12 Chest and Triceps Workout With Dumbbells for Muscle

If you are looking for the dumbbell only chest and triceps workout that you can do at home or at the gym, then you are in the right place.

The duo of chest and triceps dumbbell workout helps to increase your muscle strength and endurance in the upper body.

Chest and triceps muscles have been used in pressing exercises (dumbbell chest press, push-ups for as long as the exercises have been around.

The chest might be the prime movers in most pressing exercises, but the triceps are crucial synergistic, or secondary movers.

In this article, we discuss the best triceps and chest workout that you can do with the help of dumbbells to build muscle mass and strength.

Know More About Chest and Triceps Muscles

The chest muscle is also known as the pectoralis muscle, and mainly divided into the upper and the lower sections.

It’s important to train the chest with a variety of exercises to develop the upper chest and lower chest, the outside and inner pectorals.

Chest ( pectoralis) anatomy

Triceps brachii, or simply Triceps, is a three-headed muscle opposite of the biceps and is responsible for 2/3 of upper arm mass.

It consists of 3 parts: the medial, the lateral head, and the long head.

It begins just below the socket of the shoulder blade and at two distinct areas of the humerus. Furthermore, it’s essential to focus on and work the three tricep head muscles for maximum gains.

Triceps Anatomy

Benefits of doing a triceps and chest workout with dumbbells

  • Dumbbells are a great choice for chest and triceps workouts, as they require more balance than barbells or machines. This can lead to greater muscle fiber recruitment.
  • Dumbbells allow unilateral training (training one limb at a time), increase core stability, and improve muscular imbalances.
  • Using dumbbells for a chest and triceps workout allows for greater joint safety and stabilization, and allows the joints to move naturally within their range of motion.
  • Dumbbells allow you to vary your workouts, which prevents you from getting bored and gives you a greater variety of workout.
  • Chest and tricep dumbbells workout are perfect for the at-home exerciser with the limited space.
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Why You Should Train Chest and Triceps with dumbbells Together in the same workout

During a compound workout, many targeted muscles work together with other synergistic and stabilizer muscles to achieve the desired movement.

Targeting one muscle may not fully engage the other supportive muscles, but they may be used at some point.

Bodybuilders have been combining chest and triceps training into the same workout for decades. There is a logical reason for training those muscle groups together.

Like when you are doing a dumbbell press, the chest is one of the primary target muscles. However, there are many other Synergistic and stabilizer muscles acting in this motion, such as the anterior deltoid, triceps, biceps

12 Best Chest And Triceps Dumbbell Exercises

Below is a list of some of the best dumbbell only chest and triceps exercises that will help you build up a strong and healthy body and muscle.

1. Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell bench press is a great way to add muscle mass to the chest. The shoulders and triceps will be indirectly involved as well.

The Barbell Bench Press has a limitation that it does not involve the full range of motion. This limitation is overcome by the dumbbell bench press.  

It provides an additional range of motion at the top, which helps achieve complete chest development. Furthermore, dumbbells require better coordination, forcing the stabilizing muscles to assist as well.

If you don’t have a bench, you can do the same exercises on the floor at home.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Muscles Worked

Primary: Chest

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, triceps.

How To Do It

  1. Lie down on the bench, keeping your feet on the floor for better balance. Have a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Now, raise it until your arms are nearly locked out, keep dumbbells very close to each other.
  3. Slowly lower the weights to your outer chest, stretching the chest to the maximum at the bottom.
  4. Repeat the desired number of reps.


  • Keep the motion controlled and avoid jerky movements.
  • You should keep your elbow close to your sides.
  • Let your back keep a natural arch so that you have a slight gap between your lower back and the bench.

2. Incline Dumbbell Press

The Incline dumbbell press is an excellent way to develop the middle and upper pectoral muscles.

Similar to the Incline bench press, the Incline dumbbell press works mostly on the upper pecs, but dumbbells allow full range of motion, and therefore in some ways better than the bench press.

Incline Dumbbell Press

Muscles Worked

Primary: Upper pec

Secondary: Lower pec, Anterior delt, triceps.

How To Do It

  1. Lie back on an incline bench. Make sure the bench is adjusted to between 30-45 degrees on an incline.
  2. Clean the dumbbells and lift them straight overhead. Feel a good chest squeeze at the top.
  3. Lower the dumbbells and feel a good chest muscle stretch at the bottom.
  4. Pause, and then press the dumbbells back to the starting position.


  • Exhale while pushing dumbbells up and do it slowly.
  • The bench should be set at an angle of about 30-45 degrees.
  • It is recommended that you not go too far upright, as this will increase the stress on your shoulders rather than your chest.

3. Decline Dumbbell Press

The decline dumbbell bench press is a variation of the decline bench press that uses dumbbells to allow for a greater range of motion during the exercise.

Using dumbbells also requires a great deal of shoulder and triceps stability, and thus it recruits more muscle fibers to stabilize the body than its barbell counterpart.

Decline Dumbbell Press

Muscles Worked

Primary: Lower pec

Secondary: Upper pec. Triceps, anterior delt, and Lats.

How To Do It

  1. Lie on a decline bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hold the dumbbells with your arms fully extended directly above your chest.
  3. Lower the dumbbells slowly to the sides of your chest. keep your elbows close to your body and positioned at a 45-degree angle in the bottom position.
  4. Take a pause, and then bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.


  • Do not allow the elbows to flare out.
  • To ensure the shoulders are in a safe position, keep your shoulder blades pinched together.

4. Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell Pullover is the best exercise to build a strong rib cage and build the serratus anterior muscle to build a complete chest and back.

This exercise is done lying across on a bench with a heavy dumbbell.

Dumbbell Pullovers

How To Do It

  1. Lie across on a bench on your shoulders so that your head is hanging.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands and get it straight over your chest.
  3. Lower the dumbbell as far as possible and then raise it back to the starting position.
  4. Slowly bring yourself back to the starting position.


  • Do not let the dumbbell go too far forward.
  • Do not bend at the elbows.

5. Dumbbell fly

The dumbbell fly utilizes a chest fly movement pattern to isolate the muscles of the chest, help the muscles to grow better and become stronger.

The aim of this exercise is to isolate the chest for aesthetic purposes, making it a popular choice among bodybuilders.

Dumbbell Fly

How To Do It

  1. Lie down on the flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders, with the dumbbells directly over your chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms until your wrists are at shoulder level or slightly above.
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your pec muscles to draw them back together.

6. Dumbbell Squeeze Press

The dumbbell squeeze press is one of the most effective chest pressing exercises you can perform to induce functional hypertrophy in the inner body, particularly the inner pectorals.

During this exercise, the dumbbells are kept in contact with each other at all times, and you’re actively squeezing them inward (against each other) as hard as possible.

Dumbbell Squeeze Press

How To Do It

  1. Take the dumbbells in your hands and lay down on the bench.
  2. Place the dumbbells together side by side and lift them up over your chest.
  3. Lower them down together by touching each other, then push the dumbbells back up.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

7. Dumbbell Kick Back

The tricep dumbbell kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles.

It is an isolation exercise, this means that unlike other exercises such as the push-up or bench press, the tricep kickback specifically targets the triceps

Dumbbell Kick Back

How To Do It

  1. Place your right knee and palm on a flat bench so that your torso is parallel with the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in the left hand and, keeping the left foot flat on the floor, press your left arm tight against your side with the upper arms parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend at the elbow until your arm is straight back and fully extended.
  4. Flex the triceps hard for a second, then return to the starting position.
  5. Complete all reps on the left arm and then repeat on the right arm.


  • Keep your body as still as possible, move only your forearms.  
  • Keep control of the weight as you slowly lower down the dumbbells back to the starting position.

8. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

The dumbbell overhead triceps extension is a single-joint exercise that targets the triceps while also increasing stability throughout the core and shoulder regions.

Using dumbbells instead of an EZ-bar for the overhead extension ensures that each arm is worked separately, which in turn ensures that one stronger side isn’t carrying the weaker one.

It’s also worth doing the exercise with one arm at a time.

One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

How To Do It

  1. Stand shoulder width apart and lift a dumbbell overhead with your right hand.
  2. Hold it straight overhead with an overhand grip (palm facing forward).
  3. Lower the dumbbell behind your head and toward your left shoulder until your elbow forms a 90-degree angle.
  4. Then slowly lift it back to full arm extension. Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.


  • The weight should be moved in a controlled manner.
  • Keep your arms still, and let your forearms drive the movement.

9. Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

The dumbbell lying triceps extension is an excellent move to begin your triceps routine. Triceps extensions are isolation exercises, which means they use just one joint.

Triceps extensions can be beneficial for fixing imbalances in the triceps or rehabilitating from injury. Tricep extensions put no pressure on the wrists, so they are an alternative for people with wrist strain or injury.

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

How To Do It

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and hold it directly above you with a neutral grip.
  3. Making sure that your upper arms and elbows are still, lower the dumbbell behind your head, feeling a stretch in your tricep muscles.
  4. Pause, then squeeze the triceps and raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.


  • Concentrate on keeping your elbows stable.
  • Avoid allowing your elbows to flare out to the side.

10. Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

You can easily do a seated dumbbell tricep extension at home to work the triceps muscles.

Overhead extension exercises are especially effective in targeting the long head of the triceps muscle.

Two Arm Dumbbell Extension

How To Do It

  1. Sit on a flat bench and grab a dumbbell with both hands.
  2. Lift the dumbbell until your arms are fully extended with your palms facing the roof and your elbows pointing forward.
  3. Bend at the elbows, squeeze your triceps, and lower the dumbbell behind your head.


  • Perform the exercise using a slow and controlled movement.
  • Keep the head in a neutral position, avoiding any forward jutting of the neck.

11. Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

The incline dumbbell tricep extension is an isolation exercise that builds muscle and strength in all three tricep heads.

It can be used by people looking to increase their strength or build bigger triceps.

The benefit of doing extension movements is that they allow you to get a deeper stretch in the muscle, which hopefully will activate more muscle fibers.

Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension

How To Do It

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie against an incline bench.
  2. Extend your arms over your shoulders with your palms facing each other.
  3. Then slowly lower the dumbbells behind your head by bending your elbows.
  4. Hold this position for a count of two, then with a controlled motion, raise your arms back up to the starting position.


  • Keep your upper arms fixed, with your elbows close to your head.
  • Do not use excessively heavyweight as this is dangerous for your elbows.

12. Dumbbell Tate Press

The dumbbell Tate press is an advanced tricep exercise that moves the muscle differently, but still targets and builds the tricep muscle.

If you don’t have a bench, you can do this triceps workout at home with dumbbells by lying on the floor.

It will offer a unique range of motion to target the triceps. This will help in building a complete pair of horseshoe triceps.

Dumbbell Tate Press

How To Do It

  1. Start by lying down on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing towards your feet.
  3. Lift the weights to the middle of your chest.
  4. Without moving elbows, slowly raise your arms up and down by contracting your triceps.


  • Using a slow eccentric motion of the exercise can help to improve tension and mind muscle connection.
  • Don’t lock your elbows at the top of the movement.
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Training Volume (Sets And Reps) For Chest And Tricep Muscles

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.


  • 6-8 reps with heavy load
  • 8-15 reps with moderate load
  • 15-20+ with light load

Workout Samples

Workout Plan #1

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. Dumbbell Pullover: 4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  3. Dumbbell Fly: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  4. Kick Back: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  5. Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Single Dumbbell Chest and Tricep Workout Plan #2

  1. One-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  2. Single Dumbbell Fly : 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
  3. Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
  4. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension: 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  5. Dumbbell Kick Back: 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Superset Workout Plan #3:

  1. Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps, superset with,
    • Incline Dumbbell Tricep Extension: 4 sets of 6-8 reps.
  2. Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, superset with,
    • Dumbbell Tate Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  3. Dumbbell Fly: 3 sets of 8-12 reps, superset with,
    • Two Arm Dumbbell Extension: 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Chest and Tricep Training

Is Chest and Tricep A Good Workout?

Yes, you can train chest and tricep together in your workout regime to gain mass. It’s actually preferred by many fitness gurus and bodybuilders to train them together, since you are already working the tricep when doing chest.

Can I build my chest and Tricep with only dumbbells?

Yes, you can build your chest and triceps with dumbbell exercises only.

The dumbbell bench press and the dumbbell squeeze press are great compound exercises for building bigger chests and triceps.

There are many dumbbell only isolation exercises to build chest and tricep at home without bench: dumbbell fly, dumbbell floor pullover, Dumbbell Kick Back and Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Can you build a tricep with dumbbells?

Yes, You can build your triceps with dumbbell only exercises. Dumbbell tricep extension, dumbbell kick back, is a great way to build strength and muscle

Which exercises should I perform to train my chest and triceps?

Weight-lifting exercises like the bench press, push-up, and dip are great for developing chest and triceps strength.


We’ve already introduced you to the best dumbbell chest exercises and the best tricep exercises for building muscle mass.

I strongly encourage you to ensure you perform these exercises correctly, as that will have a massive impact on your progress.

You have also been shown three types of chest and tricep workout routineswith a pair of dumbbells, with a single dumbbell, and as a superset.

Depending on your preference, you can try out one of these and then let us know how it has worked for you.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your Workout



The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge, before choosing to consume any product or perform any exercise.

Dumbbell Chest Workout You Can Do At Home

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