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Flat Dumbbell Press

The flat dumbbell bench press -- chest and triceps

The flat dumbbell press is a good exercise for the chest and the triceps.

The advantage over the barbell bench press is that a spotter is not needed.

Start with arms extended

Flat dumbbell bench -- starting position

Flat dumbbell bench -- starting position

To start, take a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the end of the bench. It is helpful to rest the weights on your thighs.

Then as you lie back on the bench you can use your legs as well as your arms to help push the weights up into position.

You start with your arms fully outstretched.

Lower weights to 90 degrees at elbows

Flat dumbbell bench -- second position

Flat dumbbell bench -- second position

Slowly lower the weights until your arms are bent 90 degrees at the elbows. Pause for a moment, and then press back until the arms are fully extended.

Maintain control

You want to do a weight that you can control, so until you have experience use lighter weights.

With some machines the strong arm can dominate and you won't get even development. But with one dumbbell in each hand you get even development in both sides.

Range of motion

You can get more range of motion with this exercise than with a barbell, because the barbell has to stop when it hits your chest. But doing movements beyond the 90 degree point will increase the stress on your joints.

You can also adjust the movement by the way you lower the weights. Keeping the weights closer together as you lower them emphasizes the triceps. Keeping the weights farther apart as you lower them emphasizes the pectoral muscles of the chest.

Where to start:

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