Quick Tips


Early to middle of your chest routine, after two-arm pressing movements but before isolation exercises like flyes.

2–3 sets, 10–12 reps per side


Dumbbell presses have long been a staple in the average guy’s gym routine as a means of adding chest thickness. But who says presses have to focus only on the pecs? Make it a unilateral move (performing the motion one side at a time) and it instantly engages the core as your torso works to keep itself facing upward instead of falling to the side the weight is on.

So, the next time chest day rolls around (Monday, perhaps?), try taking only one dumbbell of the rack for presses. Just make sure it’s a lighter one than you’d normally use, since the one-arm version is a little tricky at first.

The Pec Zone

Follow these instructions to effectively work the pecs and core in one move:

Set Up

  1. Sit on the edge of a flat bench holding a dumbbell in one hand.
  2. Lie back on the bench, keeping both feet flat on the floor a foot or so apart.
  3. Begin with the dumbbell over your chest with your arm fully extended. Place the nonworking hand on your hip or the bench for stability.

Do It

Lower the weight just above your shoulder. Engage your pec and triceps and core to press it up.