Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredExercise Ball
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press on Exercise Ball Overview

The alternating dumbbell bench press on an exercise ball is an exercise used to target the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

The core will be greatly challenged while performing the alternating dumbbell bench press on an exercise ball due to the need to stabilize the body not only on the exercise ball, but also as you alternate which side of the body you press the weight from.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press on Exercise Ball Instructions

  1. Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in). Position the ends of the dumbbells in your hip crease, and sit down on a physioball.
  2. To get into position, roll down the physioball while keeping the dumbbells close to your chest. Once your upper back is in position on the physioball, take a deep breath, and press the dumbbells to lockout at the top.
  3. Slowly lower one dumbbell under control as far as comfortably possible (the upper arm should be close to parallel with the floor).
  4. Contract the chest and push the dumbbell back up to the starting position.
  5. Lower the other dumbbell and repeat the process from above.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

**Dropping the dumbbells to the side is discouraged unless you are experienced with the technique or using excessively heavy weights.
**Ideally you should twist the dumbbells back to neutral (palms facing each other), bring your knees up so the ends of the dumbbells are touching your thighs, then use the weight of the dumbbells to roll back to an upright, seated position.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press on Exercise Ball Tips

  1. Maintain more tension through the pecs by not locking out the elbows entirely.
  2. Keep the weights slightly tilted at a 45 degree angle to keep the elbows in a neutral position.
  3. Don’t allow the dumbbells to collide at the top of each rep - bouncing them together may cause you to lose stability within the shoulder and injure yourself.
  4. Squeeze the dumbbells as tight as possible to improve a phenomenon known as “irradiation” which promotes greater shoulder stability.
  5. Keep your shoulder blades pinched together to ensure the shoulders remain in a safe position.
  6. Imagine you’re trying to push yourself away from the weights rather than pushing the weights away from yourself.
  7. If you’re feeling pain within the shoulder joint itself (specifically at the front), ensure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and try to keep the shoulder girdle “packed”.
  8. Ensure you maintain some tension in your abs and don’t allow your lower back to excessive arch.
  9. Keep your feet flat on the floor and don’t allow the lower body to move during the set.