If you’re trying to build a huge chest at home or simply want to tone your pecs, a good pair of dumbbells can help minimize the risk of failure. This post shares 7 of the best dumbbells for chest workouts at home.
The Powerblock Elite is one of the best dumbbells for chest training. They are versatile dumbbells that are also competitively priced. The 90lb max weight capacity and 28 different weight settings make these dumbbells ideal for beginner and advanced lifters alike to train the chest at home.
I’ve gone through my fair share of home dumbbells during my journey in building a ripped chest.
I hope my list of recommendations can help you pick the perfect pair of dumbbells to achieve your goals!
Overview: Best Dumbbells For Chest Workouts (Beg To Adv)
I ranked the best dumbbells for a chest workout (in my opinion), based on personal research and hands-on testing,
The dumbells have been ranked from beginner to advanced, according to how suitable they are for people of different training levels and goals.
Here’s the quick lowdown on the 7 best home dumbbells for arm workouts:
|Dumbbell For Chest||Training Level||Max Weight||# Weight Settings||Weight Increments||Price||Reviews >4*|
|Yes4All Spinlock Dumbbell||Beginner||20lb (10kg)||5+||5lbs (2.5kg)||$||89%|
|Flybird 25lb Adjustable Dumbbell||Beginner||25lb (12.5kg)||5||5lbs (2.5kg)||$$||93%|
|Muscle Squad 32.5 Adjustable Dumbbell||Intermediate||70lb (30kg)||12||5lbs (2.5kg)||$$$||100%|
|Bowflex Selectech 52.5lb Selectorized Dumbbell||Intermediate||52.5lb (25kg)||15||2.5-5lbs |
|Ironmaster 165lb Quicklock Dumbbell||Advanced||165lb (75kg)||30+||2.5lbs (1kg)||$$$$$||80%|
|Bowflex Selectech 1090 Selectorized Dumbbell||Advanced||90lb (40kg)||17||5lbs (2.5kg)||$$$$||84%|
|Powerblock Elite Selectorized Dumbbell||Advanced||90lb (40kg)||28||2.5-5lbs |
And here are the dumbbell chest training results you can expect to gain from each level:
- Beginner chest dumbbells – light weights that are mainly suitable for novice women to build a fuller chest and novice men who are looking to tone their pecs. Ideal for isolation-type dumbbell chest exercises at a beginners level.
- Intermediate chest dumbbells- moderate weights that are suitable for both novice men AND women to build a fuller chest and tone their pectorals. Ideal for isolation AND compound-type dumbbell chest exercises done at a beginner-intermediate level.
- Advanced chest dumbbells- heavy weights that are mainly suitable for men looking to add significant size and strength to their pectorals. These weight-loads can be excessive for women, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t go for them if you’re a a female with ambitious training goals! Great for isolation AND compound-type dumbbell chest movements performed to an advanced level.
When choosing a good dumbbell for chest training, you shouldn’t base your decision solely on your current training level, but on how much you want to progress in the FUTURE.
Chest gains can be made quickly as a beginner due to Newbie gains.
So don’t forget to consider redundant weight to allow for future progression!
Next, I’ll explain why each dumbbell is good for chest workouts.
1) Yes4All Spinlock Dumbbell
The Yes4All spinlocks are one of the best entry-level dumbbells for chest workouts. They will provide the average female with 6-12 months of strength progression and the average male with 1-3 months of strength gains. They are best used for chest isolation exercises like the dumbbell fly.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Yes4All spinlock dumbbells for chest training:
|Affordable dumbbell for beginners||Spinlock adjustment mechanism is slow|
|Premium models offer heavy weight loads||Large weight increments are not conducive for progressive overload|
|Cast iron plates and handles are extremely durable||Premium models are overpriced for what you get|
|Weight plates can be stacked to save storage space||Budget models are limited in weight|
The base models come in 40-60lb variants (20-30lb per dumbbell) and these are good dumbbells for a beginner to start working their chest with.
Just be aware that the limited weight means they are mainly suited for isolation-type chest exercises like the dumbbell fly.
“Great value and enough weight for working the arms and chest for just about anybody, except serious weight lighters!”Johnny, Amazon
If you want a heavy dumbbell to do compound chest lifts like the bench press to build serious muscle, then I recommend getting an intermediate dumbbell at a minimum.
Although Yes4All DO offer heavy dumbbell models, these are overpriced.
For the same money, you can get a high-quality selectorized dumbbell like the Bowflex 552 (see #4) or Powerblock Elite (see #7).
But all in all, these are a cheap and effective no-thrills dumbbells for beginners to target their chest.
You can find the cheapest Yes4All price here.
2) Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell
The Flybird is one of the best entry-level selectorized dumbbells for chest workouts. They will provide the average woman with 6-12 months, and the average man with 1-3 months, of strength gains. They work great for isolation-type chest exercises like dumbbell flyes.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Flybird dumbbells for chest training:
|Handle-turn weight adjustment is rapid||Cannot be dropped|
|A small and compact dumbbell unit ideal for home use||25lb (12.5kg) model is only good for beginners|
|5x weight settings for high and low-rep chest training||55lb (25kg) model is overpriced|
|Great for women and male beginners to do chest isolation exercises||Large weight increments are not ideal for progressive overload.|
The Flybird 25lb dumbbell offers similar benefits to the Yes4all spinlocks but cost around $100 more.
What do you get for the extra money?
The selectorized adjustment mechanism packs multiple weight settings into a single dumbbell unit.
This makes it much faster to select your desired weight, compared to a cumbersome spinlock dumbbell.
It also means you save even more space since all the weights are packed into one neat unit.
“Not too bulky like other dumbbells so chest presses are easy to do.”Bonnie, Amazon
The 25lb model is ideal for females to do high-rep isolation exercises to tone the chest and low-rep exercises to build chest size.
It can even be used by men to tone the chest. But if you’re a male looking to add considerable size to your chest, I would recommend an intermediate dumbbell at the very least (e.g. the Bowflex 552).
Beware of the 55lb model.
Whilst it offers a good amount of weight for chest workouts, it’s overpriced for what it offers. For the same amount of money, you can get a Bowflex 552 or Powerblock Elite (both are highly reputable dumbbell brands).
Note: make sure you purchase 2 and not a single dumbbell to avoid a frustrating delivery!
You might also be interested in my other post for 7 of the best dumbbells for toning and building arm muscle!
3) Muscle Squad 32.5 Adjustable Dumbbell
The Muscle Squad is one of the best medium-sized selectorized dumbbells for chest workouts in the UK. They can provide the average woman with 5+ years, and the average man with 2-3 years, worth of strength gains. This dumbbell can be used for both compound and isolation-type chest exercises.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Muscle Squad dumbbells for chest workouts:
|70lb (32.5kg) max weight is great for intermediate lifters||Overpriced compared to the Bowflex or Powerblock dumbbells|
|Rapid dial-a-weight adjustment mechanism||Durability issues if dropped or not looked after|
|12x weight settings for high and low-rep chest training||A thick handle is not great for people with small hands|
|Great dumbbell for people in the UK||Bulky unit can feel awkward for bench press and flyes|
Overall, this Muscle Squad dumbbell is a good performer for dumbbell chest exercises.
The 70lb max capacity can take any beginner into the intermediate stages of bench pressing (2-3 years of progression) and advanced stages of chest flyes (5+ years of progression).
12 weight settings are also plenty and allow you to do low-rep compound training as well as high-rep isolation training (the perfect combo to build a full chest)
Additionally, these are some of the best chest dumbbells that are manufactured in the UK domestic market.
This is important because Powerblock and Bowflex dumbells are not always convenient for Brits to buy.
That’s because they are both produced in the US and come with high shipment fees.
Having personally tested the Muscle Squads, one issue I had is that they feel quite bulky.
As a result, the center of gravity feels awkward during bench pressing and chest flyes (where the dumbbells come together at the top of the lift).
They can also bash into each other if you’re a skinny guy with a narrow chest. And this forces you to widen your grip which can feel uncomfortable.
But overall it’s a great dumbbell for chest day if you can’t get your hands on a pair of Bowflex or Powerblocks.
4) Bowflex Selectech 552 Selectorized Dumbbell
The Bowflex 552 is one of the best medium-sized selectorized dumbbells. It can provide the average female with 5+ years, and the average male with 2-3 years, worth of strength gains in a chest program. These dumbbells are suitable for compound chest exercises, as well as isolation-type movements.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Bowflex 552 dumbbells for chest training:
|52.5lb (25kg) max capacity will take a beginner to the intermediate stages of chest training.||Plastic internal locking mechanism can shatter if dropped|
|Dial-a-weight adjustment mechanism is slick and rapid||Bulky unit feels awkward for some exercises|
|15x weight settings are ideal for both high and low-rep chest exercises||More expensive than their Powerblock Elite direct competitor|
|Small weight increments are ideal for progressive overload||Cannot be upgraded to a heavier weight|
These were the first selectorized dumbbells I bought before replacing them with the Powerblock Elites (see dumbbell #7).
Overall, they are a solid dumbbell for beginners to do a full chest workout with.
The max weight capacity is adequate for both men and women, and the small increments are great for adding a small amount of weight regularly to drive strength gains.
The dial-a-weight mechanism allows you to effortlessly change weight. It’s great for HIIT and superset-style workouts where you need to rapidly adjust the weight between sets.
Additionally, the matte plastic outer coating adds a refined feel to the dumbbell.
Now for some negatives.
Just like the Muscle Squad dumbbell, I feel it’s slightly too bulky. The dumbbells can feel awkward when bench pressing or doing chest flyes, especially for newbies who aren’t used to using selectorized dumbbells.
“I use the dumbbells for chest presses. No negatives that I can think of, but feel free to watch some Youtube clips comparing these to Powerblocks.”Jennifer, Amazon
Also, I don’t like the fact that you’re limited to 52.5lbs (unlike the Powerblock Elites which can be upgraded when you are ready).
Whilst a 52.5lb dumbbell bench press is admirable for a beginner, serious lifters can easily achieve more than this.
So when/if you reach this stage of bench pressing, you’ll have to consider upgrading to a new dumbbell altogether.
Overall, the Bowflex 552 is a solid “best chest dumbbell” contender for a beginner/intermediate.
But for a serious lifter, there are better options in my opinion (see below).
Nevertheless, you can find the cheapest Bowflex 552 price here.
You can also check out my other article for the 9 heaviest selectorized dumbbells on the market.
5) Ironmaster 165lb Quicklock Dumbbell
The Ironmaster Quicklock is one of the best heavy dumbbells for chest workouts. They can provide the average man or woman with over 5 years of chest strength progression. They are durable, compact, and perfect for bench pressing at home. But they are also very expensive.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Iromanster Quicklock dumbbells for chest workouts:
|165lb (70kg) max capacity is industry-leading for an adjustable dumbbell||Very expensive|
|Small 2.5lb (1kg) weight increments are perfect for progressive overload||Quicklock mechanism is fast but not as rapid as the majority of selectorized dumbbell competitors|
|One of the most durable adjustable dumbbells on the market||Requires 2 addon kits to take it to 165lbs|
|Small and compact unit for how much weight it holds||Long handle can feel awkward for some people|
These are arguably THE best dumbbells you can buy for your chest workouts or if you’re looking to build a strong chest with just dumbbells.
They have everything a dumbbell should have to build a huge chest fast.
The 165lb capacity is massive and only a handful of beginners will ever reach this advanced stage of pec training (even on the compound bench press).
The 2.5lb increments are ideal for progressive overload. Simply add a small amount of weight every week to drive gains in pec strength and size.
Unfortunately, these gargantuan dumbbells also come with an equally large price tag.
And the reality is that most beginners are better off with choosing a Bowflex or Powerblock (see next) before taking the plunge with the Ironmasters.
But if you’re a current/aspiring bodybuilder, then these will help you achieve your goals.
6) Bowflex Selectech 1090 Selectorized Dumbbell
The Bowflex 1090 is a high-quality heavy dumbbell for chest training. They can provide the average man or woman with over 4-5 years of strength progression in chest exercises. These dumbbells are equally suited for heavy compound bench pressing and lighter isolation-type dumbbell flyes.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Bowflex 1090 dumbbells for chest training:
|90lbs (40kg) will last most beginners years of strength progression||Extremely bulky and can feel awkward for beginners|
|5lb increments are well-suited for progressive overload||Expensive investment for beginners|
|17x weight settings work equally well for compound and isolation-type chest exercises||Do not feature 2.5lb increments like the Powerblock Elites|
|Dial-a-weight adjustment mechanism is easy to use and great for superset chest workouts||Awkward to re-rack at heavy poundages|
This is a solid dumbbell for those looking to build a big chest fast.
The dumbbell unit packs 17 weight settings that cater for heavy bench pressing and light chest flyes equally well.
Additionally, the small 5lb increments are great for applying progressive overload. And the Bowflex dial-a-weight technology is smooth, easy to use, and does not feel clunky (like on some cheaper models).
However, the sheer bulkiness of this dumbbell does take some time to get used to.
And whilst the 5lb increments are small, they’re not as small as the Powerblock Elites 2.5lb increments.
“These are very versatile for different exercises targeting your arms, chest, legs, and back.”Mort, Amazon
Additionally, upon testing the Bowflex 1090s, I feel they are difficult to safely put back into the cradle when a heavy weight is selected.
That’s because you need to align the plates with their respective notch on the cradle.
If you haphazardly drop them into the cradle, you run the risk of damaging the unit (not recommended for something so pricey!).
But all in all, it’s one of the best dumbbells you can buy for home chest workouts.
And I’m confident any beginner will be able to build a nice chest just with these dumbbells.
Note: make sure you purchase 2 and not a single dumbbell to avoid a frustrating delivery!
You can also go to my other article for 11 of the best dumbbells for guys!
7) Powerblock Elite 90lb Selectorized Dumbbell
The Powerblock Elite is a versatile heavy dumbbell that is one of the best on the market for chest workouts. They can provide the average male and female with over 4-5 years of strength progression in chest exercises. They can be used for all chest exercises at different training levels.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the Powerblock Elite dumbbells for chest training:
|90lbs (40kg) will take any beginner into the advanced stages of chest training||Outer paint coating can chip and rust if not looked after|
|2.5lb increments are the best for regular progressive overload to maximize chest strength||Pin-selector adjustment mechanism is slightly slower than Bowflex’s dial-a-weight|
|28 different weight settings give it the edge over its Bowflex competitor||Handle cavity too small for fist-widths over 5.5″|
|Compact dumbbell unit despite the heavy weight it offers|
Honestly, I feel these are by far the best value-for-money dumbbells you can get for your chest workouts.
I swapped my Bowflex 552s for the Powerblock Elites, and here’s why.
“Despite the awkward square appearance, the grip is perfect for bench press.”Evan, Amazon
The 50lb base model has all features of the above dumbbells that make them great for building a chest fast.
Good weight capacity, lots of weight options, small increments, fast selector mechanism, comfortable handle.
It’s got it all.
It’s also very well-priced for beginners, making it extremely accessible for everyone.
But the best thing about the Powerblock Elites?
The flexibility they give you as a beginner!
The base model will take most beginners to the intermediate stages of dumbbell bench pressing and advanced stages of chest flyes.
Powerblocks are also sturdy enough to take your bodyweight for dumbbell pushups.
This means you don’t have to fork out hundreds of $$$’s from the get-go.
Instead, you can upgrade whenever the time suits you.
One thing to beware of- the paint coat isn’t the best quality. You need to take care of the dumbbells and not let them get wet if you want them to last.
You might also be interested in my other post for a bodybuilding dumbbell chest workout at home
Why These Are Some Of The Best Dumbbells For Chest Workouts
These 7 dumbbells have been cherry-picked from over 2 dozen different dumbbell models.
Here’s why they made it onto the list
- Heavy maximum weight capacity- you need to lift heavy if you want to build huge pecs fast. All of these dumbbells offer heavy weight settings. Girls and casual lifters, you can go for the cheaper beginner models at the start of the list. Guys and those who want to build a broad chest, I recommend going for the advanced models at the end of the list.
- Small weight increments- it’s easier to add 5lbs to a dumbbell bench press than it is to add 10lbs. And it’s even easier to add 2.5lb than it is to add 5lbs. This is called progressive overload. And regular overloading is key to quikcly build a full chest.
- Good ergonomics- you don’t want your dumbbells too large and bulky as this affects their centre of gravity which can make bench pressing and chest flyes awkward. Some of the dumbbells on this list are bulkier than others. But they are all some of the most compact on the market.
If you’re trying to fix a stubborn chest, you can go to my other post for 20 reasons why your pecs aren’t getting bigger.
Best Dumbbell Exercises To Target The Chest
The best chest exercises can be broadly categorized into compound and isolation-type movements:
- Compound chest exercises- simulataneously work the chest and neighbouring muscles like the arms and shoulders. Bench pressing-type exercises are a good example of a compound chest movement. These lifts allow you to lift more weight and are great for building a full chest fast.
- Isolation chest exercises- isolate and target specific regions of the chest. Dumbbell flyes are a g ood example of an isolation-type movement. These movements target small muscle groups, require less weight, and are ideal for adding definition and tone to specific pec regions.
Here are the best dumbbell exercises to include in your chest day workout:
|Dumbbell Chest Exercises||Chest Muscles Targetted||Dumbbell Only?|
|Incline bench press||Upper pecs||No|
|Flat bench press||Mid pecs||No|
|Decline bench press||Lower pecs||No|
|Incline floor press||Upper pecs||Yes|
|Flat floor press||Mid pecs||Yes|
|Decline floor press||Lower pecs||Yes|
|Incline dumbbell fly||Upper pecs||No|
|Flat dumbbell fly||Mid pecs||No|
|Decline dumbbell fly||Lower pecs||No|
|Incline floor fly||Upper pecs||Yes|
|Flat floor fly||Mid pecs||Yes|
|Decline floor fly||Lower pecs||Yes|
|Dumbbell standing crossover||Upper pecs||Yes|
|Dumbbell pullover||Upper pecs||No|
|Incline pushups on dumbbells||Upper pecs||Yes|
|Flat pushups on dumbbells||Mid pecs||Yes|
|Dumbbell-weighted chest dips||Lower and mid pecs||No|
You’ll need a weight bench for bench press and fly exercises.
I currently use and recommend the Flybird adjustable weight bench (link for the cheapest price).
Not only is it sturdy and affordable, but it can also be folded and stowed away after your chest workout.
It’s can also be fully adjusted in flat, incline, and decline settings. This means it’s fully functional for isolating all of your chest regions!
You’ll also need a dip station to do chest dips.
I currently use and recommend the Sports Royal power tower (link for the cheapest price).
It occupies around 9 square feet of floor space. But it’s a versatile piece of gear that also doubles up as a pull-up bar and pushup bar.
This makes it great, not just for working the chest but building a strong upper body in general.
You can also check out my other article for my favorite dumbbell chest exercises without a bench.
I’ve shared 7 of the best dumbbells for home chest workouts.
These dumbbells have been cherry-picked by me from over 2 dozen competitors.
My choices are based on personal testing and online research.
Ultimately, they are all decent dumbbells.
It’s important to choose the right one based on your needs.
Women and casual lifters looking to add some tone to their pecs can go for a beginner’s dumbbell like the Flybird 25lb selectorized dumbbell (link for the cheapest price).
Men and those looking to build a big chest fast should go for an advanced dumbbell like the Powerblock Elite (link for the cheapest price).
Did my list help you decide on the perfect dumbbell for your chest workouts?
Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!
Thanks for reading guys!
(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)