Advantages of Dumbbell Exercises
Dumbbell exercises can be more joint-friendlythan their barbell equivalent. As an example, compare a flat bench dumbbell press to the good ole flat bench barbell press. The dumbbell version tends to be a bit more elbow and shoulder friendly because you can have more natural movement since your hands aren’t fixed in place; you can turn or rotate them as you press.
Great home-trainer who have limited space and equipment. Some people want their own home gym. A small garage or a room corner can be one’s home gym with just 2-3 sets of dumbbells for various exercises.
Allows for unilateral training ensuring both limbs do the same amount of work. If you have a strength imbalance, dumbbell exercises can help minimize this. Whereas one limb may do a bit more work with a barbell exercise (standing barbell press, for example) both limbs are forced to perform the same amount of work with the dumbbell equivalent.
Some exercises are safer when performed with dumbbells. For example, if you’re doing reverse lunges with dumbbells and lose your balance, you can easily toss the dumbbells. If, however, you were lunging with a barbell on your back and lost your balance, you could risk getting injured. This way if you lose balance or something happens, you don’t get crushed by a barbell because the supports will catch it. But if you don’t have a power rack, this is an advantage for using dumbbells).Dumbbells are amazing, but do have a few potential disadvantages.
Dumbbell exercises are not suitable for very heavy sets of 1-3 reps. The exception, however, is explosive and speed work such as dumbbell snatches. If you’re doing explosive work then lower rep sets are fine. However, it is not recommend to attempt three rep max with a dumbbell bench press. As a rule of thumb, For dumbbell exercises (excluding explosive work/exercises) to no less than five reps, and even six just to be safe.
Sometimes the weight increase is a bit too much for certain exercises. Most dumbbells in gyms increase in five pound increments. If you’ve been using 15 pound dumbbells and one is ready to jump to the next weight, progressing to 20 pound dumbbells is a 25 percent increase. For some trainees that may be too much to handle all at once.
Adding more weight on certain exercises can be problematic. I think dumbbell squats are a terrific exercise, but you can only hoist some much weight into position for this exercise before it gets uncomfortable, and even dangerous. Most trainees don’t reach this point, but if you get brutally strong at dumbbell squatting, you’ll have to switch to a different exercise that you can load more safely.