Should I combine dumbbells with barbells?




the optimal training weights for at home

Dumbbells are one of the most famous fitness machines and are often used as a symbol for bodybuilding and hard fitness training. But dumbbells are more! They are optimal and extremely variable training weights for strength and fitness training at home. You can train your entire body with dumbbells. Dumbbell training is an integral part of gymnastic exercises and numerous different aerobic styles. With the various training weights you can achieve a full body workout as well as target individual muscles and train them in isolation. Dumbbells are suitable for any training goal from building muscle to rehab training.

In contrast to training on a multi-gym, the sequence of movements in dumbbell training is free. That means: The weight must be constantly monitored. Many small muscles are used to stabilize and balance. So you not only train strength and stamina, but also coordination and balance. With dumbbells you can exercise standing, sitting or lying down.


The dumbbell is (of course) the short version. The sports science difference is: The dumbbell is held with one hand, while barbells are gripped and moved with both hands. Although dumbbells are primarily used in weight training, they can be used for almost any training goal. This applies to both muscle building and muscle definition, as well as an effective full-body workout. With the dumbbell, individual muscles and muscle groups can be trained very specifically.


Example: barbell
The barbell bar is held with both hands or carried in front of or behind the body.
With a barbell rack and a weight bench, the training options with a barbell are even more diverse. With the barbell you train classic basic exercises such as squats, bench press or deadlift and many other exercises. A barbell is the optimal training weight if you want to do maximum strength training or muscle building training. A special variant of the barbell are the light aerobic dumbbells that are used for body pump training. The curl or SZ dumbbells, which are characterized by a multi-curved bar, should also be mentioned. Curl dumbbell bars relieve the wrists due to their shape and are therefore particularly useful for targeted biceps training.

Dumbbell systems

Example: compact dumbbell
Dumbbells are available as compact dumbbells, variable dumbbells and system dumbbells. Compact dumbbells are classic, non-adjustable units of rod and weight. They are often stored on special storage shelves (dumbbell pyramids). The advantage of the compact dumbbell is that it saves time, because no weights have to be adjusted. The disadvantage is the high space requirement, because of course a suitable dumbbell must be available for each weight class. In the case of variable dumbbells, on the other hand, different weights are attached to a bar in the form of weight plates, which allows many possible combinations when adjusting the weight. This advantage, together with the high space savings, is the reason that only variable dumbbells are used in the professional sector, while compact dumbbells are more likely to be found in the home sector.
System dumbbells offer a complete set of dumbbells in just one pair of dumbbells. The weight can be changed quickly using simple mechanical systems. Locks and weight discs do not need to be removed. The main advantage: dumbbell systems save the purchase of many different dumbbells and therefore save a lot of space.

The diameter of the barbell

An important detail is the diameter of the barbell. Barbell bars with a diameter of 30 mm or 50 mm are available. 30 mm dumbbell bars are actually only used at home. In addition to the lower price, they have the advantage that their own weight is not high. A 50 mm barbell bar quickly weighs 10 kg or more. For beginners with little training, a 30mm system is definitely an option. Professionals and well trained people should rather use a 50 mm system.


Example: kettlebells
At first glance, kettlebells are more reminiscent of cowbells. The spherical dumbbell has a firm handle and is particularly suitable for swing exercises due to its unique shape.
Thanks to this special form of endurance training, the kettlebell enables very effective whole-body training. Kettlebells are usually sold and used as sets. As an alternative, however, so-called smashbells are also available, which are sewn from solid synthetic material and can be filled with sand or rice in various ways in order to allow the weight to be varied. Since most of the exercises on the Kettelbell are performed with momentum, this form of training requires a lot of attention.


One of the newest pieces of exercise equipment is the sandbag, also known as the 'Bulgarian Sandbag' or 'Bulgaria Bag'. The sack is exactly what the name sounds like: a stable, empty, tubular sack that can be filled with (more or less) sand. The sandbag is a very flexible device thanks to the possibility of changing the load and thus the training weight at any time. It offers several grip options and is usually gripped and guided with both hands. Training with the Bugarian Bag is always free and unguided and therefore very demanding for strength, endurance and coordination.