Body Part: Arms, Chest, Shoulders
Equipment: Bench, Dumbbells
Starting Position: Grasp two dumbbells and lie supine (on your back) on a flat bench with your feet firmly placed on the floor or upon a raised platform to allow you to maintain a flat or neutral (flat) spine. If working with a spotter, signal the spotter for assistance in handing you your the dumbbells.
Depress and retract your scapulae (pull shoulders down and back) to make firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, butt and feet should make contact with the bench and floor/riser throughout the exercise. Signal your spotter for assistance in moving to your starting position. Grasp each dumbbell with a closed, pronated grip (palms facing forward, thumbs wrapped around the handle), press the dumbbells to a position level with or just below your eyes with the elbows fully extended. Maintain a neutral wrist position (avoid flexion/extension at the wrist joint).
Downward Phase: Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in unison and in a controlled movement towards your mid-chest, but moving slightly wider towards the armpits. Gently touch the dumbbells to your chest without bouncing, maintaining your neutral wrist position. Keep the elbows close to your sides (emphasizes more triceps) or flared out from the body (emphasizes more pectorals). Maintain all points of contact with the bench and floor/riser and avoid any arching in the low back.
Upward Phase: Exhale and gently press upwards to full elbow extension with the dumbbells positioned at or just below the level of your eyes. Maintain your points of contact with the bench and floor/riser, avoid arching your back during the lift and maintain neutral wrist position throughout the movement.
At the end of the set, signal your spotter to assist you in taking the dumbbells and maintain a firm grip until the dumbbells are taken from your hands.