Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press
How to Do the Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press | In-Depth Guide [VISUAL LEARNERS]
Proper Form & Common Mistakes | Home Strength Training
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MAIN MUSCLES WORKED IN the Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press
OTHER MUSCLES WORKED:
- Anterior deltoid
HOW Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Presses SHAPE OUR BODY
Defined chest muscles.
WHAT WE'RE DOING TODAY
ALL WE'RE DOING:
Laying on a foam roller, press your arms up above you.
This version of the chest press uses a foam roller instead of a bench. The foam roller positions the body up high enough that the elbows can move back past the body. This is nice because it allows us to work our muscles through a larger range of motion.
Additionally, the foam roller is an unstable surface so the core and leg muscles will work harder to stabilize the body. Since this is slightly less stable than using a bench you may not be able to lift as much weight but you will be working more muscles (the core and legs).
PROPER FORM: Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press
EQUIPMENT, SETS & REPS
SUGGESTED STARTING WEIGHT FOR WOMEN:
10 - 14 lbs.
SETS & REPS:
2 sets of 8 reps
Can be quicker up and slow controlled down.
BODY POSITION FOR THE Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press
Place the foam roller on the floor.
There are two options for getting into the position: face up on the floor holding the dumbbells.
- Sit on the end of the foam roller with one dumbbell placed on each side of your hips. Pick the dumbbells up and place them at the front of your hip creases. Roll back to lie down on the roller. Bring the weights up to mid-chest level.
- Sit on the foam roller with one dumbbell placed beside each hip. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Roll down so you are lying face up, reach out to each side and lift the weight up to the hip creases, then bring the weights up to mid-chest level.
BODY STANCE: Lie faceup on the foam roller. The back of your head, upper back, and pelvis are all firmly planted on the foam roller. Stabilize your upper body by pulling your shoulder blades inward and down your back. This provides a stable base to work off of. This movement should not feel gripping or tight, just stable. Neutral spine - you should be able to slide a hand between your low back and the roller.
LEGS/FEET: Knees bent, feet planted securely, flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
HAND/GRIP: Pronated grip (palms facing forward) - this should feel comfortable, it can be angled in.
ARMS: Your upper arms should be about halfway between straight down to your sides and at shoulder level. The weights at mid-chest level. Lift the weights off of the chest by moving the hands out so that they are almost over your elbows. Lower your elbows behind you until the weights gently touch your chest.
HOW TO DO
HOW TO DO Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Presses
CUE: Use your legs to stabilize and to press into the floor as the weights are pressed up.
Keeping the back of your shoulders blades in contact with the foam roller, press the dumbbells straight towards the ceiling.
Your upper arms move in so that it ends up in line with the front of your shoulder or a bit further so your hand is lined up with the middle of your collar bone.
As the arm moves in, the elbows straighten.
The ends of the dumbbells can be close together at the end of the movement.
Squeeze your pec at the end of the movement.
Slowly return to the starting position by bending your elbows and moving your arms back out to the side.
Repeat to complete the reps.
HOW TO SAFELY GET OUT OF THE EXERCISE
Care must be taken when setting the weights down, this is more crucial the heavier the weight. Bend your elbows and rest the weights on the chest, move them down to the crease of your hip and off to the side to the floor.
WHAT TO AVOID WITH THE Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press
Guess what? Good news! Many avoids are the same for most movements. Once you learn the basics, there's really only a few extra avoids for each individual movement.
1. Avoid Arching Low Back
AVOID: Arching your low back.
- Maintain a neutral spine position to prevent low back joint injury, muscle strain or damage over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- If your ribs are lower, ribs flare upwards, or your belly is lifted up - this indicates you are arching your low back. Your pubic bone and front hip bones should be in one plane - you can check by placing fingertips on your pubic bone and set the base of your palm on hip bones - your hand should be flat.
- This can happen because you are taking the arms up too far overhead.
- move arms down, they should be mid-chest level, the hands below the shoulders.
2. Avoid arm wobbling
AVOID: Letting your arm wobble during the movement.
- This is a sign of poor stability of either: the shoulder blade, the shoulder joint, the elbow joint or the wrist. It is important to be able to control the movement in order to avoid straining/irritating the ligaments, tendons and joint surfaces.
WHAT TO DO:
- If you are gripping the arm muscles in an attempt to stabilize the shoulders:
- activate your abdominal and scapular stabilizers to provide a stable base.
- The muscles of the arm will be working but they should not be tight and gripping.
3. Avoid Bending Wrists
AVOID: Bending at your wrists.
- Poor alignment (bent forward or backward) or repetitive movement through the wrist can lead to joint and/or soft tissue irritation or injury over time.
WHAT TO DO:
- Your wrists should be in line with your forearm and should be still throughout the exercise.
4. Avoid Flattening Low Back
AVOID: Flattening your low back.
- Maintain a neutral spine position to prevent injury or muscle strain.
WHAT TO DO:
- You should not be able to feel your low back pressed onto the floor, you should be able to slip your hand between the floor and your lower back.
- This can happen when:
- Your upper body is not providing a stable base for your arms to work off of: pull the shoulder blades down and back.
- Low back is trying to stabilize the torso: Make sure your feet are flat on the floor to help stabilize the torso.
5. Avoid Getting out of move unsafely
AVOID: Sitting straight up with the weights on your chest (at the end of the sets).
- This can result in straining or injuring the low back.
WHAT TO DO:
- Move the weights down to the hip creases and then lower to the floor, or hug the weights into your chest and roll on to your side (N/A for the ball) to set the weights down.
6. Avoid Hunching Shoulders
AVOID: Hunching the shoulders up towards the ears.
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep the space between the ear and the shoulder during the entire rep - this opens up the shoulder to avoid tendon irritation and decreases the activity of the upper traps.
7. Avoid Locking Elbows
AVOID: Locking the elbows when the arms are out straight.
- This puts too much force through the joint and may result in long-term damage over time.
- Decreases the muscle activity of the arms.
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep the elbows slightly bent, even at the end of the movement.
8. Avoid Shoulders Rounding Up
AVOID: Dropping your sternum and rounding your shoulders.
- This will cause you to use your anterior deltoids more and your pectoralis muscle less.
WHAT TO DO:
- Keep the sternum lifted, the chest wide.
9. Avoid Weird Arm Angling
AVOID: Rotating the hand forward or backward.
- This will put a torque (rotational force) on the shoulder joint.
- This will activate muscles other than the target muscles and will decrease the amount of chest muscle activation.
WHAT & WHY
BENEFITS OF TRAINING THE Pectoralis Major
This is a simple movement and one can often use heavier resistance, as long as the form is correct.
This exercise focuses on strengthening the muscles on the front of the chest. The pectoralis major is the large chest muscle, it covers a large area and is spread out like a fan. The shape of the muscle and where it attaches to, allows it to pull the arms in towards each other, lift them up and pull them down. The Chest Press exercises focus mainly on pulling the arms in towards the midline or breast bone. These exercises are done by pulling your upper arms in against resistance.
In Chest Presses the body is positioned on an elevated surface, like a bench, foam roll, or ball. This allows the elbows to drop down past the torso. When the elbows drop down, the pectoralis major muscle is active through a larger range of motion and is stretched before it is activated. Some believe that stretching the muscle just before activating it leads to greater strength gains.
Although it has benefits, the chest press should be done with caution. When the elbow drops down below the torso under a load (holding a dumbbell), it can put quite a bit of stretch on the connective tissue (anterior capsule) of the shoulder joint. Make sure that you listen to your body during the exercise and after the exercise. If you have discomfort, try lowering the weight you are using, a band instead of the dumbbells, or a floor press - which limits the range of motion.
WHY DO WE EVEN CARE?
CAN HELP GIVE A LIFTED APPEARANCE TO THE BREASTS
I read this in several places. Things really started to go downhill or should I say, HANG, after breastfeeding my son at 29. Things were just never the same after that, sigh. Building muscle beneath the breast tissue can actually give a more lifted appearance to the breasts, who knew?? And all without expensive surgery. I think this is the case for me - I mean I still need the help of a supportive bra people, we're not talking miracles here, but I feel all the pushups I did in the past several years makes my whole upper chest area and into my shoulders, what you see when I wear say a scoop neck top, look firm and taut and healthy, which I think gives a more youthful appearance. So we don't need to shy away from chest exercises anymore!
HELPS WITH MANY ARM MOVEMENTS
The pectoralis major is basically THE chest muscle, it is large and broad, it can move the arm in, up, and pull it down when it is up. The pectoralis major helps to move and position the shoulder blade when the arm moves. This muscle is similar to the latissimus dorsi on the back of the body. It can help with a lot of different arms and shoulder blade movements, and to help stabilize the arm.
Its main function is bringing the arm in towards the middle of the body - towards the midline, for reaching across the body. You may not think that you use this muscle very much but if you start paying attention you will find that even little things like pushing a grocery cart, require you to hold your arm pulled in.
It is true that you rarely use this muscle for any powerful movements on its own, except maybe if you are a tennis player or flyfisher (which of course probably at least 75% of us are flyfishers right?? ;)), this muscle helps out all day long when you use your arms.
WORKING SEVERAL MUSCLES AT ONCE
Many exercises that work the chest work other important muscle groups as well like the triceps, shoulders, and biceps. This is great because you accomplish more in less time as well as......
BURN MORE CALORIES
The chest muscles are one of the larger sets of muscles on the body, and that combined with the fact that other muscles are also working like we just discussed, means training in this way can burn more calories and help build metabolism. So we can eat more. Which I'm sure I've said before is one of my main goals in life.
NOTE: DO CHEST OPENERS WITH THESE TO KEEP IT BALANCED.
The pectoralis major is frequently tight because of poor posture - sitting with a rounded upper back and forward rounded shoulders. Strengthening the chest muscles should be accompanied by some nice chest opening exercises, like rear deltoid exercises, or pec stretches. We don't want to exacerbate our already tight front right?
CHEST OPENER IDEAS:
Reaching behind your back with both arms and joining hands (holding the wrist of one arm, or clasping the hands work well)
Pulling the shoulders back and opening the chest, push the hands down and back - and holding for at least 20 seconds is an easy to do pectoralis major stretch that can be done after chest presses.
EVERYDAY LIFE &
HOW WE USE OUR pectoralis major IN EVERYDAY LIFE
1. BRINGING THE ARM TOWARDS THE MIDLINE OF THE BODY (ADDUCTION)
- Reaching across to fasten a seat belt
- Lifting objects directly in front of the body with both hands
- Carrying heavy objects in front: grocery bag, child
- Picking up your pet chicken (other pets may qualify)
- Tennis forehand stroke
2. UPPER FIBERS BRING THE ARM UP AND ACROSS
- Touching the opposite ear - putting on an earring
- Using a blow dryer on the opposite side of the head as hand
3. LOWER FIBERS BRING THE ARM DOWN AND ACROSS
- Reaching the opposite hip
4. MEDIAL (INTERNAL) ROTATION OF THE ARM (ROTATING THE UPPER ARM INWARDS)
- Rotating arm down to empty a can (like that half can of garbanzo beans I left open in the fridge too long).
5. CAN HELP MOVE THE SHOULDER BLADE DOWN THE SPINE (DEPRESSION), DOWNWARD ROTATION, & MOVING FORWARD AROUND THE RIBCAGE (PROTRACTION), & STABILIZATION OF THE SHOULDER BLADE & SHOULDER JOINT
- Control during all arm and hand activities that require strength and/or precision - writing, knitting, using a screwdriver
How to Feel What Muscle is Working
Place your right hand over your left chest. Straighten your left arm and pull it in across your body. You should feel your pectoralis major muscle under your hand. Try pulling the arm across and up - you should feel the muscle activation close to your collarbone. Pull across and down and you should feel the lower part of the muscle contract.
SPIFFILICIOUS FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES & MOVES
The pectoralis major muscle is a large fan shaped muscle on the chest. It attaches to the collarbone, sternum (breast bone), the cartilage of the first 6 ribs, and the upper arm. The main function of the pectoralis muscle is to move and stabilize the upper arm. The upper fibers attach on the collarbone and the humerus - so when they contract the arms move into adduction and angles up. The middle fibers come from the middle ribs 1-4 ish and the sternum and the arm - so they pull the arm straight across, the lower fibers attach to the lower ribs and sternum and arms so they would pull in and slightly down. The heavier the load the more muscle fibers will be recruited. So if you reach across to your earlobe - mainly upper and mid fibers. But if you lift a heavy object to your ear, probably all portions of the pec major will be active but the upper will be most active.
The pectoralis major muscle is usually removed during a mastectomy or at least partially removed. The muscle is very similar to the lats, involved in a lot of different movements but any of the movements can be done by other muscles. Even if the muscle is removed, with time and exercise the functions of the pec can be done by other muscles.
ALLLL MUSCLES & WHEN
ALL MUSCLES WORKING & WHEN DURING THE
Dumbbell Foam Roller Chest Press
The scapular retractors and depressors (mid and lower traps, rhomboids, lats, pecs (minor and major), subclavius, serratus anterior) become active during set up for the exercise. The muscles of the legs work to stabilize the torso by providing a stable anchor- all of the muscles of the lower leg, thighs, and hips will assist in stabilizing (how much is dependent on the amount of resistance used). The torso muscles (transversus abdominis,rectus abdominis, erector spinae, obliques, quadratus lumborum work to maintain a neutral spine position - how much they work will depend on how much resistance is used). The muscles of arms (upper - biceps, triceps, coracobrachialis, pecs, lats, teres major, rotator cuff, and forearm - [triceps and biceps], anconeus, radiobrachialis, brachialis, extensor, and flexor radial and carpal ulnaris, flexor and extensor digitorum profundus and superficialis, pronator teres, supinator - possibly others, but their contribution is minimal) work to stabilize the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints.
The pectoralis major is the prime mover, acting concentrically to pull the upper arm inward towards the midline. The anterior deltoid and coracobrachialis can contribute to this movement - how much they contribute is affected by how much resistance is being used. The triceps and anconeus work to straighten the elbow as the hand pushes upwards towards the ceiling. As the weight is pressed up, the hip extensors (gluteus maximus and hamstrings will contract to actively press down into the floor to provide more stability and allow the upper body to press more weight.
The triceps, pectoralis major work eccentrically to control the return to the starting position.