In the world of SO many options for fitness equipment, machines, gadgets, gizmos, inflatable surfaces, banded contraptions, and thingamabobs…we forget about the OG’s, the original gainers, of the gym.
I’m talking about the iron.
More specifically, the dumbbell.
Because even the barbell has made a comeback of sorts – well, for hardcore gym goers it never left – but it is getting more mainstream attention thanks to CrossFit.
But the dumbbell, even its name hurts its own feelings. It is one of the most versatile and functional pieces of equipment, can be used for thousands of variations of lifts, yet we seem to have forgotten its glory. It has been beaten down and reduced to being a paperweight on a desk, a doorstop at the gym, or an anchor for our camera while we take awesome gym selfies.
Today I come to defend the dumbbell and return it to its rightful glory.
Why is it so great you might ask?
1 – Versatility
With one set, or even just one dumbbell and your body, you can create hundreds, if not thousands of functional movements. Remember, we can lump them all into several categories:
Take those movement patterns, a single dumbbell or two, and you can branch out to at least 10- 20 well-known exercises for each.
2 – Safety
If you are benching a barbell, and you cannot lift it off your chest…where does it go?
If you are benching 2 dumbbells and cannot lift them, where do they go?
You see, for training alone, dumbbells are a safer option. I’m not saying to never train alone with barbells, but if you are new to this game, or are just trying to avoid crushing your windpipe, dumbbells are safer.
They also are safer on the shoulder joints themselves because of the freeness of the dumbbells and the ability to rotate them to an optimal angle at the glenohumeral joint (shoulder), whereas a barbell is in a fixed position.
3 – More Challenge
Because dumbbells are two separate weights in each hand, they require more stability and neuron recruitment. This is a good thing because it forces the lifter to slow it down, and actually learn the movement instead of rushing through some ugly reps with a barbell or a machine which is on a fixed path.
When you are able to slow a lift down, and really feel the muscle fibers working – this is where the magic happens.
By training with dumbbells, you will not only expand your knowledge of exercise, but also improve your motor neuron connectivity, and become a more well rounded athlete/gym bro/gym brah.
By using dumbbells, you can create endless workouts – circuits for a metabolic fat burning effect, or straight sets to pack on slabs of muscle.
So before you jump into the latest fitness trend that promises you only need 4 minutes per day, remember this – the iron has been around for centuries, there is a reason that the fittest people in the gym spend most of the time lifting weights.
Hit the dumbbells, and put it some hard work!
Oh, by the way…
Are you looking for a way to use dumbbells to create your own workouts, that you can do from home? I’ve got the perfect cheat sheet for you!
I created it as a way to plug and play with exercises covering the whole body, so we don’t end up getting any muscle imbalances, or skipping leg day… Click HERE to get your copy.
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Stay healthy my friends,