dumbbells

MCTFB

Member
With the exception of leg extensions and leg curls, I use dumbbells exclusively for every single other excercise. You can even do seated calf raises with them once you learn how to balance dumbbells on the top of your thighs.

The last thing I want to do is gain muscle at the expense of flexibility, strength, and speed and dumbbells really help out in the agility department because you are forced to balance the weight and control it as opposed to barbell benches or machine excercises where you just push the weight out and you don't have to focus much on control and balance.

Plus, for hand and forearm strength, doing lots of dumbbell excercises will help you get popeye arms faster than just about anything else.

Kettlebells also work great as well but you don't see many of them at gyms these days.

Oh yeah, and I like my knees so when I do squats I do not even go down to 90 degrees because I usually run after my workouts and squats are really hard on the knee joints if you are not extra careful and since I don't have a spotter around when I lift at home, I stay away from the excercises which could actually injure me severely or even kill me (such as barbell bench presses) if a muscle gives out and there is nobody there to help me recover.
 
MCTFB said:
Oh yeah, and I like my knees so when I do squats I do not even go down to 90 degrees because I usually run after my workouts and squats are really hard on the knee joints if you are not extra careful QUOTE]
I have to go down to at least 90 or my knees will hurt.

Barbell excercises are best for size and strength. Dumbells are best for shape balance coordination all that good stuff.
 

MCTFB

Member
That depends on what you mean by strength. For a limited range of motion with no real eccentric control of weights, then maybe barbells can be better because it allows you to cheat when controlling the weight due to the bar allowing you to balance the weight easier and distribute the force of both sides of your body more equally.

But in terms of useful strength for sports and the martial arts, dumbbells and kettlebells are far superior to barbell work. Plus, you can keep the strength between each side of your body in proportion while barbell work can cause you to overdevelop one side of the body relative to the other, especially if you use improper form.

Guys who brag about their maximum barbell bench press with sloppy form don't impress me much when they can barely bench press 2/3 of the weight or less with dumbbells.

The only time I would ever use a barbell is if I was training exclusively for explosive power, where the barbell can help you "explode" faster since you need to expend less effort in balancing the weight on the way up. Oh yeah, and I would always want a spotter with the exception of a few excercises and dropping the weights on my basement floor would not exactly impress my neighbors next door (-:
 

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