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#232716 - 02/21/06 09:45 AM Benchpress vs Dumbbell press
Eveal Offline
the freshmaker

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 303
Which do you prefer? What are some pros and cons between the two workouts in your own opinion. I have been wondering this for years and I totally cut out Flat bench (straightbar) and just focused on dumbbell bench press. Reason is that I think dumbbell press allow for a more natural positioning and movement of your arms. This allowing a full development of the chest. I think flat bench only focus on the outer part of your chest and not allowing them to get that "squeeze" at peak of the workout. Well enough of my rambling I would like to know your thoughts.
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#232717 - 02/21/06 03:50 PM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Eveal]
TimBlack Offline
Exalted

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1403
Loc: UK, Brighton
Well, first of all, working your pecs is working your pecs - genetics decides the shape, not how you work them. But yes, dumbell bench press does provide a much greater range of motion, allows you to bail out relatively safely, and also makes sure both sides progress at roughly the same rate. However, the use of the barbell bench press is often that you can get more weight on it; it can be a real pain with dumbells. But, yes, dumbell bench press is probably the way to go... too bad my gym's dumbells only go up to 35kg or something
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#232718 - 02/21/06 05:03 PM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: TimBlack]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
They are both fantastic exercises for complete pec work.
Advantages of dumbell press are mainly that as the dumbells are controlled individualy, there is no way of the dominant side taking over and 'carrying' the weaker side of the body (this can happen if not carefull with bench press)
Also, I would recommend dumbells over barbell work for those on mass building regimes training alone as they allow you to go to failure without a spotter. Doing so with a barbell just gets you trapped under it.

Both good. Choose which you prefer.
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#232719 - 02/21/06 06:22 PM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Cord]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Agreed. However I have found that I can lift considerably more with the barbell bench press then the dumbbell bench press due to it is hard to control that much weight with dumbbells whereas with a barbell you lift it off of the rack and is easier to control with two hands. When switching from barbell to dumbbell and then coming back I found I lost some strength ... but that is just me. My preference is barbell but I can safely do this because of safety bars that I can set to chest height so I don't get caught underneath.
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#232720 - 02/21/06 07:47 PM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Eveal]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I like to switch it up so my chest doesnt get used to a single workout. My three chest pressing exercises generally are bench press, incline press and decline press, all of which I will alternate between barbell and dumbbell.

one thing I will say about dumbbells is that when I had serious shoulder injuries I could not barbell press due to joint stress, but dumbbell press presented no problems.

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#232721 - 02/22/06 11:27 AM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Eveal]
TwistingKick Offline
Member

Registered: 09/20/05
Posts: 194
Loc: UK (oxford)
Not looking to hi-jack thread but when using dumbells will lifting one then the other (as if punching) be less effective than lifting both at the same time??

cheerz
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#232722 - 02/22/06 12:21 PM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: TwistingKick]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
For myself with lighter weights I don't find it being a problem to alternative each arm but this is not a normal practice for me. But when throwing 120+ lbs per hand I find it extremely difficult not to do with both at the same time due to balance. This may only be my experience.
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#232723 - 03/03/06 09:23 AM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Dereck]
Yuushi Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 39
Loc: New Hampshire
The dumbbell press works more of the arm muscle due to the fact that it makes the srms stabalize the two separate weights. The stabalizer muscles that it works are essential for strong punches. The bench press tends to not work a lot of these stabalizer muscles, but lets you put more energy into the press. You should altetnate between different excersises, so as to keep the body guessing and because each excersise acts differently.

Another great chest workout is the dumbbell fly. It fully extends the pecs (for max gains), and doesn't require much weight if done properly.
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#232724 - 03/03/06 11:50 AM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Yuushi]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Quote:

The dumbbell press works more of the arm muscle due to the fact that it makes the srms stabalize the two separate weights.




The stabilisation increases more at the shoulder joints than the arms.

Quote:

The stabalizer muscles that it works are essential for strong punches.




Punching has more to do with the legs, hips and core than the chest arms and shoulders. You can throw a good punch without using the arm muscles at all.

Quote:

You should altetnate between different excersises, so as to keep the body guessing and because each excersise acts differently.




You should not chop and change your exercises too frequently. As discussed recently, stick with an exercise until such time as your progress slows/stops, then move on to something new to give the body a fresh challenge.

Quote:

Another great chest workout is the dumbbell fly. It fully extends the pecs (for max gains), and doesn't require much weight if done properly.




Flyes do help with 'gains' in muscle mass if that is your goal, but do not have much to do with improving strength and/or power in functional movements.


Edited by Cord (03/03/06 11:52 AM)
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#232725 - 03/04/06 10:11 AM Re: Benchpress vs Dumbbell press [Re: Eveal]
Glockmeister Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 255
Loc: Lancaster, Pa
Do both. Last night I started with barbell bench then went to incline bench with dumbells, then finished with dumbell flies. I found mixing it up helps you get the most from your work-outs.

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