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-   -   Dumbell vs barbell (https://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=6824)

Wayne Nelson 04-25-2007 09:54 AM

For most people, we move and lift with our hands and arms in different positions from each other or single handed. The barbell represents a situation most people perform only rarely. If you want to get better at lifting barbells then lift barbells. If your goal is more functionally oriented then replicate those movements.

Using DBs requires more dynamic stabilization, decreases compensation for strength imbalances, and alows you to create exercises that tend to be more multi-planar in nature. Using DBs one-sided (one hand) increases the core requirements, which can be increased more by performing the same exercise standing on one leg or a labile surface like a rockerboard or BOSU.

BTW: Closed chain is where the hands are fixed and the body moves above as in push-ups and pull-ups. Open chain is where the hands (or feet) are free to move as in lifts, and kicking a ball. The upper body functions mainly in open chain movements and the lower body in closed chain.

Franklin Shogie 04-25-2007 10:46 AM

what is the scaling ratio between dumbbells and barbells?

if you press, say, 135lb with a barbell what would be the comparable dumbbell weight?

I know that it is not 135/2= 67lb

Tim McFarland 04-25-2007 12:54 PM

Don't forget about 1-handed barbell moves; get-ups are MUCH harder this way.

Just sayin'.

Cal Jones 04-26-2007 02:07 AM

Well, unless you have a spotter, dumbells are a lot harder for things like shoulder or bench/incline bench press since you have to get them off the floor rather than lift them off a rack.
I blew my own rotator cuff out doing too many heavy benches in my early 20s, so have to stick to inclines or declines now. I usually use dumbells. Although I can press 20kgs dumbells, I find them difficult to get into position initially, so tend to use 18kgs.
For Linda, I did use a barbell on the incline bench within the squat rack. A 40kg bar was a fair bit easier to shift than two 18kg dumbells, even though I kept bashing the rack pins with the bar.
Just give it a try and see how it goes.


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