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Dumbbell Cross Punch 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Flexibility & Mobility


Dumbbell Cross Punch
Dumbbell Cross Punch

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type

Push (Bilateral)

Required Equipment


Fitness Level











The Dumbbell Cross Punch is a dynamic upper body exercise targeting the chest muscles as its primary focus. To perform this exercise, one requires dumbbells as the primary equipment. It involves a simultaneous punching motion with both arms while holding dumbbells, hence engaging the pectoralis major in the chest as the primary target muscle group. Additionally, the triceps, forearms, traps, and shoulders act as secondary targets, providing stability and assisting in the movement. This exercise not only strengthens the chest but also aids in improving overall upper body strength and coordination.

How to Perform

  1. Setup: Begin by selecting an appropriate pair of dumbbells that you can comfortably lift while maintaining proper form. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and engage your core muscles for stability.

  2. Grasp Dumbbells: Hold one dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, with your palms facing inward towards your body. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, creating a goalpost position with your arms.

  3. Punch Forward: Initiate the movement by simultaneously extending both arms straight out in front of you, keeping them parallel to the floor. As you extend your arms, imagine you are punching forward with both fists. Exhale as you perform this movement.

  4. Cross Over: Once your arms are fully extended forward, cross your right arm over your left arm, aiming to bring the dumbbells towards the opposite side of your body. Keep your elbows slightly bent to prevent locking out the joints.

  5. Return to Starting Position: Slowly retract your arms back to the starting position by reversing the movement. Bring your arms back to the goalpost position, with each dumbbell at shoulder height and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

  6. Repeat on the Other Side: Now, repeat the movement but cross your left arm over your right arm this time. Extend both arms forward, then cross your left arm over your right, bringing the dumbbells towards the opposite side of your body.

  7. Complete Repetitions: Continue alternating the crossing motion from side to side for the desired number of repetitions. Aim for controlled movements and maintain proper form throughout the exercise.

  8. Focus on Muscle Engagement: Throughout the exercise, focus on engaging your chest muscles to drive the movement, while also feeling the engagement in your triceps, forearms, traps, and shoulders as secondary muscles.

  9. Cool Down: Once you have completed the desired number of repetitions, gently lower the dumbbells back to your sides and take a moment to stretch your chest, shoulders, and arms to help reduce muscle tension.

  10. Progression: As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the weight of the dumbbells or the number of repetitions to continue challenging your muscles and promoting strength gains in the chest and upper body.


  1. Ensure a stable stance with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.

  2. Hold dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing inward.

  3. Maintain a 90-degree bend in elbows throughout the movement.

  4. Extend both arms forward simultaneously, exhaling as you punch.

  5. Cross one arm over the other, bringing dumbbells towards opposite sides of the body.

  6. Focus on engaging chest muscles to drive the movement.

  7. Keep core muscles engaged for stability and balance.

  8. Avoid locking out elbows at the end of the extension.

  9. Control the movement, avoiding swinging or jerking motions.

  10. Alternate crossing arms with each repetition, maintaining a smooth and controlled rhythm.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Overextending Arms: Do not hyperextend or lock out your elbows at the end of the extension to prevent unnecessary strain on the joints.

  2. Don't Lean Forward: Resist the temptation to lean forward excessively as you extend your arms, as this can shift the focus away from the chest muscles and lead to improper form.

  3. Avoid Jerky Movements: Steer clear of using momentum to swing the dumbbells forward and back. Instead, focus on controlled, deliberate movements to effectively engage the chest muscles.

  4. Do Not Arch Your Back: Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise and avoid arching your back excessively, as this can strain the lower back and detract from targeting the chest muscles.

  5. Don't Forget Core Engagement: Ensure you engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to stabilize your body and prevent excessive swaying or twisting movements.

  6. Avoid Holding Breath: Remember to breathe steadily and continuously throughout the exercise. Holding your breath can increase intra-abdominal pressure and compromise stability.

  7. Do Not Drop Shoulders: Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears, to maintain proper shoulder alignment and prevent unnecessary tension in the neck and upper traps.

  8. Avoid Gripping Dumbbells Too Tightly: Maintain a firm but relaxed grip on the dumbbells to prevent excessive tension in the forearms and wrists, allowing the chest muscles to take the primary workload.

  9. Don't Rush Through Repetitions: Take your time with each repetition, focusing on the quality of movement rather than the quantity. Rushing can lead to sloppy form and reduced effectiveness of the exercise.

  10. Avoid Uneven Weight Distribution: Ensure that both arms are working equally during the exercise. Avoid favoring one side over the other to prevent muscle imbalances and potential injuries.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.