Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press (Low Start) Instructions

The alternating dumbbell bench press is a great exercise for increasing chest, shoulder and triceps size and bringing up weaker sides of the chest.

  1. Set up for the exercise by sitting a pair of dumbbells at the end of a flat bench.
  2. Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in), position the ends of the dumbbells on your thighs, and sit down on the bench.
  3. To get in position you need to rock back pushing the dumbbells back with your thighs and only slightly bending at the elbows. Now you should be in position to start the set, laying back on the bench holding them dumbbells straight up above your chest
  4. Slowly lower both the dumbbells until you're holding them just off your outer chest. This is the starting position for the exercise.
  5. Slowly push the left dumbbell straight up as far as possible without locking your elbow.
  6. Do not pause. Then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for your right arm.
  8. This is one rep. Now repeat for desired reps.
  9. Once you have finished the set, do not drop the dumbbells. Straighten your arms, twist the dumbbells around to the neutral position (palms facing each other), bring your knees up so the ends of the dumbbells are touching your thighs and then use the weight of the dumbbells to rock back to a seated position.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press (Low Start) Tips

  • This exercise is a variation of the dumbbell bench press. You can also so this exercise with a high start.
  • As a general rule you should always work the weakest side of your chest first. For most people this will be the left wide. You can use this exercise to bring up weaker areas of the chest.
  • Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight throughout the set.