CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Exercises (
-   -   Dumbell vs barbell (

John de la Garza 04-19-2007 08:40 PM

I know there are advantages to using dumbells. What are the advantages of doing say overhead press with a barbell over dumbells?

I'm trying to set up a basic workout for my dad. I want the least amount of equipment but with out compromising the quality of his workout at all.

Bill Ripley 04-20-2007 05:12 AM

No advantages IMO, just different animals. DB workouts are great for people who want a minimum of equipment to fool with.

Leah Turner 04-20-2007 05:18 AM

But if one tends to go weaker w/ their left arm, for example w/ the chest press, then using dumbbells won't allow that, as one can cheat w/ a barbell.

Graham Tidey 04-20-2007 07:12 AM

Yeah, you get a little more wobble with dumbells, which mean the stabiliser muscles kick in.

Also, it's one more thing to potentially hit you in the head.

Cal Jones 04-20-2007 08:24 AM

On the plus side, you can't get stuck under 'em. :-)

William Hunter 04-20-2007 08:48 AM

A major advantage of the BB is that you can use more weight, and stimulate more muscle tissue.

If there is a history of shoulder problems he may benefit from the unilateral aspect of DB's.

Matt DeMinico 04-20-2007 01:34 PM

The PT I regularly see (who is REALLY good by the way) is very leery about barbell workouts if they can be subbed with dumbbells. Basically, barbell workouts prohibit the natural rotation in your shoulders and back when you go to do a movement.

Try this: Try doing a 45-lb (barbell) press. Now, do the same thing, except take two 20-lb dumbbells, and press them one at a time. Notice the difference in how you move your shoulders and back, there should be some natural shifting of weight, rotating, etc.

I've run into shoulder issues doing barbell exercises, and she suggested just using dumbbells. Now, maybe you can get away with using a barbell, or even using two dumbbells at the same time, but for me, I try to avoid those, and do them sparingly, and make SURE as heck that I do them with the proper movement (keeping my shoulders pressed BACK) to prevent the rotator cuff and tendons from being injured.

John de la Garza 04-20-2007 03:49 PM

I value not get hurt over functional fitness, but in real life I come across times where I lift things that represent a barbell more than dumbells.

It also, seems that doing a press with a barbell uses my triceps more.

Blair Robert Lowe 04-20-2007 07:34 PM

Dumbbell OHS squat with DB at OHS bar distance really suck. It's cake with a bar holding it up there.
I say go DB. Every exercise is tougher with DB than a BB.

Thomas Grippo 04-21-2007 02:22 PM

....if you're a "motor moron" the bb (closed chain-fixed distally) may be a better option.I think Matt also makes a good point.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:36 AM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.