Best Dumbbell Chest Workouts for All Levels

Best Dumbbell Chest Workouts for All Levels

How long have you been doing that classic beachball pose in the mirror only to see little to no change despite your weekly chest workouts?

Whether you want to pack on muscle mass or firm up your chest, if you’re not using the right exercises, you won’t see much of a difference.

Dumbbells are one of the best pieces of fitness equipment out there to target your chest. They take care of strength imbalances and they target each of the three sections of your chest to ensure progress and results.

Let’s take a closer look at your chest muscles. We’ll also reveal the best dumbbell exercises for the chest and provide you with three killer dumbbell chest workouts based on your fitness level.


Any time you flex your chest in the mirror, it’s easy to think that you are looking at one solid muscle. In reality, you are looking at three distinct muscle groups that all make up what you know to be the chest muscle:

Pectoralis Major

This fan-shaped muscle is responsible for the bulk of what is thought of when people say they want a bigger chest.

The pectoralis major is responsible for rotating and flexing the upper limbs toward the midline of the body. It also helps to move the scapula back and down. 

Pectoralis Minor

The pectoralis minor is found underneath the pectoralis major. While smaller, it’s equally as important as it assists in stabilizing the scapula. 

Serratus Anterior

Finally, we have the serratus anterior. It doesn’t get the spotlight like the pecs do but the function of the serratus anterior is to ensure you can raise your arm overhead by rotating the scapula. Pretty important job if you ask us. 


Unfortunately, one dumbbell exercise won’t activate each part of your chest. This is why it’s important to use a variety of exercises and angles to target each section of your chest.

To make this easier for you, we’re going to break down the chest into three sections: upper, middle, and lower. Each exercise we recommend will activate one of the three sections, ensuring a balanced chest workout.

We’ll also throw in a back exercise to pair with your chest exercises. For each muscle group-focused workout, you want to include one opposing muscle group exercise. This helps to strengthen the antagonist muscle groups, which will support your progress.

Upper Chest Exercises

Middle Chest Exercises

Lower Chest Exercises


Below, you’ll find three different chest workouts. Although the workouts are dumbbell-focused, we’ve also included some bodyweight exercises. This is to ensure you fully fatigue the muscle, tapping into prime levels of hypertrophy while burning more calories.

If you’re not sure of your experience level with chest workouts, start with the beginner workout. Once it becomes too easy for you, move on to the intermediate level, and so on.


Complete the following sets and repetitions for each exercise. Once you finish, perform a final set of push-ups to failure. If you’re not able to perform traditional push-ups, do so from the knees.


For the intermediate level workout, we are going to use a technique called supersetting. This is where you pair two exercises together and perform one after another with no break in between.

Below, you’ll find two super sets, separated by “A” and “B”. Once you perform both exercises in “A”, you can give yourself a 60 to 90-second break, then repeat the exercise.

Super Set A

Super Set B


Finally, we have our advanced dumbbell chest workout. This one is no joke so make sure that you are comfortable with the previous workout before moving to this one.

Not only are we pairing exercises in a supersetting format but at the end of the workout, we are going for complete muscle failure. Get ready.

Same rules apply as above. Perform “A” exercises back to back with no rest in between.

Once you complete the exercises above, you are going to spend your last five minutes of the workout going through a burnout phase. This is going to be tough but if you stick with it and push through the burn, you’ll see insane results.

The idea here is to continue working for a solid five minutes with no rest. We suggest having a timer on your phone or watch so you can watch your time.

You’ll move through each section of the chest muscle again, but you won’t be using weights here – only bodyweight exercises for the chest.

You can move slowly but do not cheat yourself and take breaks. In order for this to work, you need to push through all five minutes. Yes, it’s going to burn and yes, you’ll be sore, but the results will be incredible.

If at any time, you feel like the push-ups are too much, you can regress to an easier version. For example, if you’re performing the decline push-up but you’re burning out, move to a flat or incline push-up. If you can’t do either, use a kneeling push-up stance.


Who doesn’t want a bigger or firmer chest? Pairing the proper dumbbell chest workout with a healthy diet and supplement routine, you’ll see serious changes in minimum time.