Obesity is a dangerous and growing epidemic. The Mayo Clinic notes that being obese means you are especially likely to suffer from health problems. Fortunately, obesity is not something you have to live with -- modest life-style changes can make a big difference in your overall well-being. Working with dumbbells to strengthen your chest muscles is a great way to begin to improve your health and change your life. Complete two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise on three nonconsecutive days per week. Always consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise routine.
The chest press exercise targets the bulk of your chest muscles. Lie face up on an exercise bench or on the floor and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Begin with your arms extended directly over your chest. Inhale and slowly lower the weights toward your chest by bending your elbows. Exhale and extend your arms to press the dumbbells back up to the starting position.
While this exercise is primarily for the shoulders, it also works the upper fibers of your chest muscles. Sit or stand with your stomach pulled in and your back straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with your elbows bent. Exhale and extend your arms to press the weights overhead. Slowly lower back to the starting position as you inhale.
This chest exercise should only be performed with light dumbbells to prevent injuring or tearing muscles. Lie face up on an exercise bench or on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended directly above your chest. Inhale and slowly lower the weights out to your sides until your arms reach horizontal. Raise your arms back to vertical while exhaling. Squeeze your chest muscles at the top of the movement.
This exercise strengthens and stretches your chest muscles with the help of a dumbbell. Lie face up on an exercise bench with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell with both hands by wrapping your thumbs around the handle. Begin with your arms extended above your chest. Inhale and lower the dumbbell behind your head by slightly bending your elbows. Exhale and pull the dumbbell back up to the starting position.
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.