T Nation

Any Effects of Switching to DB's?

I really prefer to use dumbbells instead of barbells, cause with dumbbells you can get quite a bit of freedom. Especially on the bench press or the shoulder press, it’s really awkward for me to have my hands at a fixed distance from each other throughout the movement.

Is there any bad side effects for switching over to DBs??

Half of me wants to say that the muscle will still get worked with either tool.

The other half of me is telling you to suck it up, princess.

Barring a known injury that prevents you from using the barbell for pressing movements, if you have a problem pressing with your hands at a fixed distance, then you should work on your shoulder flexibility and thoracic mobility. Don’t use dumbbells as a clutch for sub-par flexibility.

I say this without any knowledge whatsoever about you. You might have an injury or something (that you might not even be aware of). And in that case, then it would make sense to use the dumbbells instead of the barbells.

But barring that, work on your flexibility. I could understand if you were trying to overhead press behind the neck, but for the bench press, either you are extremely inflexible, you are using poor form, or you really, really have messed up shoulders.

But that’s all conjecture since, without a video or pics, it’s impossible to know what afflicts you.

If your goal is to bench or overhead press a lot of weight, dumbbells are going to make that more difficult. If you just want big shoulders and a big chest dumbbells work really well for that. You cant really train legs very efficiently with dumbbells, except for single-leg movements (if you even train legs).

You can do whatever you want, but if you want to make long term progress in strength and size, in my opinion a barbell is must.

I can deadlift and squat with barbells, can I don’t need to manipulate it once it is in place.

I don’t have any injuries but I just feel it is more comfortable to use dumbbells.

I’ve been alternating between using dumbbells and the bar. I feel like I work the muscles better with just dumbbells but I’m working on getting better with the bar.

I have a hard time getting the dumbbell into position so I end up doing more reps with a slightly lower weight. Don’t have the same issue with a barbell because you don’t need to work to get it into position.

I’m weak as hell though so…

I press pretty exclusively with DB’s due to repeat injuries to my right rotator. DB presses work great for hypertrophy, although you will probably find that you have to manipulate reps more than weight to make progress as you can’t make fine adjustments to load. While DB presses are probably not a great tool for max strength (obviously), I would like to see anyone tell someone who can crank out solid sets with heavy dumb bells that they aren’t strong. Likewise, I would like to see that same critic crank out said solid sets of heavy DB presses, if they haven’t been doing them they will probably be in for a surprise.