Kettlebells are great and barbells are helpful, but in the training world dumbbells reign supreme.
There's simply no other weightlifting tool as effective as good old dumbbells. Plus, they're readily available in every gym and you can use them to hit any part of the body. (See Ask the Experts: What's the Difference Between a Kettlebell and a Dumbbell?)
Dumbbells are most beneficial for developing chest strength. This is because of their range of motion, which forces stability within the shoulder capsules. (See Patrick Willis's Bicep Workout.)
The following are three of my favorite dumbbell chest exercises. Use them to impress the guys in the gym next session, or train your way to making harder hits on the field next season.
Dumbbell Bear Crawl
Simple. Effective. Looks badass.
- Start in push-up position with a heavy dumbbell in each hand
- Keeping your body in perfect plank position, walk forward with your arms
- Keep your legs straight and shuffle your feet
- Do not allow your body to wobble; keep your arms straight and shoulders pulled back
One-Arm Dumbbell Press with Isometric Hold
Core Stability. Isometric Hold. Unilateral Pressing.
- Hold dumbbell in right hand at shoulder level with arm to the side
- In your left hand, hold dumbbell in a static position at your side with your elbow bent at a right angle
- Press dumbbell by extending arm up and over chest
- Lower dumbbell in a controlled manner to start position
- Switch and perform set with opposite hand
Floor Bridge Dumbbell Press
Hit the Gluteus. Hit the Chest.
- Lie flat on the floor in bridge position holding dumbbells in both hands at shoulder level
- Press dumbbells by extending your arms up and over your chest
- Lower dumbbells in a controlled manner to start position
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