This is Brent, President of B2C Fitness,
and we're talking about one of my
favorite strength training exercises for the chest, one of our favorite pushing
motions, the dumbbell bench press. I'm going to have my friend Joe come out,
help me demonstrate this exercise. First things first, when we grab these
dumbbells, notice Joe gets into a nice deadlift form, nice straight back, lifts using his
glute complex, and then sits down with the dumbbells on his lap. He's not twisting, he's not
grabbing one at a time, he's not trying to lift them onto his lap from a seated
position which is going to put more strain on your lower back. He's then
going to roll back and get into his dumbbell press position. I'm going to
make sure he stabilizes his core first, that's going to include drawing-in, and
then I want you to press your heels through the floor, engaging your glute
complex. Good. Let's go ahead and see what a dumbbell press looks like just right
off the bat here. So go ahead and push up. I don't want to over queue, all we want to
get people doing is a push to start. Now we can go for a couple variations from
here. If Joe had upper body dysfunction leading to an extensibility issue in his
shoulder complex, we could start with a sagittal plane press. Now, what a sagittal
plane press is going to look like is Joe's going to drop down this way,
toward the bottom of his rib cage, and then push straight back out like he's
pushing open a door.
So, what that does, is it maintains the space between his acromion shelf and
the top of his humeral head, so that we don't contribute to an impingement
syndrome. If I know that he has optimal extensibility though, we can go back and
go ahead and do a transverse plane press. This is a more traditional way of doing a
dumbbell bench press. It also incorporates a lot more of the chest
musculature. Of course this is fairly easy for Joe, so we're going to make it a
little bit more challenging for you. So the first thing we're going
to try is the alternating dumbbell press. Now, the trick of the alternating dumbbell
press, this is a challenge for Joe, is to not shift. You want to try
to keep this dumbbell directly over your shoulder, or whatever arm is straight
directly over your shoulder, and you want to try to not shift at the pelvis. Keep
going. A little tougher? -A little bit. Good. You also want to try not to collapse at the
arm, I'll show you a different angle for that. Let's try another progression.
Now, I'm going to take one dumbbell away. Now, of course, at this point Joe loses
his counter balance, which means now he's going to have to press his heels into the
floor even harder, keep that glute complex engaged and really draw-in to
keep this dumbbell from flipping him off sideways from the bench. How does that
feel? -Good. Think 12 of those on each side will be a little difficult? -15
15, awesome! Of course you can go ahead and switch arms after he does his 15 reps.
I want to show you just one last angle so we talk about proper
form completely with this dumbbell press. Let me have you stand up really quickly.
I'm going to turn the bench this way.
Let's go ahead and have you sit back down, we're going to do a dumbbell press
one more time.
Alright Joe, go ahead and show me a press. Let's do our nice transverse
plane press with that wide grip we were talking about before. Now, one thing I
want you to notice in his dumbbell press form, is he maintains his forearms
perpendicular to the floor, so they're straight up and
down throughout the entire range of this movement.
Now, that should persist throughout our progressions as well. So, let's try
alternating. This arm stays up nice and straight, perpendicular to the floor, and
hopefully the arm that's going down, the forearm stays perpendicular to the floor so
he's not collapsing in. And even when I take him to a single dumbbell, now you can see
he's collapsing just a little bit. He's going to have to work to maintain
perpendicular, maintaining to keep the stress off his elbow joint. You
should also note that one hip isn't raising up. He's staying nice and drawn-
in, his shoulder complex is staying nice and stable. So those are our form
queues as well as some progressions for our dumbbell bench press. Thanks again to