Dumbbell Bench Press Vs. Barbell Bench Press: “Which One Wins”?

Over my career, I used both dumbbell and barbell bench press, but I prefer one much more than the other.

The dumbbell bench press is far better for bodybuilders, for two reasons…

1) There is much more range of motion with dumbbells which means you’re able to stimulate the pecs through a fuller range of motion. This is how you breakdown as many muscle fibers as possible!

2) There is much, much less stress on your shoulders which is crucial for longevity – so many pro bodybuilders injure their shoulders and tear their pecs when bench pressing with a barbell. Dumbbells reduce this risk a lot, so your longevity is catered for.

This doesn’t mean barbell bench pressing is completely off-limits, but I actually prefer using incline and decline angles. On the incline, you use less weight so the risk is much less, and on the decline, you can contract the pecs harder with less shoulder/tricep involvement.

“My recommendation is to focus on getting strong with dumbbell bench pressing primarily, on the decline, flat and incline, within an 8-12 repetition range”.

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