You don't need to shackle yourself to a bench press machine to build a bigger chest. While it will always be the granddaddy of chest exercises you can get just as an effective workout using dumbbells.
Best Chest Exercises with Dumbbells
If you read my previous post on the 3 Best Chest Exercises you'll notice that no dumbbell exercises made the cut. That specific study measured the effectiveness of specific exercises on engaging muscle fibers, it did not set out to compare exercises to each other. The best chest exercises with dumbbells can be just as, if not more engaging than barbell or machine exercises.
Incline Dumbbell Flys
1. Incline your bench at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees. Wearing your weightlifting gloves, grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Your resting position will be with the weights at your chest and hands in neutral position (palms facing each other).
2. Press the weights up as you exhale until your elbows are straight but not locked.
3. Slowly lower the weights in an arc until they are level with your chest. It's important to keep your wrists straight.
4. Return the dumbbells to their starting position at the top of the movement to complete one repetition.
Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press
1. This is the same movement as a standard dumbbell chest press with the exception that your grip is reversed. Switching up your grip changes the movement slightly and can "target" your upper pecs a bit more.
2. If you've never done a reverse grip dumbbell press, start with a lighter weight that you would for a normal press until you're comfortable with the movement.
3. Keep your elbows tight to your sides as you complete the full movement.