When it comes to developing your chest, the most widely used exercise is the bench press. However, if you are doing the dumbbell version, you need to pay attention to a few details. Check out these 5 mistakes slowing down chest gains.
The bench press is largely accepted by the bodybuilding community as the best exercise for chest development. You can perform it with a barbell (the most common), dumbbells or even kettlebells.
There is no consensus on whether you should choose one over the other. However, utilising the dumbbells is a good way to prevent you from cheating and sticking to strictly growing your pecs.
Nevertheless, know that one can still errors when performing this exercise. Jeremy Ethier shared his thoughts on mistakes slowing down chest gains when doing the dumbbell variation of the bench press.
Jeremy Ethier is a kinesiologist and fitness trainer, co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research.
Mistakes Slowing Down Chest Gains
We know that the bench press can hit a variety of muscles, but most people do it to target specifically the chest. “If you don’t do it correctly, rather than working your chest, you’ll end up working other muscles like the front of your shoulders and your triceps,” Ethier explains.
1. Arm Path
If have your arms bent to a 90-degree angle compared to your trunk and simply press up and down the weight, know that it is not optimal and can injure your shoulder. Aim for a 45-degree to align the movement with your chest muscles.
2. Bending Arms Inwards
By bending the forearms inwards when lowering the weights, you are shortening the movement and taking the load off your chest and putting it on your triceps.
3. Protracting Shoulders At Top
Open up your chest before you do the dumbbell chest so that you will activate it for the bench press. You can do it with a foam roller and perform over and backs and band pull aparts with a band.
When performing the dumbbell bench press, pinch your shoulder blades together on the downward part of the movement.
Best Bench Press Alternatives for a Bigger Stronger Chest
4. Bringing Arms In Too Far
Some people like to touch the dumbbells at the top of the movement, but that does not stimulate more chest development and is a waste of energy.
5. Bench Angle
For better chest development, you should incorporate not only the flat bench press but also the inclined version to hit your upper pecs. However, when you do it, choose an angle of the bench of 15-30 degrees.
Anything higher than that will make your delts take over the movement.
A slight decline will also help you hit better your lower chest, although it is not necessary. You can simply put a weight plate under the bench to create a small decline and do your sets.
If you want to know more about Ethier’s explanation of the mistakes slowing down chest gains, check out the video below.
VIDEO – Mistakes Slowing Down Chest Gains
Read More: 5 Bench Press Chest Workouts to Build Strength and Muscular Endurance
- Bench press: Alesia Kozik / Pexels
- Bench press movement: RODNAE Productions / Pexels
- Dumbbell bench press: RP Strength