Dumbbell Press Benefits – 3 Big Ones!

If you have any experience in a gym, I am sure you have heard of the dumbbell press. A fundamental movement, which is commonly performed, and for good reason! There are many benefits to this exercise, which is why it is being included in this series. Within this article, I will be going over the dumbbell press benefits. Without further ado, let’s start talking about these benefits with the list below:

  1. Compound Movement
  2. Unilateral Movement
  3. Exercise Specific Benefits

Benefit Number 1 – Compound Movement:

Compound movements have numerous benefits, from their role within workouts, to the high level of carry over to a variety of things, all the way to getting a good overall bang for your buck. Compound movements are great for, and should lay the base of your routines. They can be trained heavy, and in turn, are also easy to apply progressive overload to. They recruit multiple muscle groups, and are relative to many goals, such as power. If I could choose only one type of exercise to train with, it would without a doubt be compound movements.

Being able to apply progressive overload to a movement is huge, and one of the main characteristics of an exercise capable of laying the foundation of a training routine. With this, often times comes the recruitment of multiple muscle groups, which is great for hypertrophy! Also, main compound movements are highly relative to a variety of goals. This because they allow for a substantial amount of manipulation, from the weight, to the tempo and exercise specific cues.

With the dumbbell press incorporating all of these beneficial characteristics, it is no wonder it is awesome for laying the base of our routines and applying progressive overload to. The dumbbell press is a key exercise in building up your chest size, and overall strength, also serving as a beneficial power training movement.

Benefit Number 2 – Unilateral Training:

Unilateral training is crucial for any routine, namely because of its help in combating muscle imbalances. We want to avoid these as they can lead to injury and a decrease in performance. Also, unilateral exercises are great for working on overall weak points and instability, and I often times find they allow me to feel the muscle I am trying to work, work more.

Seeing as this movement is performed with dumbbells, it is a unilateral movement. This allows us to train the muscle involved unilaterally which forces them to work individually and takes away the reliance of a dominant side. Having a muscle imbalance can lead to injury through improper form, and if you have a weak side, when you become fatigued or handle heavier weight, that weak side can very well impede your performance. Lastly, in unilateral exercises like the dumbbell press, I find they allow me to activate the desired muscle more. This could very well be caused by the allowance of a greater range of motion.

With the dumbbell press allowing us to access all the benefits of unilateral training, it is yet another reason why it is a highly beneficial exercise. As you can see, unilateral training is hugely beneficial and the dumbbell press is one exercise that allows us to tap into these benefits!

Benefit Number 3 – Exercise Specific Benefits:

When I say exercise specific benefits, I am referring to benefits that aren’t shared by all exercises. These benefits can carry over to a variety of goals in numerous ways. With the dumbbell press being a main, compound movement, there are many of these. From varying the weight, to the tempo, to cues relative to you, they all matter and have their purpose.

With the dumbbell press, you can easily change the weight, which will impact how you perform the lift. Example being, lightening the weight to perform the lift with speed to work on power. You can also add in a slow and controlled eccentric for things like hypertrophy benefits.

As you can see, a main and compound movement like the dumbbell press has many different manipulations that can be applied to it. All of these manipulations have their place and benefit, all contributing to the benefits of this exercise.

The Recap on The Dumbbell Press Benefits:

After reading this article, you have learned about 3 of the benefits that come along with performing the dumbbell press. All having their place and uniquely contributing. I hope you take these into account and perform the dumbbell press should it suit you and your goals, which there is a good chance it will!

Wherever you plan on implementing the dumbbell press, remember these benefits so you can implement it efficiently. I thank you for taking the time to read this article and wish you luck in your next training session! As always, if you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to leave them below and I will be sure to reply!


Until Next Time,


Kohl Johnson

Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.

Support is much appreciated if you benefited from this:

Kohl Johnson

I am a 16-year-old fitness fanatic! I have learned nothing but quality training and nutrition information from the utmost well-respected individuals in the field. Now, my only focus is to share this knowledge with you for your benefit, in the most honest way possible. We are all in this together! LET'S GO!

2 Responses

  1. Of course I have tried using dumbbells, but before reading your article I had no idea that they give the benefits that you mention. I assume that those benefits increase according to the size of the dumbbells used, is that correct?

    I will certainly bear in mind your advice next time I am using dumbbells in the gym.

    Very many thanks for your great advice

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Hi Chrissie, glad you liked the article! As per your question, as you use heavier dumbbells, it doesn’t necessarily enhance the benefits, as the strength is relative to you. What I mean by this is someone lifting a 20-pound dumbbell for 6 reps may experience the same level of difficulty as someone lifting an 80-pound dumbbell for 6 reps. There are overall differences between the 2, however, I wouldn’t say it increases the benefit of the benefits as you use heavier and heavier weight. This with strength progression over time of course, one person using heavier and heavier dumbbells in a single session would reap the benefits even more as they are being challenged more, while at the same strength level).

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