Build epic chest and shoulder muscles with this dumbbell home workout

This is the exercise routine you need if you want rounded shoulders and broad chest

Muscular young man working out in a gym using dumbbells on a weight bench
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Feel like you've been neglecting your upper body lately? Is the only part of your body increasing in circumference your abdominal area? Does the thought of dragging yourself to the gym feel unbearable? Fear not, as we have a 30-minute dumbbell workout targeting the pecs and the delts (chest and shoulder muscles) that can help you shape up at home using only dumbbells. No need to share the sweaty changing room with strangers in the gym!

Completing chest or pectoralis exercises can prove beneficial in multiple ways. One such way is to improve your posture as your shoulder joint is stabilised. Another benefit is enhanced breathing as your chest becomes strengthened and lengthened. Lastly, strengthening your chest and shoulder muscles will help you better perform daily tasks that require a range of motions that typically engage these muscle groups. Let's get started!

This home workout is by British national treasure Joe Wicks who demonstrates a strength workout for your shoulders and chest. We’re shown four circuits utilising heavy, medium and light dumbbells. It's advisable to use a weight that's comfortable and enables you to maintain good form. Added to this, please take a rest as long as needed in between sets, as we are using heavy weights. Complete reps as below or until failure and take rests in between each exercise and circuit for as long as needed 

  • Circuit 1 x 3 sets 
  • Slow military push-ups (10 reps)
  • Chest press heavy-sized dumbbells (8-10 reps) 
  • Circuit 2 x 3 sets
  • Elevated push-ups (10 reps) 
  • Dumbbell Flys medium-sized dumbbells (8-10 reps) 
  • Circuit 3 x 3 sets 
  • Shoulder press medium-sized dumbbells (8-10 reps) 
  • Lateral shoulder raises light-sized dumbbells (8-10 reps)
  • Circuit 4 x 1 set 
  • Front raises light-sized dumbbells (12 reps on each side) 

Find this workout a little too time-consuming? Then we have a 10-minute chest workout that requires no equipment going through multiple push-up variations. Overly concentrating on your chest and shoulder muscle groups? Then we recommend mixing your routine up by trying this intense full-body workout

Eager to begin this workout but don’t own a set of dumbbells or only have a standard weight? We recommend reading up on the best adjustable dumbbells we’ve extensively used and reviewed this year. Experiencing discomfort when completing weight exercises on the floor or standing up? Then maybe consider investing in one of the best weight benches we’ve tried and ranked this year.

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.