Building your chest and bicep muscles should be an important part of your strength routine. It ensures the well-rounded development of your upper body.
However, not many people have the time to hit the gym as frequently. But that doesn’t mean they can’t experience serious strength and muscle gains.
You can even perform chest and bicep exercises with dumbbells to get similar results.
According to a study, dumbbell exercises produce similar activation as barbells or gym machines in the chest and triceps while producing significantly more activation in the biceps region .
That’s mostly because working out with dumbbells requires greater stabilization and coordination. Based on this, you can easily get a pair of dumbbells and exercise at home without having to hit the gym.
The chest and biceps together make a good training split. People often find it appealing to overtrain their bicep muscles because of how good they look when they are flexed. But ignoring other muscle groups can lead to a muscular imbalance that can negatively affect the alignment of your body and make you more susceptible to injuries.
To help you avoid that, we have come up with the most well-rounded chest and bicep workout with dumbbells that you can perform on the same day.
Chest and Bicep Workout with Dumbbells
Training the chest and biceps together can yield very positive results. Our chest and bicep dumbbell workout plan is designed to maximize these benefits. We have used simple compound exercises that can produce the greatest results.
The training volume and intensity are also adjusted to maximize hypertrophy. The workout can be made more difficult or easier depending on your experience level by adjusting the amount of weights that you lift.
We start with the chest exercises first. That’s because studies show that training larger muscle groups first is more beneficial .
For a well-balanced development in the chest, we have included both flat and inclined dumbbell presses. The inclined variation recruits more muscle fibers in the upper region of the chest .
The other exercise included in our routine is the chest fly. The flat and inclined variations of this exercise can produce many benefits, like building lean body mass and bone density, while also increasing the base metabolic rate .
Once the chest exercises are done, we transition to the biceps. These exercises are very simple and can easily be performed at home without any supervision. We have placed a heavy emphasis on bicep curls.
Studies have shown that curls are the most effective exercise for building foundational strength in the biceps .
The routine is devised in a manner so that all the exercises can be performed in the same session without taxing the muscles beyond your threshold.
- Dumbbell bench press: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Dumbbell fly: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Incline dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Incline dumbbell fly: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Bicep curls against the wall: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Seated hammer curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Dumbbell preacher curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Incline dumbbell curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Chest and Bicep Dumbbell Superset Workout Routine
According to research, shorter training sessions can lead to more effective muscle, cardiac, and other similar gains compared to a longer workout session of similar training intensity and volume .
The best way to decrease the length of your chest and bicep dumbbell workout is to include supersets.
This will allow you to transition between the chest and bicep muscles without taking any rest in between, making the overall workout go much faster.
But wouldn’t that lead to muscle exhaustion before you’re done with all the exercises? If you follow our routine properly, that won’t be the case.
That’s because the chest and biceps are considered to be antagonist muscle groups. While one is responsible for pushing movements, the other is associated with pulling motions. The opposing nature of these muscle groups makes them an ideal pair for supersets.
When you are performing the bench press, the pectoralis major is doing the majority of the work (with the triceps acting as the accessory muscles). At this stage, the biceps brachii will be in a state of rest.
So, when you quickly move on from bench pressing to dumbbell curls, you will be engaging a muscle group that is well-rested and fully prepared to complete the exercise.
Based on these facts, we have developed a superset dumbbell workout routine to help you develop your chest and bicep muscles to the fullest.
- Dumbbell bench press supersetted with dumbbell curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Incline dumbbell bench press supersetted with cross body hammer curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Decline dumbbell bench press supersetted with dumbbell preacher curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Incline dumbbell fly supersetted with incline dumbbell curl: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Training your chest and bicep muscles on the same day can be one of the most effective splits if you have the right workout plan.
To help you yield maximum results, we have developed this ultimate chest-bicep workout split that you can try out from within the comfort of your home, using just some dumbbell sets.
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- Influence of exercise order on the number of repetitions performed and perceived exertion during resistance exercises. (2005). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1519/1533-4287(2005)19
- Lauver, J. D., Cayot, T. E., & Scheuermann, B. W. (2015). Influence of bench angle on upper extremity muscular activation during bench press exercise. European Journal of Sport Science, 16(3), 309–316. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2015.1022605
- Thomas, M. H. (2016). Increasing lean mass and strength: A comparison of high frequency strength training to lower frequency strength training. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836564/
- Marcolin, G., Panizzolo, F. A., Petrone, N., Moro, T., Grigoletto, D., Piccolo, D., & Paoli, A. (2018). Differences in electromyographic activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing three variants of curl. PeerJ, 6, e5165. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5165
- Realzola, R. A., Mang, Z., Millender, D. J., Beam, J. R., Bellovary, B., Wells, A., Houck, J., & Kravitz, L. (2021). Metabolic profile of reciprocal supersets in young, recreationally active women and men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 36(10), 2709–2716. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000003920