How To One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

YouTube Exercise Video

How To Do One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

In our continuing effort to shed light on beginner-accessible chest exercises that’re safe and don’t involve barbells, we’ve been looking at a lot of alternative bench press techniques that’re safe and possible for anyone at any fitness level to pick up. We feel that these routines aren’t discussed often enough, being outshone by the bigger, more cliché exercises (deadlifts, chin ups, traditional bench presses). The problem there is, most beginners and even intermediates can’t really do such exercises very well, nor safely, resulting in some disappointment and discouragement. 

Today, we’re going to look at another alternative that will help train muscle memory and provide a great pectoral work out. This one is called the one arm dumbbell bench press, and it’s very easy to learn. 

What You Need 

You need a single reasonably-weighted dumbbell, and a flat bench. Gloves are also a plus, and if your back has trouble, some lumbar support is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Muscles Worked During One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

Action – One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Lie back on the bench, feet on the ground.
  • Grip the dumbbell with your palm facing toward your knees, arm outstretched to your side at your shoulder, elbow bent upward at a 90 degree angle.
  • Bending at the elbow and shoulder, lift the dumbbell directly up. Hold this position for a second or so.
  • Lower slowly back to the bent elbow position, being sure that gravity isn’t doing this for you.


One-armed exercises like this can be mildly dangerous if you get careful, due to balance being precarious in a sense. Be mindful, and when you feel tired and your technique grows sloppy, switch arms or stop.
Be sure to do this for both arms, for a balanced workout.
If you have arthritis or other joint issues, consult your doctor before doing lifting exercises like this.
To learn more about this and other exercises, subscribe to our YouTube channel today.
Scroll to top