Dumbbell Squeeze Press: Build a Strong Chest with Ease

Do you want to be stronger? I’ve got good news to share with you: The dumbbell squeeze press is what you looking for. It’s not as important to have more variation and “muscle chaos” as you may imagine seeing results. Keep it simple. Follow a certain pattern of progressive overload. Perform your work consistently, and you’ll see that good results will be achieved.

Many coaches and trainers believe that compound exercises and just compound movements must be used 100% all the time, without exceptions.

For example, since they’ve been told repeatedly to concentrate more on their back lifters, they may become dependent on the posterior chains that they can’t use their quadriceps. This means they cannot use their quadriceps enough to aid in movements such as deadlifts and squats. They also frequently suffer from chronic knee pain.

I’ve been incorporating more accessory exercises like leg extensions and leg presses into the training programs of certain of my athletes and clients. This is something that my 10-year-old self would have kicked my self-image today for. But, surprisingly, the same clients and athletes have seen improvements in their direct lifts, and their knees have improved.

It’s likely to work with the other major lifts too.

The Dumbbell Squeeze Press: Working Muscles

The Dumbbell Squeeze Press Working Muscles

The Primary Muscle Group

The dumbbell squeeze press primarily targets the pectoralis major muscle, which is the biggest muscle in your chest. The pec muscles comprise two heads, the clavicular head, and the sternocostal head. The clavicular makes up the chest’s upper part, and the sternocostal makes the lower and mid-chest.

Since you’re lying flat, the dumbbell squeeze press can do a fantastic job working both heads of muscles. This makes it an ideal exercise to perform at the start of your training.

The deltoids are also activated during the dumbbell squeeze press, specifically that of the anterior deltoid. The deltoids comprise three heads. Namely, they have the anterior (front) (front), the lateral (side), and the posterior (rear) heads.

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When you do the dumbbell squeeze press, the triceps muscles are working hard. The triceps muscles contract to stretch your arms upwards when you press up.

The Secondary Muscle Group

The dumbbell squeeze press is also a great way to work the abs and upper back muscles. Your abdominals and upper back should always be activated to stabilize the body throughout the exercise movement.

The Dumbell Squeeze Press: Benefits

The Dumbell Squeeze Press Benefits

Size And Strength Gains

You may be surprised to learn that there’s much more involved in chest workouts than the barbell chest press. To improve your strength and size, you’ll need to expand your workout routine.

The dumbbell squeeze press will work your muscles from different directions and provide you with more powerful and better-defined chest muscles in a short time.

You should aim to increase the number of seats but fewer reps to build strength. To achieve hypertrophy or size increases, do smaller sets but a larger amount of repetitions.

If you want to build strength and size strength, including both rep patterns in your workout routine would be best.

Accent On The Whole Chest

Due to how this exercise is done this way, you will get the greatest value for your money. When you do the dumbbell squeeze press, all the muscles in your upper and chest are engaged, which means you can increase additional weight and progress in a minimal amount of time.

Trains Your Triceps

Because the dumbbell squeeze press is similar to a close-grip press, your upper triceps muscles are getting more attention than barbell bench press. The triceps will become stronger and enhance the lockout for bench presses and overall strength when you use any other variation on the bench like the barbell bench press.

The Dumbbell Squeeze Press: Instructions


For the dumbbell squeeze press, you’ll need an assortment of dumbbells and an exercise bench.


  • Set it up the same way as you would with an ordinary dumbbell press.
  • Lift the dumbbells off the ground, with your palms facing each other.
  • Place the weights on your thighs. Then make use of your legs to lift the dumbbells to the side and lay back down on the bench. The dumbbells must be placed near your body. Put the dumbbells with flat sides together. Breathe deeply.


  1. Make sure you squeeze the dumbbells in a tight, even way. Imagine that you have a piece of sheet of paper that can’t release.
  2. Pull your shoulders back to create an arch on your spine. Then breathe in while you push the dumbbells up. Make sure to keep your elbows inside.
  3. Then slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest.
  4. Keep your chest tight and repeat the motion.
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Start by choosing a lightweight. Make sure you complete three to four sets with 10-12 reps with the weight you are using. Once you are comfortable with the correct form, experiment with lower reps intervals and heavier weights to push your muscles further.

The Dumbbell Squeeze Press: Mistakes

The Dumbbell Squeeze Press Mistakes

#1 Spraying All Over The Elbows

After lying in the chair, many athletes tend to flare their elbows and turn to the side. If your elbows are sagging away from your body, you’re no longer doing the dumbbell squeeze press. When you keep your elbows locked in, you’re working your chest in all directions. The secondary muscles, such as the triceps muscles, could assist you in gaining your strength as well as the size that you require to increase your size.

#2 Rounding The Shoulders

When performing the dumbbell squeeze press, You should avoid rounding your shoulders and keep your back straight on the bench. If you can round your shoulders and your deltoids can take over the lifting motion.

To avoid this mistake, take your shoulder blades up and forward to create an arch on your back. This will allow you to maximize the contracture that your pecs can do.

#3 Spraying The Motion

Be aware that your body will not remember the reps you complete. Still, it will always detect metabolic stress and the duration of tension. Instead of pressing the dumbbells as hard as you can, perform the dumbbell squeeze press in an orderly manner.

While you are gaining weight, be sure that you’re capable of performing with nearly the perfect posture and form on every repetition. Not only will this be safer, but it will also help you be able to achieve more results!

The Dumbbell Squeeze Press: Variations

#1 Incline Alternating Dumbbell Press

While holding both weights to your chest, pull the one dumbbell upwards and then the other. Then, you should bring every dumbbell downward one at a. With the alternating dumbbell press, the muscles are isolated on both of your bodies.

#2 Incline Barbell Press

The incline option is another good exercise that focuses on the chest upper. When seated on a 30-degree incline bench, you should tighten your abdominal muscles and pull the bar up in a controlled manner.

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Slowly lower it until it is completely into your chest. Repeat!

#3 Upward Chest Press

Set up a pulley mechanism with low settings. Hold the handles using an overhand grip and lower them to your chest. Keep your abs in place and press upwards in a controlled manner.

Return slowly to the starting point and repeat!

The Dumbell Squeeze Press: Alternatives

If you’ve enjoyed the dumbbell squeeze press, take a look at these other exercises for your chest to increase your upper-body strength!

#1 Incline Dumbbell Fly

Sitting on a 30-degree bench, raise your arms over you with your palms straight and bend your elbows. Then you should lower the weight gradually towards each side, stopping at the point that the weights are parallel to your shoulders.

Then, use your shoulders and chest to return the dumbbells to their original position steadily and consistently. Make sure you are tight in your chest and keep going!

#2 Standing Upward Fly

Stand up and take a pair of dumbbells with your palms looking forward. Your pecs contract to pull the dumbbells in a row until they reach chest-high.

Slowly return to your starting point and repeat!

#3 Reverse Grip Push-Up

Although the reverse grip push-up could take a while to master the variation, it puts more stress on the chest’s upper part. It’s an excellent option to strengthen your upper back at your home!


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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