Dumbbell deficit push-up exercise
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Dumbbell deficit push-up

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Lower Pectoralis Major
  • Synergists: Upper Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Triceps Brachii
  • Dynamic stabilizer: Biceps Brachii (short head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Get into a push-up position on the floor with both of your hands gripping the dumbbells.
  2. Position your hands wider than shoulder width apart and straighten your body.


  1. Keep your body straight and inhale as you lower your chest to the floor.
  2. Exhale as you push your body back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Use the dumbbell deficit push-up to work your chest, shoulder and triceps muscles through a greater range of motion compared to the regular push-up.
  • The range of motion in a regular push-up ends when the chest touches the floor. Using dumbbells allows you to descend beyond this point, increasing your range of motion and allowing for a deep stretch in the chest muscles. This greater stretch and range of motion makes this exercise more challenging compared to the regular push-up.
  • This exercise is great for those who experience wrist or shoulder discomfort when performing regular push-ups. Holding on to dumbbells puts your wrists and arms in a neutral position.
  • This exercise is also known as the dumbbell deep push-up.
  • See also the decline push-up and the decline knee push-up.

Dumbbell deficit push-up video


ExRx.net, Shoulder Articulations

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