T Nation

Lunges With Dumbell or Barbell?


#1

What does everyone think is best and why? I always use a barbell, but I'm not sure if that is the best


#2

I wouldn't say one was better over another just different. With the barbell lunge, the center of gravity is much higher making your upper body a lever and therefore increasing the stress on the core muscles and making balance more challenging. With dumbbells the load is lower making the balance easier. If your balance is an issue you may be able to tax the legs greater with the dumbbells however if your balance needs work you probably also needs moves like the lunge with the barbell to work on your core stabilization.


#3

I think they've both got their place.


#4

Also the dumbells might crash into your legs depending on how wide your shoulders are etc... and how big the plates are on the dumbells etc.. if you ask me, I'd want to use really long dumbells - or two barbells, one in each hand, or something.

You can also do lunges holding the bar overhead but that is obviously trickier.


#5

I prefer the barbells for heavier weights, because it gets hard to hold onto heavy dumbbels for 20 reps or so(10 or more per leg).


#6

I love barbell lunges, I think they are all to often forgotten, legs and core. But.... you will hardly ever see me do them for one reason, space. I don't know anything about your gym but mine does not have the space for me to do walking lunges with a 7ft wide path of destruction.
In th end, I agree with the guys above. use them both at your discretion. Use a barbell if you are staying in one place and use dumbells if you are going for a walk.
Oh and, I have never had to dumbells "crash" into my legs. Could just be that I'm working with some small dumbells, I don't know.


#7

Doing lunges with 80 pound dumbbells for numerous reps isn't that difficutl, grip wise. Think about guys that do farmers walks with 250+ pounds in each hand.


#8

Yeah, but doesn't grip give out before the legs during farmers walks?

In my opinion, if you're looking to really work your legs with lunges, eliminate the weakest link (grip strength) and use a bar on the shoulders.

Nick


#9

I definitely wouldnt say the there is more core stabilization with a barbell lunge. The fact that the bar is on your back definitely makes it much easier to do a similar amount of weight. And unless you are changing the angle of your back in relation to the ground there should not be more core stabilization than using heavy dumbells because with the dumbells, there is a tendency for the weights to swing and this requires more core stabilization than does the bar on the back. Also, the fact that you are gripping heavy dumbells makes your diastolic blood pressure go through the roof during dumbell lunges, not a concern for many people but just a point..


#10

I think most people that can do 80lb dumbell lunges and not have their grip at least be an issue, usually have the overall body strength to do lunges with a heavier weight. Try doing 125lb lunges and see how your grip holds up. Also, lunges are not the same as farmers walks, the fact that you are eccentrically lowering your body, usually not very slowly, and rising again puts more stress on the forearm than if you are undulating slightly while walking...


#11

I use dumbbells if I do simply because there is no space to do them w/ a barbell. I rarely do lunges though, bulgarian split squats and stepups are much easier to do (in terms of space and ease of use, not difficulty)


#12

my gym sucks pray for me.


#13

Also, farmer's walk implements don't roll in one's hands like dumbells do. Because of this, farmer's walk implements will always be easier to hold on to than dumbells of an equivalent weight.


#14

was gonna say the same thing (except for the last part..what?) Dumbell lunges are a good bit harder and require more stabilization than barbell lunges


#15

Same for me on exercise choice, DBs, and reasoning. Plus, my arms tend to go to sleep when using the BB for these exercises.

LA


#16

I think the benefits of using a Dumbbell are "better". There's probably less spinal compression. There is also forearm activation.

Not to mention, using Dumbbells, you can also make a lot more hybrid moves like a lunge with a shrug, a lunge with a one-legged deadlift, a lunge with an overhead press, an overhead lunge, a lunge with a side bend, etc.

However, if you use a barbell you can do more of an overload because you're not dependent on forearm strength of any kind.


#17

Also, Dumbbells are a lot safer, you can just drop the weight if you cramp up or break something :wink:.