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Are barbells better for your workout? Which one should you use, when should you use them, and what are the benefits.

Before going into the long-standing debate, did you know where the name dumbbell is coming from? In the 1700s, people were getting creative and begun using church bells for exercise. No one liked the constant clinging noise, so they removed the clappers, and the name “dumb” bell was born.

Both dumbbells and barbells are amazing tools for training, and if they are available, you should use them both. Here’s the ultimate guidance on how to use dumbbells and barbells to reach your goals.

Benefits of using barbell

Using barbell is more stable, although I remember when I tried to squat with a barbell for the first time, it felt weird, as it could fall off any moment . After a few trials, when you have gotten used to the feeling a bit, you will notice that holding the barbell usually requires both hands, hence it gives you greater stability. It makes it easier to lift heavy weight, providing maximum overload to your muscle.

One unbeatable benefit of using barbell is that it allows you to produce as much force as possible. You are performing the exercise under stable conditions, (you are not expanding energy on trying to stabilize the move) so you can add more weight. Heavier loading recruits more muscle fibers, so it can lead to bigger gains. Thus, if you are looking to maximize your strength, barbell is a critical tool.

Benefits of using dumbbells

On the other hand, when you use dumbbells, your hands are moving freely, independently from each other. The range of motion (ROM), therefore, is greater and requires more effort to stabilize it. Using greater ROM is extremely beneficial to increase joint mobility.

The freedom of movement is critical if you had injuries, or you have joint pain. Finding your own movement path can help you avoid joint pain, and it is much more possible to do it using dumbbells than barbell.

Using dumbbells are also important to correct muscular imbalances. Have you ever experienced that you can easily lift a weight with one arm, but struggling to lift the same weight with the other arm? Most of us have some degree of muscular imbalance and it’s important to correct it before it gets worse. When you are using barbell, you might end up cheating (even if not on purpose), because your stronger side will try to compensate for the weaker side to complete the movement. Hence, the best way to avoid your dominant side to compensate is by working with dumbbells, where each side carries its own weight, and the stronger cannot make up for the weaker.

With dumbbells you can also perform isolation (single-joint) exercises that are highly effective for targeting specific muscles. It can help you improve your overall performance and keep you injury-free. If your goal is to elevate your fitness and increase your performance, while getting rid of unwanted fat, try the Lean & Strong Training Program that will give you a structured routine based on latest sports-science.


Using both dumbbells and barbell during your training is the best way to go if have access to them. If you are working out at home with dumbbells only, you still have nothing to worry about because as you see using dumbbells offer amazing benefits.

My Favorite At-home workout

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