Dumbbells Versus Barbells – Which Is Best?

One question that some people ask themselves as they go about their strength training is whether they should turn to dumbbells or barbells to boost their strength level.

Both of these types of strength training methods offer advantages, so it’s vital that you’re aware of these so that you can make the best decision for you.

Let’s look at the pros and cons to each.


The first great thing about dumbbells is the fact that they’ll help to prevent all muscular strength imbalances.  Since one side of the body cannot compensate for a weaker other side while using dumbbells, you won’t run into this problem.

Second, dumbbells also offer more exercise variation. You can perform chest fly’s, lateral raises, as well as reverse fly’s with dumbbells, but with barbells you can’t.

Finally, dumbbells are also convenient for home gyms, so if you want to workout in the privacy of your home, these are typically the route to go.


On the flip side, barbells are great for building strength. Most people will lift more weight with this piece of equipment, so if you want to maximise your muscle, this is the route to go.

In addition to that, barbells are going to be slightly more stable, so you can focus in on training the muscles you’re aiming to work.

With dumbbells, a great deal of effort will go into stabilising the movement, so you’ll have less energy to devote to the exercise itself.

Finally, barbells are great for compound lifts. Squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows, and shoulder presses can all be done very well with a barbell.

There’s no right or wrong choice here on which is the superior choice for you to select for your workouts, but more which equipment variation will best meet your current needs.

(Image by Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


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Louise is a health and fitness writer, with a keen interest in seeking out natural health and beauty remedies to keep herself looking her best! As a journalism graduate with a specific background in online media, Louise writes for numerous online publications covering topics such as management skills, sales techniques, digital marketing strategies, health and fitness and fashion trends to name but a few.