Updated: August 26, 2011

The move

Dumbbell chest press

The payoff

The dumbbell chest press firms and strengthens your chest, shoulders and the backs of your arms. It's an even more functional chest exercise than the barbell bench press, since working your arms independently uses more of your smaller stabilizing muscles.

How to do it right

Slowly bend your elbows, lowering the weights toward the sides of your chest. Stop when your arms form a 90-degree angle, upper arms in line with shoulders. Slowly press the dumbbells back up.

Set, reps & weight

Beginners should do this exercise twice a week with a weight that causes fatigue within 8-10 reps. Do 1 set the first week, 2 sets the second week and 3 sets after that, gradually increasing the weight to increase strength. Recommended weight range: 5-20 pounds.

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