How The Dumbbell Squeeze Press Can Pump Your Pecs

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This exercise is something to really pump your pecs.

For those of us looking to boost our pushing power and chest strength, there are a multitude of exercises we can try in order to achieve this. Whether it be staple chest exercises, or those that are not as well known, the possibility for growth is amplified with the dumbbell squeeze press.

Putting this exercise into your routine will allow you maximize muscle growth and see those pecs really pop, something all of us bodybuilders shoot for. Its important to incorporate new exercises into your routine to constantly keep your muscles working. The squeeze press is a great exercise to work on confusion and really start to target those pecs to unbelievable growth.

What makes this exercise unique is the squeeze portion of the lift that works to create high amounts of tension in the chest, in particularly the inner fibers. Unlike the traditional dumbbell press, the squeeze press will see your hands closer together, so while range of motion may be slightly more limited, you compensate with enhanced hypertrophy for optimal benefits. A great exercise to target the inner and outer regions of your pecs, transitioning from the traditional dumbbell press to the squeeze press will be worth it.

Let’s take a look at the dumbbell squeeze press and see how this exercise can really pump up those pecs. From what it is, to muscles worked, and the great benefits surrounding this exercise, we’ll also show you how to perform this as effectively as possible so you see serious growth and a chest you can be confident in.

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About The Dumbbell Squeeze Press

The dumbbell squeeze press is an effective chest pressing exercise that will work to seriously enhance strength and size in your pecs, as well as other upper body muscles. Since this exercise requires no real extra mobility in the shoulder joint, athletes love this exercise for it allows great growth with minimum pain.

While we all can bench and perform those traditional chest exercises, it is worth noting that performing the dumbbell squeeze press can reinforce proper horizontal movements, especially when it comes to pressing. The squeeze press is ultimately great at forcing you to train the muscle you want to stimulate by working on isolating it more than others to really push for strength and size.

Muscles Worked

What you get out of the squeeze press is a seriously targeted chest as your pecs will be the main muscle group targeted. With a focus on your pecs, you will start to see that strength and size appear in no time. Other muscles worked from the squeeze press are your triceps, serratus anterior, and deltoids.

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Benefits Of The Dumbbell Squeeze Press

Increased Chest Strength & Size

The squeeze press will work to increase hypertrophy in your chest so you see that desired strength and size really come to fruition. Through increasing resistance and working to target your chest more than other muscles, ultimately, your pecs will have no choice but to grow. As you get stronger, you will see an increase in weight, leading to more confidence and that extra level of muscle building power (1). Pushing capabilities are more than important when looking to advance our training and performance and this will start to show you just how important it is for your bodybuilding progress or other sport specific movements.

Decreased Shoulder Pain

Given the movement and slightly less range of motion as compared to the more traditional chest exercises, you will see less shoulder pain with the squeeze press. As more fragile joints in our bodies, our shoulders sometimes need that little extra love in order to fully work to our benefit without feeling pain and growing weak, thus leading down the road to injury. Take advantage of the squeeze press and see the growth you want without the shoulder pain (2).

Allow Triceps To Work

Like many pushing exercises, the triceps do get work so you feel a bit of an arm burn as well. You most likely have paired your days up by pushing and pulling movements, so why not give those other pushing muscles some love when doing a great pec exercise. That horseshoe-shaped arm is just around the corner, but you need those well-balanced triceps to make it happen and through incorporating this exercise into your routine, you work the triceps as a result of the need to get that weight not only up, but as you work hard to squeeze the dumbbells together.

How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing the dumbbell squeeze press:

To start, set yourself up like you are about to perform a traditional dumbbell press. This would be laying on a bench, feet around shoulder width apart and firmly planted. Your core will be engaged and the dumbbells will be in each hand extended over your head. For this exercise, place the dumbbells flat together. As you lower, keep the dumbbells squeezed together as tight as you can, as if something was between them and it cannot fall. As you drive through your feet, work to push that weight up as effectively as possible. Return to the starting position and repeat for your desired number of reps.

Wrap Up

The dumbbell squeeze press is a great exercise designed to really target your pecs and work to see that much needed hypertrophy we all seek. For those of us looking to enhance our chest day routine, the squeeze press is something that can be incredibly beneficial and work on not only growth, but also muscle confusion and challenge our range of motion, as opposed to the traditional dumbbell press. Look into placing the dumbbell squeeze press into your routine today and really start to see the desired growth you seek most. You won’t be disappointed by the results as you start to see that physique of yours shine.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Uribe, Brandon P.; Coburn, Jared W.; Brown, Lee E.; Judelson, Daniel A.; et al. (2010). “Muscle Activation When Performing the Chest Press and Shoulder Press on a Stable Bench vs. a Swiss Ball”. (source)
  2. Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Women’s Health Watch (2019). “Ouch! Shoulder pain and how to treat it”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.