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4 Powerful Moves For a Chiseled Chest and Arms

By Rachel Grice June 30th, 2020 | Image Source: Live Strong

Let’s face it: Push-ups get boring after a while. And even though they’re the best body-weight exercise you can do for your chest and arms, if you have a pair of dumbbells handy, you can take your upper-body workouts to the next level.

“Dumbbell chest exercises will be much more beneficial, because when working with dumbbells, we are able to recruit more muscle fibers, leading to a greater activation of muscle groups,” says Mathew Forzaglia, certified personal trainer and founder of Forzag Fitness on the NEOU App.

The weights allow you to isolate your chest muscles (called your pectorals), as well as your biceps and triceps, more than you would with push-ups, leading to more targeted muscle and strength gains. And since you can choose a weight based on your fitness level, it’s easier to progress without having to add endless reps.

The exercises below — two for your chest, two for your arms and one bonus for your abs — are from Forzaglia, our 30-Day Dumbbell Challenge host. You’ll do this workout every time our 30-day calendar says “Chest and Arms.” Remember, every six days, the rep scheme changes so that you’re doing the following:

  • Round 1: 2 sets of 10 as a circuit, doing one exercise after another
  • Round 2: 2 sets of 12 as a circuit
  • Round 3: 2 sets of 15 as a circuit
  • Round 4: 3 sets of 10, doing all sets of an exercise back-to-back with 30 seconds rest between sets
  • Round 5: 3 sets of 12 back-to-back

Join the LIVESTRONG.com 30-Day Dumbbell Challenge!

Move 1: Dumbbell Chest Press

TYPE
Strength
ACTIVITY
Dumbbell Workout
BODY PART
Chest

  • Lie on the floor (or on a bench if you have one) on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand about shoulder-width apart at chest height. Your arms should be bent at 90-degree angles with your elbows on the floor (or your upper arms parallel to the floor if you’re on a bench).
  • Engage your abs so that your ribs don’t flare apart and your lower back stays on the floor.
  • With palms facing away from your face, press the dumbbells up and over your chest until your arms are straight. The ends of your dumbbells should lightly touch.
  • Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells to the starting position at the sides of your chest. If you’re on the floor, try not to let your triceps touch the ground.

Move 2: Dumbbell Chest Fly

TYPE
Strength
ACTIVITY
Dumbbell Workout
BODY PART
Chest

  • Lie on the floor (or on an exercise bench) on your back, holding a dumbbell in each hand directly over your chest with your palms facing each other and the dumbbells lightly touching.
  • Engage your abs so that your ribs don’t flare apart and your lower back stays on the floor.
  • With your elbows slightly bent, lower your weights down and out to the sides of your chest.
  • Your arms will form a wide U shape.
  • Contract your chest muscles to return the dumbbells to starting position over your chest.

Move 3: Dumbbell Curl to Press

TYPE
Strength
ACTIVITY
Dumbbell Workout
BODY PART
Arms

  • Start kneeling (or standing or sitting) with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other and in front of your thighs.
  • Contract your biceps to bring the weights up to your chest, keeping your elbows locked to your sides.
  • Flip your wrists so that your palms face outward and the weights are at shoulder height.
  • Press the weights up over your head, avoiding shrugging your shoulders up toward your ears.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down to your shoulders with control.
  • Flip your wrists back around, then lower the weights to the fronts of your thighs.

Move 4: Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

TYPE
Strength
ACTIVITY
Dumbbell Workout
BODY PART
Arms

  • Start standing with your feet together and a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Hinge your hips back and bend your upper body at a 45-degree angle to the floor, maintaining a straight back. Pull your elbows up to your sides, weights hanging down toward the floor. This is the starting position.
  • With your elbows locked to your sides, extend your arms straight back with control and squeeze your triceps at the top.
  • Slowly bend your elbows to lower your weights back toward your chest.

Bonus: Dumbbell Woodchop

TYPE
Strength
ACTIVITY
Dumbbell Workout
BODY PART
Abs

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a heavy dumbbell with one end in each hand.
  • Bend your knees slightly and hinge your hips back into a semi-squat as you lower the weight toward your right shin.
  • As you stand back up, use your core to swing the weight up over your head and to the left side.
  • Return to the semi-squat position with the weight to your right side.
  • Do all your reps on one side before repeating on the other.

Author: Rachel Grice

Source: Live Strong: The 30-Day Dumbbell Challenge: Your 4-Move Workout for a Chiseled Chest and Arms

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