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How to do an Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press

The alternating dumbbell chest press is a great exercise if you're interested in increasing strength and muscle tone in your chest and triceps. While it is difficult enough on its own, if you begin to plateau you may want to increase the intensity. Do this by adding a stability ball to your workout. This small change can make a major impact.

About the Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press

Before actually performing the alternating dumbbell chest press, it is important to know a little about what muscle groups are worked by this exercise. As the name suggests, the alternating dumbbell chest press targets the chest muscles, but also strengthens and tones the triceps muscles. It can strengthen the clavicle, otherwise known as the collarbone, making it a great exercise for people who have recently dislocated or otherwise injured this area.

Positioning Your Body

Position your body in the right manner before performing the alternating dumbbell chest press in order to achieve optimal results. Before starting, find a flat weight bench. Lay down with your back flat on the bench. Your head, neck, shoulders, torso and buttocks should be resting comfortably, with your legs off the front of the bench. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Hold one dumbbell in each hand. For now, your elbows should be bent with the dumbbells resting near your shoulders. Make sure your wrists are rotated so that the palms are facing towards your feet.

Performing the Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press

Take a few deep breaths, and as you exhale lift both dumbbells so that they are together and directly over your chest. Slowly lower your right arm so that the elbow is completely bent and the dumbbell is resting near your chest, back at the starting position. As you exhale, lift the dumbbell back up to the sky. Now, perform the exercise again, but this time use your left arm. Do two sets of 10 on each arm before taking a short break. Do another two sets of 10 repetitions in order to achieve optimal results.

Increasing the Intensity

While the alternating dumbbell chest press can be challenging enough on its own, you may begin to feel that the exercise is too easy for you. At this point, it is important to increase the intensity. One easy way to intensify the alternating dumbbell chest press is by swapping the weight bench for a stability ball. This will force the muscles in your core to work harder, thereby adding an extra element to your workout. Be sure to ask a friend or fellow gym member to spot you during this exercise during the first few tries, in order to prevent slips off the ball and potential injury.

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