Using a barbell the bench should be set at 45 degrees in a squat rack, or Smith machine. If neither is available the exercise can be performed with dumbbells. For bar - grip slightly wider than shoulders; for dumbbells hold out level with the shoulders, the elbows pulled back. Palms may face forwards, or facing each other if this makes it easier: Getting heavy dumbbells into place without a partner to hand them to you can be tricky. One solution is to place them onto the thighs one at a time, then lift them, also one at a time, to get into the starting position, reversing the procedure when lowering.Whether using bar or dumbbells, take 3 seconds both in lifting and lowering, with a pause at the top and bottom of the lift. Breathing is as for bench press.
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The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.