What is your preference? Dumbbells or barbells?

We typically aren’t limited to only barbells or dumbbells. Most trainees should use both barbells as well as dumbbell movements, because both have their own benefits and drawbacks.

So which one is best for you?

There are many factors involved so I would just outline some factors as described by experts.
Basically if you are in a power sport such as Powerlifting, Olympic lifting etc your sport mainly demands the work of both hands together, so you should mainly focus your training on barbells. On the other hand if you play basketball, volleyball, tennis or martial arts etc, then dumbbell drills should occupy the major portion of your training.

Availability & Cost:

 Dumbbells cost much more than a barbell. So if you are going to set up a gym in your home and if finance is a problem you will end up using exclusively barbells.

Strength Needs:

 If your sport demands ability to overcome large loads (Powerlifting, Olympic lifting etc), barbells will be your priority. The instability caused by dumbbells can limit the load you can lift.

So what is the conclusion?

Don’t limit yourself to barbells and dumbbells. Don’t forget that we have lot more options like machines, elastic band exercises, bodyweight exercises, kettle bags and lot more… Variety keeps the workouts more interesting. So exercise your creativity when it comes to your exercise selection.

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