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Stability Ball Dumbbell Presses

by RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

Balance is everything in this variation of the classic dumbbell press. Using the stability ball as your "bench" forces you to maintain your balance and keep your core muscles engaged, which is turn isolates your pectoral muscles for a killer chest workout.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
With dumbbells in each hand, lie back on a stability ball so that your body weight is evenly distributed across your upper back. Your back should be touching the ball between the top of your lower back and the bottom of your neck; your head should also be resting on the ball. The section of your chest at the peak of the ball is the area of your chest that will receive the majority of the workout.

Extend your feet out until your knees are bent at close to a 90-degree angle and are firmly planted on the floor. Squeeze your butt and hips so that your pelvis remains stable and your hips flat throughout the exercise. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed directly forward.

Finally, turn the dumbbells so that they are perpendicular to your body and bring your elbows down so that your elbows are at a right angle (see Photo 1).


  1. From the starting position, push the dumbbells up and move your hands together.
  2. Push up until your arms are straight and the ends of the dumbbells are almost touching (see Photo 2).
  3. Reverse the motion and bring the dumbbells down to starting position (see Photo 3). You have completed one repetition of the stability ball dumbbell press.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.