Training any muscle of the body with dumbbells can be beneficial for achieving hypertrophy earlier and putting an increased impact on the specific muscle group.

The upper chest can be the hardest muscle to grow, if you are not using an effective approach for training your upper chest then it could be impossible to grow this portion of the chest.

The key point in building the upper chest is by hitting it with an increased range of motion.

If your chest workout consists of bench presses or only chest machines at the gym then unfortunately you are not breaking the chest fibers due to limited range of motion.

The fibers of your upper chest are attached to the clavicle, which makes it difficult to engage them.


Shirtless Muscular Men

To build your upper chest you need to increase the intensity of your workout. It can be easily done by using dumbbells.

There are various methods for intensifying your workouts such as doing drop-sets, forced reps, or the pause and go method.

If you try to intensify your workout while using a barbell you would definitely need a spotter.

But with dumbbells, you can easily increase workout intensity on your own. For instance, if you want to do drop sets on a bench press then you need a partner to drop weight from the barbell.

On the contrary, if you wish to drop sets with dumbbells you can easily do it by picking up lighter dumbbells.


Deal With Muscle Imbalance

When you are lifting a barbell in an incline bench chest press, you are more likely to take support from your strong side; this is known as strength imbalance.

And, this will eventually cause muscle imbalance if you don’t focus on utilizing the same strength from both arms.

When you are doing a chest workout with dumbbells, it’s impossible to take compensating movement from your strong side. This reduces the risk of muscle imbalance.

To maintain the balance of dumbbells as you lift them, your pecs have to work hard. This would cause them to reach hypertrophy earlier.


When you are shirtless, your chest would be the first impression of your overall physique when someone sees you.

In bodybuilding, the shape of your chest has an important impact. And, your chest is defined by how that pair of pecs look from top to bottom.

If you don’t have a defined upper chest then you are not only sabotaging the aesthetics of your chest but also your shoulders and arms.

You might have shredded shoulders and big arms but they are most visible from the side. If you want to look cool from the front then you must have a strong upper chest.

All the professional bodybuilders start their chest workout by hitting the upper chest exercises in the beginning.

The reason behind this is that you have more strength and stamina at the start of a workout. So, you can imagine the importance of the upper chest if professionals are making it a priority.


  • When lifting the dumbbells, make sure to keep your wrists steady. If your hands are shaking while lifting, then you might be using extra weight.

  • You are not training to prove your strength to anyone, focus on maintaining a mind-muscle connection and lift the weight using the strength of your chest instead of arms.

  • Engage the muscle of your core, lower back, and legs while lifting the dumbbells. It makes sure that you effectively maintain the balance while lifting.

  • While pressing the dumbbells, exhale with your mouth, and while lowering them inhale with your nose.

  • If someone is spotting you while lifting dumbbells, make sure that they spot at the wrists and not at the elbow.

  • Because if you lose control of the dumbbell and are being spotted at the elbow, the dumbbells would fall straight on your face.

  • Grab the dumbbells firmly, you should think as if you are trying to break the dumbbell rod by squeezing it.


Training the upper chest with dumbbells could be a challenge if you don’t know the proper upper chest dumbbell exercises to effectively target those muscles.

When you think of hitting the upper chest, incline bench chest presses or low to high cable cross may come to your mind.

But here we will be discussing the upper chest exercises only using dumbbells for your chest day this week.


Upright Dumbbell Raise

This exercise is a great substitute for low to high cable-cross by using dumbbells.

If you are having a hard time growing the inner muscles in the upper chest that defines your chest line, then you should try this exercise at the beginning of your workout.

How to Do It

  •  Stand shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand.

  • Lift the dumbbell in your right hand and bring it in front of your chest.

  • Squeeze the chest when you reach the top position.

  • Lower your hand slowly and bring it back to the starting position.

  • Repeat this movement with your left hand.


  • Hold the dumbbell after reaching the top position for a few seconds.

  • Work on your negatives, lower the dumbbell slowly while maintaining tension in your chest.

  • Perform this exercise with lightweight

Sets: 4 (for each side)

Reps: 15RM-12RM-10RM-10RM (Increase weight on each set)


Squeeze Press

This is one of the best upper chest exercises. It is extremely efficient for developing functional strength and hypertrophy in the upper and middle chest regions.

This exercise is similar to a chest dumbbell press, the only difference is that the dumbbells are held close together in this exercise.

How to Do It

  •  Set up the bench to an angle of a 45-degree incline.

  • Lie with your back on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand.

  • Hold the dumbbells together against your chest and lift them.

  • Now, slowly lower them to starting position

  • While lowering, the tip of the dumbbell should be just above your clavicular head.

  • They should be squeezed together throughout the duration of the set.


  • Try to lift heavier in this exercise.

  • Imagine as if you are doing a chest barbell bench press but with dumbbells.

Sets: 4

Reps: 12RM-12RM-10RM-10RM (Increase weight on each set)


Incline Dumbbell Fly

The Incline dumbbell fly is a chest isolation exercise based on the principle of adduction.

It effectively hits your major pectoralis and in addition to this, it breaks fibers in all the regions of your chest.

It helps to open your chest muscles which help in reducing back pain, develop your range of motion and help to deal with tightness in the upper body.

How to Do It

  •  Set the bench to an angle of 45-degrees incline position.

  • Sit on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand, position them at your shoulders.

  • Raise the dumbbells above your chest with elbows slightly bent and palms facing each other

  • Bring the dumbbells downwards while maintaining an arch in your arms.

  • Lower them to a point until you feel a stretch in your chest.

  • Lift and bring the weights back to the starting position.


  • Don’t try to lift heavy because your shoulder won’t be helping you in lifting during flyes.

  • To maintain the arc in your arms, imagine that you are trying to hug.

  • Don’t touch the dumbbells at the top, there should be a slight gap in between them.


Incline Dumbbell Pullover

Pullovers are the best way of finishing a chest workout. The dumbbell pullover may be a forgotten exercise for upper chest development.

A lot of people focus on flat dumbbell pullovers, they are effective for the middle chest but to target the upper pecs, you need to uplift your bench.

Incline dumbbell pullovers can give your chest a stone-slab-like appearance. This exercise works on the principle of upper arm extension.

How to Do It

  • Set up the bench at an angle of a 45-degrees incline.

  • Grab a dumbbell with both hands. Your palms should be facing upwards.

  • Now, bring the dumbbell towards the back of your head by extending your arms.

  • Lower the dumbbell until you feel a stretch in your chest.

  • Lift it back to starting position

Sets: 4

Reps: 12RM-12RM-10RM-10RM (Increase weight on each set


  • Don’t lower the dumbbell too much, it can result in a muscle tear.

  • Have a spotter if you are using a heavy dumbbell for this exercise.


If you want to add some more exercises to your upper chest dumbbell workout or spice up your next workout by adding some variations, then have a look below.


Incline Dumbbell Press

How to Do It

  •  Set the bench to an angle of 45 degrees incline position

  • Sit on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand, position them at your shoulders.

  • Rest your neck against the bench and elbows bent down below your ribs.

  • Press the dumbbells straight up over your chest

  • Squeeze your upper chest when you press upwards.

  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.


  •  Engage your core as you lift.

  • Exhale while pressing and inhale while lowering

  • If the weight is heavy, lift it by putting it on your thigh and then pushing your legs upwards as you lean back.

  • Don’t lock your elbow after reaching the top position.


Kneeling High Fly Using Dumbbells

This exercise is a variation of upright dumbbell raises. If you wish to intensify the workload on your pecs then this exercise is very beneficial.

Because, while you are kneeling you can’t make compensating movements with your lower body to lift the dumbbell.

How to Do It

  •  Sit with your knees or stand on the mat, with a dumbbell in your hand.

  • Lift the dumbbell in your right hand and bring it in front of your chest.

  • Squeeze the chest when you reach the top position.

  • Lower your hand slowly and bring it back to the starting position.

  • Repeat this movement with your left hand.


  •  Don’t perform this exercise while sitting on the floor, always use a mat.

  • When you reach the top position, hold the dumbbell for a few seconds.

  • Use lightweight for performing this exercise.