Cable Chest Press Vs. Dumbell Press

Jun 20, 2011 | By Ryan Matthews

Photo Credit Comstock Images

The cable chest press and dumbbell chest press are two weight training exercises that target the pectoral muscles in your chest. Each exercise offers its own unique benefit when included as part of your weight training regimen. However, there are some situations where one exercise is preferred over the other. Learning how to perform these exercises can also add versatility to your chest routine to help with total chest development.

Dumbbell Chest Press

Grab one dumbbell in each hand and sit on the edge of a bench. Hold the weights near your shoulders and slowly lower your body back so that your head and shoulders are on the bench. While keeping your wrists over your elbows, push the dumbbells upward so that your arms are fully extended. This will require you to contract your chest muscles. Repeat lowering the dumbbells to your shoulders and pressing the weight back up until you have performed 10 reps or more.

Cable Chest Press

While the dumbbell chest press is performed from a supine position, the cable chest press is performed from a seated position. Sit at the cable chest press machine so that your feet are flat on the floor. Grab the handle bars of the seated cable chest press with an overhand grip. There should be a 90-degree angle at your shoulder joint with your arms rotated so that the bars are facing the floor. Now, push the handlebars away from your body until your arms are extended. This position should be held for one to two seconds and then allow your arms to slowly return to their initial position.

Dumbbell Chest Press Benefits

The dumbbell chest press is a free weight exercise because it uses dumbbells. The American College of Sports Medicine states that free weights are beneficial for improving quality of life, particularly in the elderly. This is due to free weights more closely mimicking everyday activities than exercise machines. Using the dumbbells for the chest press also requires you to more actively use your stabilizing muscles in your chest, triceps and shoulders — and this improves your overall ability to stabilize your upper body.

Cable Chest Press Benefits

The cable chest press exercise is highly beneficial for novice weightlifters. The American Council on Exercise states that machines restrict movement which makes performing the desired movement easier. This ensures you are working the right muscles. The cable chest press lets you focus on the strength of your pectoral muscles because there is a decreased need to stabilize with your shoulders and triceps.

If you need more ideas or help with training please ask one of the YMCA certified personal trainers.