If you want to bring more variety to your chest training , then I have the 5 best alternative chest exercises for the classic bench press with the barbell . In this blog post I will show you chest exercises such as Gironda Dips . If you are not yet familiar with this effective chest exercise, then you should definitely read on here now …

Bench presses with the barbell – the number 1 among chest exercises?

The bench press is and remains the number 1 chest exercise and rightly so. Like deadlifts , squats or military press , the bench press with the barbell is one of the basic exercises and is therefore perfect to train the entire front upper body area.

Additional muscles that are also trained in the bench press: The front shoulder muscles, the front saw muscles and the elbow muscles.

In a English study it was found that the bench press is THE chest exercise that best activates the pectoral muscles!

TIP: A lot of useful information about the bench press, such as the right technique, common mistakes, and much more. you can find in this post: “ Bench press – the best exercise for effective chest training? “

Alternatives to the bench press with the barbell – these are the 5 best!

In all of the following 5 chest exercises, the main muscle is the chest. But the triceps and the front shoulder are also heavily used. These are challenging and effective chest muscle exercises – so it’s worth trying it out!

Barbell bench press alternative No. 1: Dumbbell bench press

The execution of this chest exercise is identical to that of the classic bench press with the barbell. The only difference: You use dumbbells, one in each hand.

The big advantage of the dumbbell bench press is that you can compensate for any existing muscular imbalances. However, balancing does not mean that you put 20 kg on the left and 25 on the right. Don’t do that under any circumstances, it would only promote the imbalance

Always use the same amount of weight on the right and left and orient yourself on the weaker arm. In this way you ensure a harmonious strengthening in the long term and prevent the stronger arm from helping the weaker one to press the weight (which can be the case with the classic bench press with the barbell).

TIP: For chest training at home I can highly recommend the high-quality dumbbells at SPORTSTECH ! These dumbbells offer some cool advantages, such as the quick conversion into a barbell or the floor-protecting plastic coating of the weight plates.

Barbell bench press alternative no. 2: Cover with the dumbbell

Overalls, also known as pull-over, are a fantastic chest exercise that also gives the saw muscles a strong workout. But this chest exercise also offers sufficient growth stimuli for the chest muscles and triceps.

Note: It is very important to choose the right design for covers. There are two variants: With one variant you train your chest and with the other variant your back!

Variant for chest training: So that covers train the chest, you just lie with your upper back on a bench, so that you have enough space in front of and behind the bench for your legs and the dumbbell . Then you take the dumbbell with both hands and slowly guide it over your head back and down and then back up to the vertical.

Barbell bench press alternative no. 3: Bench press on the machine (multi press)

If you do not want to train with free weights – but on a machine like the multi-press, this has two advantages over the classic bench press:

  • You have a lower risk of injury, especially as a beginner, because the weights are fixed.
  • You can train well on your own even with heavy weights.

But as always applies here: Where there is light, there is also shadow. Because what is lost on the machine through the guided movement is the natural movement sequence of the pressing. This in turn ensures that the muscles are used harmoniously.

To rely on machines alone , I therefore think it makes little sense. But as an alternative or supplement – especially for beginners – it is an absolute recommendation!

Barbell bench press alternative no. 4: Gironda dips, especially for the chest muscles

This special dip variant is perfect for hitting the chest muscles during a dip.

There are a few things to consider when performing the exercise: The most important points are to draw your legs towards your body, rest your head on your chest and stretch your elbows outwards.

The execution of Gironda Dips is perfectly explained in the following video:

Barbell bench press alternative no. 5: Pushups

My personal favorite for chest training at home are push-ups, because I love bodyweight training!

Push-ups can be performed in many different ways – and yes, even with push-ups without additional weights, a workout can be carried out to the point of muscle failure.

My method for this: High Intensity Interval Training in a wide variety of forms, such as the Challenge method or level intervals. The big advantage of push-ups is that you not only train your chest muscles and triceps, but also the entire abdominal muscles including back stabilizers.


In this blog post you have now got to know 5 effective alternatives to the classic bench press with the barbell, which put a lot of stress on and train your chest muscles .

The presented chest exercises give you the opportunity to give your chest training more variety. This will not only have a positive effect on muscle growth, but also on the motivation for training!

My tip: Try at least one of the alternative chest exercises presented here for your next chest workout and let me know in the comments how your workout went!

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