Sculpt your chest and triceps with two dumbbells and this 15 minute circuit

Pump up your pecs and triceps with a blend of dumbbell and bodyweight exercises

Man doing push ups
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The chest and triceps are two of the most highly searched for body parts when it comes to exercises. After all, a chiselled chest is one of the most striking areas of your body, whereas the triceps make up the majority of your upper arm. Training both together is efficient as they’re both ‘push’ muscles, but you don’t have to spend hours doing so. This 15 minute circuit will work your pecs and triceps hard and all you need is a pair of dumbbells and your body weight.

Near enough every chest exercise relies on assistance from your triceps, for example, compound exercises like the bench press, push ups and incline press. As the chest and triceps are synergistic it therefore makes sense to train them together. Not only will it make your workouts more efficient training two muscle groups in one go, but it will also save you valuable warm up time too.

This workout contains six different circuits and within each circuit is two exercises. You’ll do the first exercise two times – once for 40 seconds of work, followed by a 20 second rest, the second time for 30 seconds of work with a 20 second rest – the second exercise is a bodyweight exercise and you’ll do that for 20 seconds of work, followed by a 20 seconds rest. You'll then move onto the next circuit and repeat the same sequence above. Also, don't worry if you don't have a weight bench, all the dumbbell exercises (apart from the standing ones) can be performed lying on the floor, so a gym mat will be handy. Here's your workout:

Circuit 1

  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Push ups (you can do these from your knees if you find regular push ups hard)

Circuit 2

  • Dumbbell chest flyes
  • Push ups

Circuit 3

  • Skull crushers
  • Push ups

Circuit 4

  • Dumbbell narrow chest press 
  • Diamond push ups

Circuit 5

  • Dumbbell overhead tricep extensions
  • Narrow push ups

Circuit 6

  • Standing low dumbbell flyes
  • Archer press up

Remember, if you don't know how to do any of the exercises, check out the video above where you can follow the workout. Don't forget to work the rest of your upper body too. Here's a back and bicep workout for your next pull day and a five-move shoulder workout using a pair of dumbbells that'll only take you 25 minutes.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.