Oh boy, the dumbbell vs barbell bench press debate has been raging for a long time now and shows no signs of going away anytime soon. At the end of the day this is what everything boils down to: dumbbell presses recruit more muscle and are preferred by people who have rotator cuff issues or who experience pain from barbell presses (typically as a result of bad form).
There’s lots of reasons to use dumbbells but here are the top three that you’ll most often hear from experienced body builders. Okay, let’s take a look at the three primary reasons men and women adore the barbell bench press.


Technically (really complex biomechanics involved here), with a spotter you can put up more weight using a barbell. In the very beginning it’s easier to go into a barbell press than a dumbbell press if you have no spotter or someone to hand them to you with your arms already up. If your form is perfect and you still experience shoulder pain from barbell bench presses, then dumbbells are a good option.
After that it’s all just a matter of personal preference but the best resistance training routines are going to have a bit of both!


But, keep in mind that for hypertrophy (outside hardcore strength training) there are tons and tons of ways to target the chest outside flat barbell or dumbbell presses.



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