8 Reasons To Use Dumbbells During Your Workout
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8 Reasons To Use Dumbbells During Your Workout

8 Reasons To Use Dumbbells During Your Workout

Lifting weights is one of the best ways to build strength and improve muscle definition.

It can also provide a wide range of other health benefits, including stronger bones, weight loss, better posture, and improved endurance.

However, if you are like most people, you probably struggle to find the time to get to the gym to lift weights.

You’ll be happy to learn that you can lift dumbbells at home and achieve the same health advantages as you would when using a weight machine at the gym.

In fact, dumbbells are often more effective than expensive weight machines.

In this post I’ll explain why this is the case as I share 8 reasons to use dumbbells during your workout.

Advantages Of Using Dumbbells

Dumbbells Prevent Strength Imbalances

When you are performing a bicep curl with a dumbbell on your left arm, then repeat it on your right arm, you are working your biceps unilaterally.

If your left arm is weaker than your right, you’ll notice it straight away.

Using dumbbells this way also means that you won’t be able to compensate for weak muscles by using your other muscles more intensely (as you might on a weight machine).

Your left arm will be forced to work as hard as the right.

This will help you develop a balanced physique without underdeveloped muscles on either side.

Dumbbells are safe

Barbells are essential for certain kinds of exercises, including bench pressing and squats.

However, the large weights and long bar can make these kinds of exercises quite dangerous, particularly if you don’t have a spotter.

Exercising with dumbbells is much safer, as you can simply drop the weight on the ground if you are struggling to hold it.

There is no large barbell to land on your chest, neck, or legs. This is particularly important if you often train on your own.

Increased range of motion

It’s important to use the full range of motion of your body’s joints when exercising.

This improves joint health and strengthens the smaller muscles that surround the joint.

Unfortunately, weight machines and barbell exercises aren’t particularly effective at this task.

Dumbbells, on the other hand, are perfect for it.

You can adjust the weight of the dumbbell and perform lifts in virtually any direction.

Increased Muscle Activation

A study performed in 2017 found that dumbbells were more efficient at activating certain muscle groups compared to barbells and the Smith machine.

The researchers used an EMG to track the activity of several muscles and found that dumbbells forced muscles to become more engaged.

The reason for this finding is that holding and balancing dumbbells requires greater stabilisation from muscles.

Intermuscular and intramuscular coordination

Intermuscular coordination is how well multiple muscles work together to stabilise joint motion.

Intramuscular coordination is the amount of muscle motor units and muscle fibres that are engaged inside a specific muscle.

Using heavier dumbbells in small reps is perfect for improving intramuscular coordination.

On the other hand, performing multiplanar (different planes of motion) or multi-joint movements with light to medium weight dumbbells can improve intermuscular coordination.

Dumbbells provide two types of muscle overload

Mechanic overload refers to muscle growth caused by muscle damage from repeated muscle contractions.

This type of growth initiates the muscle repair process and increases muscle size. Using heavy dumbbells is perfect for mechanic overload.

Metabolic overload occurs when the muscle is fatigued.

This makes the muscle better at storing glycogen, which can also cause the muscle to increase in size.

Metabolic overload can be achieved by performing high reps on medium weight dumbbells.

Dumbbells can be used for more types of exercises

A pair of dumbbells can be used for dozens of different exercises which target different muscle groups.

This is very different to weight machines which are usually designed to target a specific muscle or muscle group.

Having this additional flexibility means you can target virtually any muscle in the body with a small amount of equipment.

Working out at home

The final reason to incorporate dumbbells into your workout routines is that you can buy a pair and use them at home.

They are very affordable and don’t take up much space.

For a small investment, you will be able to perform dozens of different exercises whenever you feel the urge to workout.

Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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