That being said, barbells can also be used for isolation workouts, such as wrist curl, preacher curl, and barbell curl.
Barbells: The Advantages
Barbells feature engraved knurled crosshatch patterns. This helps you to maintain your grip when lifting the bar.
But that’s not all.
Here are some other advantages of training with barbells:
Great for Lifting Heavier Weight: Generally, you can go heavy or lift heavier weights with barbells. Little wonder it is the go-to tool for Olympic weightlifters and competitive powerlifters. If you want to make the most out of your lifts, use barbells before training with cables, machines, and dumbbells.
Excellent for Chest and Legs: Barbell exercises, such as bench press, squats, and lunges, are great for building up your chest and legs rather quickly and efficiently.
A Better Choice for Explosive Training: The level of explosiveness and intensity available with a barbell workout is definitely higher compared to training with a dumbbell. If high-intensity workouts are your thing, you’ll want to go with barbells particularly for exercises such as snatch and deadlift.
Barbells: The Drawbacks
Meaningful Progress is Usually by Increasing the Weight
Perhaps the greatest downside of barbell training is that you have to load more weight on the bar if you must make any significant progress.
Although this might not apply to everyone, it is the case with many people.
And putting the body under extreme stress by lifting a heavier load each time isn’t necessarily a good thing as you’ll see in the next drawback.
Can Compress Joints and Lead to Injury
While lifting heavy weights can make your muscles grow larger, it can compress your joints in a way that can cause issues.
This is especially true if you lift heavy weights regularly without allowing your joints to actively decompress and release tension.
With time, diminishing returns will set in and you’ll notice a plateau in performance.
It won’t be long before a regress in progress follows. And that will likely be followed by pain and injury!
Dumbbells: Types & Uses
Dumbbells come in a few different shapes and sizes. Generally, they are grouped into a few different categories such as:
Studio dumbbells (typically small options mostly used by women in the gym)
Spin-lock dumbbells (a widely popular choice for working out at home)
Selectorized dumbbells (feature advanced locking mechanisms for increasing or reducing the weight)
Fixed hex dumbbells (offer more stability than standard types)
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