which hurts my shoulders. So I have to use these equipments

  31. will working out doing chest workouts help me lose the fat in my man boobs? ive lost 40 pounds and its amazing but i cannot get rid of my man boobs and its really annoying

  32. I'd love to see a video where Jeff addresses the latest fad of intermittent fasting. I know his plans suggest to eat every 3 hours or so.

  33. Can you do these exercises as one workout or do you have to do them each grouped with other strength excercises or power execrises or metabolic excerices?

  34. Jeff (or anyone else as qualified), what do you think of EMS workouts/suits? They're getting popular and I'm thinking it's a ripe area for rip offs

  35. Good day Jeff! My name is Eugene I'm from Russia!! Please advise ! I
    have such a problem, arthrosis of the right knee!Trained before
    crossfit, powerlifting, Thai Boxing and triathlon! Is there a technique
    to restore or maintain !?

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