People love moving a heavy barbell, there’s nothing better than a bit of clang and bang! Well you may be different but I feel a large amount of gym goers or drawn to the barbell. Whilst it is a great tool for improving many aspects of fitness, you may benefit from some dumbbell alternatives.


Possible Pitfalls Of Barbells

As mentioned, there are multiple benefits of using a barbell to improve performance. However, be careful not to fall into the following bad habits.

  1. Unbalanced loading – I’m not talking about putting the wrong weight on each side! I’m talking about the body making compensations for muscle imbalances. The prime example of this would be the squat, shifting your weight onto one side to use your favoured leg is a common mistake we see. Nobody will be perfectly symmetrical, but we need to be as close as possible. The biggest issue with unbalanced loading is the increased risk of injury.
  2.  Lack of Bracing – The trunk is essential to performance and keeping the spine safe. Unfortunately, how many times do you see someone deadlifting, who’s back resembles a scared cat! Bent over rows? Yanking on a barbell with both hands ,whilst crashing your chest down towards it is not controlled bracing.


Why Dumbbells May Be The Answer

  1. Equal Loading – Loading each side or limb individual ensure they are doing the same amount of work. Therefore limiting the risk of injury through muscular imbalances.
  2. Less Weight, More Control – You may have to lower the weight, but performing steady reps over a correct range of motion may benefit you much more than flinging around a barbell.
  3. Versatility – The ability to link movements together is made is by using dumbbells. The fact they are so easily movable makes it easy to link exercises effectively.
  4. Improved Balance – You don’t always have to use 2 dumbbells at once! As long as you do the same amount of work on each side, unilateral loading can challenge balance and control. Mastering these components will transfer into a balanced and even barbell movements.


Give Dumbbells A Chance

The next time you are heading to a session in Bushy Park with one of our Expert Strength Coaches, Ask them if you can try out some dumbbell alternatives. Hopefully they’ve already implemented them into your session so you already know!!