Dumbell presses vs Bench press

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  • March 1, 2006 at 4:22 am #2388

    Dumbells require more stabilisation and you will press less but this will increase rapidly. If you can bench 120 then I expect that you will press 50kg bells within a couple of weeks.

    Analyse your movement and try to determine what the difference is in the way you perform the two. That might give you some clues about the shoulder problems.

    March 1, 2006 at 4:35 am #2389

    How did I do that? ^^^^^

    March 1, 2006 at 7:30 am #486

    I’ve had a tendency to get shoulder irritations and subsequent tendinitis or some form of inflamation (it seems) from the good old bench press (flat or incline), or if not from bench press it did seem to make it worse.

    I’ve started doing dumbell presses as an alternative and it seems to be going OK so far, although the weights I’m moving are MUCH lower (like 40kg dumbells vs 120kg BP for 6 reps).

    I have noticed that the dumbell press is hitting the pecs quite well. Do others have a preference or can anyone make a comment on what might be the real cause of this type of shoulder issue ?

    March 1, 2006 at 8:09 am #2387

    i did barbell presses when i started training, untill i realised my shoulders had different ranges of motion to each other and my right side did most the work, and resulted in uneven pecs (not that bad) so i changed to DB’s to correct it. i usually do 30 – 33kg Db’s for incline, but today i tryed barbell again (after months!) and barelly managed 60kgs 😳

    dont know if this helps or not, but now im probably going to alternate DB and BB presses.

    March 1, 2006 at 11:23 am #2390

    Bull,

    That’s a nice trick !

    I will stick with the dumbells for a while, since they do seem to be much better for my shoulders and are really hitting the pecs well.

    I will analyse the movement to see if I can improve my form in the bench press.

    One thing that could make the difference is that I can go deeper ie better stretch with the dumbells and don’t tend to raise my shoulders off the bench at the top of my movement.

    March 1, 2006 at 11:57 am #2391

    @strud wrote:

    One thing that could make the difference is that I can go deeper ie better stretch with the dumbells and don’t tend to raise my shoulders off the bench at the top of my movement.

    I think you found it. Your shoulders should stay on the bench throughout the movement.

    Sorry if I’m lecturing you on stuff that you know already but to set yourself up to bench, pull your shoulders back and down. Some people say it’s like pulling the shoulder blades together. Then they don’t move. Squeeze the elbows up and in to lift the weight.

    The shoulder joint is pretty vulnerable and I expect that bringing them forward under 120kgs is part of the problem. Your pec development will improve too.

    March 2, 2006 at 9:36 am #2392

    Don’t worry, my ego isn’t that fragile 🙂 I appreciate the constructive comments.

    I might vary between BP and DB Press bearing in mind the shoulder issues. Strange though that I don’t seem to do the shoulder raising with the DB’s.

    Another interesting thing is that my flat BP is definitely stronger that the incline, but with dumbells this isn’t the case. Any thoughts ?

    March 3, 2006 at 11:52 am #2393

    @Bull wrote:

    I think you found it. Your shoulders should stay on the bench throughout the movement.

    Sorry if I’m lecturing you on stuff that you know already but to set yourself up to bench, pull your shoulders back and down. Some people say it’s like pulling the shoulder blades together. Then they don’t move. Squeeze the elbows up and in to lift the weight.

    The shoulder joint is pretty vulnerable and I expect that bringing them forward under 120kgs is part of the problem. Your pec development will improve too.

    Bingo!
    The secret to great pec development and minimal shoulder injuries is pulling the shoulder blades back (or togther if you like) before you unrack.

    I had a shoulder impingment from a military press gone wrong a few years ago, and once I (finally) learned to keep my should blades right back, the shoulder has never bother me since.

    And thats going from incline benching 40kgs to 120kgs now (woohoo!)

    March 9, 2006 at 7:16 am #2394

    I have only started using dumbbells in my workouts in the last 3 months or so, and now alternate between BB & DB every session. Working well so far.

    October 21, 2006 at 2:45 am #2395

    just wanted to see what you guys thought with these 2 exercises… i read in a mag recently that DB bench hits the lower pec more while the BBbench hits upper pec more… for me i think this is right, what about you guys?

    and for me i can pretty much DB bench an equal weight to my BB bench unlike anyone else i know… i love telling them i have unbelievable stabilizing muscles haha…

    October 21, 2006 at 5:52 am #2396

    @Gilbey wrote:

    just wanted to see what you guys thought with these 2 exercises… i read in a mag recently that DB bench hits the lower pec more while the BBbench hits upper pec more… for me i think this is right, what about you guys?

    and for me i can pretty much DB bench an equal weight to my BB bench unlike anyone else i know… i love telling them i have unbelievable stabilizing muscles haha…

    But Gilbey anyone can do that with just 20kg weight.. HaHa. DA

    October 21, 2006 at 1:46 pm #2397

    haha, ill pay that… i bench 27.5kg DB’s for 4-6 reps… and BB bench 65kg for 4 reps… but soon ill be writing in the triple digits, you just wait!

    October 22, 2006 at 1:14 am #2398

    im nearlly pressing 50kg dbs in my low rep weeks, and I feel my chest is hardly the size for doing this. DB’s havent really made my chest come out like Ive wanted to, Hence why Im making the change to a barbell in 3 weeks time to see what gains can be made.

    Unbuff

    October 22, 2006 at 9:24 am #2399

    I always alternate DB’s and BB-loving the slight Incline Db press at the moment, palms facing in like a Fly/press and when I’m at the end of the set I slowly lower the Db’s in to a full stretch at the bottom and hold for 20 secs…..bloody kills 😈 but all good fun.

    October 23, 2006 at 11:43 pm #2400

    One of the big differences between DB and BB bench press is that with a BB your hand position is locked in.

    If you take a wide grip, your grip stays wide no matter how hard the going gets anyway.

    Most people do DB presses with what would be a relatively narrow grip with the BB.

    Even if you conciously use a wide stance it’s going to come in close to the chest once the going gets tough. It’s probably easier to try a stick with your target grip width on the negative and just let the position of the DBs take care of themselves on the concentric.

    J

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