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One Arm Bench Press

This Advanced Dumbbell Exercise allows your to Focus on Form and Work your Chest Muscles, Shoulders, and Triceps One Arm at a Time

Welcome to our One Arm Bench Press Exercise Instruction Guide! 

On this page you'll learn how to do this chest exercise using the correct technique. Below you'll find pictures, exercise instructions, and tips on how to get the most out of this and other Weight Training Exercises so you can immediately add to your Weight Training Programs and next Chest Workout. 

Have you seen our Best Chest Exercises list yet? See if this chest exercise made the cut! Also, make sure to view our Dumbbell Exercises page for a list of all our weight training exercises that utilize dumbbells. 

Exercise Summary

Exercise Name:One Arm Bench Press
Main Muscle:Chest
Secondary Muscle(s):Deltoids, Triceps
Exercise Type:Compound, Push
Equipment Required:Dumbbell, Flat Bench

Exercise Description and Instruction:

The One Arm Bench Press is a version of the Dumbbell Bench Press, but focuses on one arm at a time. Consider it the Concentration Curl of Chest Exercises.  Be careful, however, as this exercise can be dangerous if done with too much weight or incorrectly.  

Using dumbbells has its benefits, but we generally recommend Barbell Exercises for building muscle mass because you can pile on more weight. Make sure to view the Barbell Bench PressDecline Bench Press and Incline Bench Press. You'll benefit from switching up your workout routines and hitting your chest from different angles and grips. 

one arm bench press
one arm bench press

To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Sit on a flat bench with a dumbbell in one hand on top of your thigh and the other hand grasping the side of the bench for support

  2. Lie backwards while simultaneously pushing your thigh upward to help bring the dumbbell to your shoulder. As you are bringing the dumbbell to your shoulders, rotate your wrist forward so that your palm is facing away from you.

  3. Once the dumbbell is at your shoulder you should be lying on the bench with your feet flat on the floor. This will be your starting position.

  4. Exhale and press the dumbbell straight above your shoulder by extending your arm and using your chest muscles.

  5. Once your arm of the target side is fully extended, pause for a moment then again slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position just outside your shoulder so that your upper arm and forearm form a 90 degree angle.

  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions then switch sides.


  1. Once you have finished the desired number of repetitions, do not drop the dumbbell next to you. Doing so may injure your rotator cuff.

  2. Use a spotter if you are new to this lift. If no spotter is available, be very conservative with the amount of weight you choose.

  3. Keep your back and shoulders against the bench and your feet flat on the floor at all times.

  4. Complete each repetition in a slow and controlled manner. 

Other Popular Upper Body Exercises:

Check out some of our other popular Arm Exercises and Variations:

Now that you've seen the One Arm Bench Press, which primarily targets your pectorals, check out all of our different Chest Exercises.

Or, check out these other pages of interest:

You've seen the Chest Exercises. Now access the Workout Routines. 
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