Practical Advantages of Dumbbells
Dumbbells provide a huge range of exercises. And nearly every barbell exercise you can think of can also be performed with dumbbells. Exercise variations that are possible with dumbbells are not possible with barbells (e.g. single-arm and alternating-arm exercises) and you quickly see that the number of potential dumbbell exercises is quiet large. Dumbbells are well suited to explosive training, which is the focus of most of the dumbbell exercises athletes perform. Most dumbbell exercises require only an open space for training, a rubber mat or piece of plywood to protect the floor, and an adjustable exercise bench.
Another practical benefit of dumbbell training is that little training space is required, both for storing the dumbbells and for exercising with them. A relative small number of dumbbells is required to train the entire body. For most people, a weight range from 5 pounds (9.1kg) to 70 pounds (31.7kg) in 5-pound (2.3kg) increments will provide the resistance required to perform most exercises, although some advanced male athletes may need dumbbells 125 pounds (56.7kg) or heavier. With this limited number of dumbbells it is possible to train all of the major muscle groups of the body performing only dumbbell exercises. For fixed-weight dumbbells (non-adjustable), a weight range from 5 pounds to 70 pounds would required 14 pairs of dumbbells with the weight increasing at 5 pound increments. For adjustable-weight dumbbells, having six 10-pound plates, two 5-pound plates, and two 2 1/2-pound plates would sufficient to cover a weight range of 5 to 70 pounds (the exact combination would depend on the weight of both the handle and the clamps).
Another benefit of dumbbells is that they are safer than barbells when performing certain exercises, such as one-leg squats or lateral box crossovers because dumbbells are easier to drop safely than a barbell. Dumbbell training also makes it easier for people with injuries to continue to train without aggravating the injury site. And is much easier to teach someone how to correctly catch a dumbbell clean than to teach that same person how to catch a barbell clean.
Dumbbells are relative low cost and adaptability in comparison with other modes of training.