Swiss Ball Dumbbell Chest Press

Strength and Conditioning
3-5 Sets of 8-15 Repetitions
Rest Period:
30 seconds
Main muscles worked:
Pectorals and Core

Doing strength exercises on a swiss ball is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Not only are you getting the strength or muscle growth that you are looking for with your exercise but you are using your core and all the supporting muscles to your primary muscle group, to support the weights while performing the exercise. Much like using a machine isolates the specific muscle you are trying to work while exercising, doing them in an unstable environment, like on a swiss ball, means that the primary muscle groups supporting muscles have to kick in to help.

For a chest press this means that while you are primarily trying to work the pecs, when you do them on a swiss ball your relying much more heavily on your core (abdominal and back muscles) as well as the tricep, front and rear deltoids to support your chest in completing the repetitions. It’s kinda like a bonus workout in that your working much more than just the pecs and in turn will see the strength and toning gains in all of the muscle groups. This is a great way to hit the smaller oft neglected muscles.

There is only one downside to doing exercises like this and that is you need to work on doing them with excellent form to recognize the benefit. If you do these exercises sloppily you will likely not get the gains in the primary muscle group as the supporting muscles do more of the work. In turn you likely should do these exercises at a lighter weight than your normal dubmbell press

Before starting this routine it is a good idea to do some stretchin on the swiss ball to loosen your core and shoulders up


    1. Start by lying back on the ball like you are on a bench with the dumbbells in the position shown in the image above
    2. Ensure that you are in a stable spot with your legs and core supporting you with ease
    3. Proceed to press the dumbbells up to full arm extension
    4. Do a consciously slow negative to take advantage of the instability of the swiss ball
    5. Repeat the motion until you complete your repetition count

    If you struggle with retaining your balance while doing this exercise start with lower weight dumbbells

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Matt Bradley

I am an enthusiast of Healthy Living through the communal sharing of experiences and science. As a Zen practitioner I enjoy learning about ways to be in touch with my inner balance and imparting the information to others. I also enjoy a good snort of bourbon but will not try and impart that passion on our readers here.

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