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Barbells Vs Dumbbells

If you’re like us, you’ve probably already had the argument with either your buddy or a guy at the gym over what’s better, barbells or dumbbells. It’s mad how opinion on this is so divided, but are the arguments just petty and pointless and can’t we all just get along? Or is there a real science behind it all, with barbells and dumbbells both having their uses for different times? Let’s take a look at what each has to offer so that you can make up your own mind.


You Can Go Heavier

Barbells do all you to go heavier than dumbbells – much heavier. Whether this is an advantage or not will be down to personal discretion, but because they allow you to go heavier, their exercises should be done before dumbbell exercises.

Better For Your Legs

Although both dumbbells and barbells work your legs, barbells allow you to use a big weight without it feeling too heavy or awkward. Dumbbells, on the other hand, will eventually start to weight you down, and you’ll really feel the heaviness. Ouch.

More Explosive

If you’re a big fan of explosive exercises, barbells are for you. Dumbbells, take a hike! Dumbbells just don’t allow you to generate the same kind of power.

Good For Beginners

If you’re fairly new to this workout game, dumbbells are your friends. They’ll allow you to improve your coordination, and they’ll get your muscle fibres going.

They Improve Strength Balance

When you’re a beginner, the strength between your limbs can be a little imbalanced. For example, you might notice that your right arm is stronger than your left. Dumbbell exercises help to restore the balance of power.


If you’re really struggling, you can always just drop the weights. You can’t drop a barbell, though. Unless you wanna get pinned down? Nope, didn’t think so. Dumbbells win the safety test.

More Joint Friendly

Because your hands aren’t fixed in one place – unlike with barbell exercises – dumbbell exercises allow you to relax a bit more and be more fluid. Your hands move freely and naturally, because they aren’t tied in one place. You can even turn and rotate them! This makes them joint friendly, and it makes them useful for anyone who has been struggling with upper body barbell exercises.

In conclusion, dumbbells are for beginners, while barbells are for Masters of the Universe. Pass the barbells, please …

  • Haywood

    Dumbbells are for ladies and barbells are for guys. I’ve heard that from a guy on the gym. Is that so?

  • Chester

    I thought that dumbells and barbells are just the same. Thanks for this article though, I’ve realized their differences.