The best dumbbell chest exercises for a woman's chest do not differ much from those for a man, with the exception that women tend to require lighter dumbbells. Dumbbell exercises that target the chest work your pectoral muscles and tight pectoral muscles are like getting a boob lift that didn't cost you thousands of dollars. Always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
For this classic chest exercise, make sure a friend stands behind you so they can take the dumbbells out of your hand at the end of your set or take them away if they get too heavy for you during the workout. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie on a flat weight bench. Your knees bend over the end the weight bench so your feet are flat on the floor. If you're unable to touch the ground, place a raised platform under your feet. This is going to help you keep your balance on the bench because if your body weight is not balanced evenly, it's possible to fall on the floor.
Hold the dumbbells so your palms are facing away from you and extend your arms toward the ceiling while keeping the dumbbells aligned with your shoulders. Hold this position for 2 seconds and then slowly lower the dumbbells until the back of your hands are about 3 inches above your armpit and your upper arms are aligned with your shoulders. Perform one set of 12 repetitions. You can make this workout less intense by using an inclined weight bench instead of a flat bench.
Flyes tends to be more difficult than the bench press, so you may need lighter dumbbells for this move. Lie in the same position as the bench press and extend your elbows so the dumbbells move toward the ceiling with your palms facing each other. The dumbbells should nearly touch one another directly above your chest. Keep your arms extended with your elbows slightly bent as you open your arms as if preparing to hug the ceiling. Continue to open your arms until your palms are facing upwards and your arms are even with your shoulders as they extend to the sides of your body. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Complete the "hugging" motion by keeping your arms extended and your elbows slightly bent until the dumbbells meet above your chest. Perform one set of 12 repetitions.
Around the Worlds
For around the worlds, use a flat weight bench and the same dumbbell weight that you used for chest flyes since the motion is more difficult than bench presses. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and lower the dumbbells toward your hips with your palms facing upward. Your arms remain extended on the sides of your body with slightly bent elbows during the entire workout. Do not lift the weights over your body. Use slow and controlled motions to simultaneously move the dumbbells away from your body creating a half-circle motion until the dumbbells meet over your head. Slowly reverse the half-circle motion until the the dumbbells return to your hips. Perform one set of 12 repetitions.
Dumbbells may weigh anywhere from a pound to 150 pounds and it's important to pick the right weight so you're effectively toning your chest muscles. A weight that's too heavy can strain or tear your muscles while a weight that's too light won't do much in the way of getting your desired results. As a general rule, choose a weight that's heavy enough to fatigue your muscle by the 12th repetition. If the weight is heavy enough, expect to struggle to finish on your last repetition. Before performing dumbbell chest exercises, get your blood flowing with a light jog or brisk walk for five to 10 minutes. Warming up will help prevent muscle injury.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.