Dumbbell bench press vs barbell bench press is one of the oldest debates, and the only thing clear is, that each variant has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
There are different ways to perform the bench press workout routine, and you can use either a barbell or a dumbbell while performing the exercise. Some people even use different grips, like wide grip, narrow grip, etc., while doing a barbell bench press. The bench press routine using either a barbell or a set of dumbbells, will help to sculpt and strengthen the muscles, as well as increase the muscle mass.
Generally, those who follow the ‘one body part per day’ workout, use barbells in the first week, and substitute it with dumbbells during the second week of their chest workout. If you are unsure which routine to follow, take a look at some of the points given below, to decide for yourself.
- One of the major differences between a barbell and a dumbbell bench press is, that you can use substantially more weight for the latter. So if your goal is to increase your chest size, you will benefit by doing the dumbbell exercise. Although there is no set formula for weight conversion, in a barbell bench press routine, you can use almost double the weight than the dumbbell bench press.
- Almost all of us have some degree of difference with respect to the strength of our left and right hands. This, at times, leads to disproportionate growth in the left and right regions of the chest, depending on the individual arm strength. So, the best way to get a symmetrical upper body is to use dumbbells, since the effective weight to be raised by each arm is the same.
- The range of motion in a barbell routine is restricted, as the bar might end up resting on your chest. However, if you are using dumbbells, there is a greater range of motion. Here, your elbows can go way below the shoulders, and this range of movement is more effective to strengthen the muscles.
- The use of dumbbells provides a compound exercise, and other muscles like the triceps and shoulder muscles are also involved in the movement. This movement helps to strengthen the stabilizer muscles, and a dumbbell in each hand will also improve your coordination. On the contrary, while using barbells, the stabilizer muscles will not be actively involved. However, this allows you to bench press heavy weights.