Dumbbell Bench Press Vs. Barbell Bench Press

What’s better – the dumbbell bench press or the classic barbell bench press? Let’s first see the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Advantages of the dumbbell bench press

Dumbbell Bench Press Vs. Barbell Bench Press

Steve Reeves doing some chest work

1.Shoulder friendly


The main benefit of using the dumbbell bench press is that it allows you to find a groove that’s less stressful to the shoulder girdle. You can always change the position of your arms according to the reports of your shoulder joints.

2.Fuller range of motion

When you do dumbbell bench presses the range of motion is longer and unlike the barbell bench press the lift does not end when the bar has touched the chest. That offers greater pectoral stretch and stimulation.

3.Safer to do without spotters

The dumbbell bench press is safer to do without spotters. You can still end up hurting yourself pretty badly but at least the chances of lethal end are much smaller. There’s absolutely no need to ever max out on the dumbbell bench press. It’s not a competition lift anyway and just getting the dumbbells into position for a max attempt seems like a dangerous thing to do.

4.Unilateral strength

When you use dumbbells for your bench press each side of the upper body is working independently. This is great and allows you to avoid developing imbalances between the left and the right side.

Advantages of the barbell bench press

Dumbbell Bench Press Vs. Barbell Bench Press

1.More practical

The barbell bench press allows you to get into a comfortable position much easier.

Unlike the dumbbell bench press this one does not require you to do all kinds of circus acts in order to get ready for the lift. You can calmly prepare and lift when you are ready.

2.Develops brute strength

The barbell bench press is one of the upper body exercises that allow you to lift the most weight. This makes the body used to high levels of stress and develops brute strength. Also, the technical qualities surrounding the bench press allow you to max on it much easier.

3.Easier to program

The bench press allows you to make more precise jumps. The dumbbells in most gyms fluctuate in weight too much and often the jumps are quite high. This makes the barbell bench press much easier to program in a routine since you can plan your workouts better.

So, which one is better? It depends on the situation.

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