Barbell bench press vs dumbbell bench press. Find out which one builds more muscle.
When it comes to an exercise to build chest strength and size, most people will tell you to do the bench press. After all, it hits all the important chest muscles and you can apply progressive overload to it in an easy manner.
However, there is not only one piece of equipment you can do bench press with. Two of the most frequent gears people do bench press in is the barbell and the dumbbell.
In the battle of the barbell bench press vs dumbbell bench press, which one builds more muscle? Scott Herman, CEO of Muscular Strength, fitness coach and YouTube sensation, gives his point of view on the matter.
Barbell Bench Press vs Dumbbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is an exercise designed to make you press as much weight as you can. However, there are some limiting factors to keep in mind such as the shorter range of motion, loss of muscular tension if the grip is too wide, and the possibility of your dominant side of the chest taking over the movement.
With the dumbbells you will have more freedom of movement, will be able to lower your arms more increasing the range of motion, and it can correct muscle imbalances.
In Scott Herman’s opinion, in the battle of barbell bench press vs dumbbell bench press, it is the dumbbell bench press that builds more muscle because of the reasons mentioned above.
Sure you can lift more weight with the barbell, but there is no cheating when using dumbbells. “When using a barbell, you can easily bounce the bar off your chest at the bottom of the movement, which might give you a few more reps,” Herman says. “But in terms of building muscle, it is useless as you are bouncing the weight to create movement, not engaging your chest to create the movement.”
Check out the video below for more explanation of why the dumbbell bench press takes the win when it comes to muscle building.