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Deconstructing The Dumbbells Bench Press


The debate between the merits of the barbell bench press and the dumbbell bench press has raged for years, with the last word being something akin to, “If you can’t do both, then find what works for you.” However, one study put an interesting spin on the conversation. Norwegian scientists examined the differences in muscle recruitment between the barbell, dumbbell, and Smith machine bench presses on 12 trained college-age subjects. The barbell and dumbbells stimulated the pectorals and deltoids to an almost equal degree, and more so than the Smith machine. However, the dumbbells recruited far more muscle fibers in the biceps than the barbell, but the barbell elicited a stronger reaction in the triceps.

 

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