curls: bar bell vs dumb bell

  • John54321

    Posts: 1

    Mar 05, 2010 2:06 PM GMT
    Just started back into the gym, trying to undo years of neglect.

    I pretty well understand the free weight vs machine debate.

    Is there a difference in curls whether I use bar bell or dumb bells?

    Is there a difference in curling one arm to failure then the other vs alternating arms while curling?
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    Mar 05, 2010 2:43 PM GMT
    1) Bars restrict your wrists ability to move, which in turn restricts how well your bicep and forearm muscles can properly contract. Aside from this dumbbells also bring your stabilizers into play, barbells do not.

    Short answer: Use dumbbells.

    2) Mix it up. I do 3 sets of preacher curls one day, finishing one set with one arm, then a set on the other, and I repeat until each arm's had three sets. The next day I'll do 21's with both arms at the same time. As long as you're working out both sides evenly you can't really go wrong.
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    Mar 05, 2010 4:53 PM GMT
    See above.

    Understand, a muscle contracts the way it contracts, PERIOD. Think it through. It'll become very clear.

    E.g., a muscle brings your arm towards your body. ANOTHER muscle rotates that arm. How you effect that contraction (which exercise) really doesn't matter if the exercise allows a full range of motion and a stretch.

    Dumbbells allow a fuller range of motion, require stabilizers, and allow a full stretch. Barbells often involve more muscles in the body / less isolation, but, often can't be done through a full range of motion or folks don't do them right.

    You'll want to study up on ATP recovery for the answer to your last question. At your level of training, there's very little difference, but, because of ATP recovery in the alternating method you could go a bit longer in an ideal situation because of the recovery between reps, if rep count is the metric you're interested in. If "pump" / engorgement is the metric you're interested in then sets to failure, one arm, then, the other arm, would work slightly better. You just needed to think on it some. You'll want to try some of this yourself to get a feel for it.
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    Mar 05, 2010 9:56 PM GMT
    if you can, use dumbbells, however if you want to use the bar, using a ezybar it'll keep your wrists in a more natural angle.

    But again, if you can, use dumbbells.
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    Apr 09, 2010 5:30 AM GMT
    Barbells isolate the bicep muscles.

    Dumbbells require stabilizer muscles.
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    Jul 17, 2010 6:51 AM GMT
    Chuckystud has good advice. He is pretty much right on.

    But why either/ or?

    They both have benefits.

    Barbells allow you to do much heavier weight. 1+1 does not really equal 2. I always do standing strict barbells for bi's.

    Dumbells allow rotation so you can do various angles. Thumbs up dumbell curls brings in the forearm muscles and the long muscle that crosses the joint, the brachia lradialis. This actual sits under the bicep and lifts it up like a snake under a rug. It creats the peak. Just make a muscle and twist your hand so the thumb moves to the outside and you will see the bicep peak rise. Plus the brachias, and other forearm muscles.

    Do both. Most people either overwork the biceps or underwork them or do not use enough angles to hit all the arm muscles that pull.

    I detached my bicep and I was still able to do curls because my brachial radialis was strong. The doctors were amazed. Normally, a detached bicep means no strength curling.
  • Markebri

    Posts: 110

    Jul 17, 2010 7:02 AM GMT
    I always use an easy curl bar if I'm doing bicep curls. In my opinion, it gives you a better pump and doesn't strain your wrist so much as a normal barbell does. Dumbbells allow more motion to your exercises, but they are very taxing on my left collarbone for some reason.
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    Jul 17, 2010 12:06 PM GMT
    you will need to do both
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    Jul 17, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    The most expensive and most used part of my workout room is the dumbbell rack.
    Other stuff is needed, but dumbbell workouts are imperative for a properly strengthened body.