The advantages of dumbbells are both obvious and not so obvious: the obvious advantage for dumbbell use is they force each arm to carry its fair share of the payload. With a barbell, and particularly with machines, one arm can provide upwards of 55% of the push or pull force, allowing the weaker arm to stay weak. Dumbbells allow for far greater “pre-stretch” in bench presses, incline and decline presses. Where the barbell’s descent halts when the bar contacts the chest, dumbbells can be lowered further down creating an extended range-of-motion and stressing muscles to a degree unobtainable with barbells or machines. Dumbbell pressing stimulates muscle stabilizers maximally. More muscle stabilizer activation means more muscle growth.

About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.