Dumbbell Shoulder Press VS Barbell Shoulder Press | WHICH BUILDS BIGGER SHOULDERS FASTER?

Dumbbell Shoulder Press VS Barbell Shoulder Press | WHICH BUILDS BIGGER SHOULDERS FASTER?


What’s going on nation and welcome to
another episode of my versus series. Last time we compared the incline barbell bench press versus the reverse grip bench press. And if you didn’t see it, I’ll post the link down
in the info section below. Now today we’re going to be comparing
the barbell shoulder press versus the dumbbell shoulder press. And remember if you have any suggestions
for future videos in this series, be sure to leave a comment
below. But before we get started, make sure you turn on notifications so
you never miss a new video upload on my channel. So to begin this comparison, let’s first discuss the muscles that are
primarily involved in both movements, which are the anterior,
middle and posterior deltoids. These muscles are responsible for
shoulder abduction, shoulder flexion, and shoulder extension, and you will
also be activating your triceps, during each movement as well. Remember that your triceps assist in the
pressing motion during the movement and are active throughout
the full range of motion. Now for your biceps
especially the short head. These muscles will act more like dynamic
stabilizers throughout the movement. Some other muscles involved that will
act as stabilizers during the movement are your rotator cuffs, traps, lats,
major and minor, and your rhomboids and you will also be
activating all the muscles in your core. But how much activation you will have
will change when doing the exercise, standing versus seated.
And with that being said, in this video we’re going to primarily
focus on the seated version of both exercises, but I will still briefly mention some
of the differences in muscle activation in the standing versions of each
exercise. At the end of the video, first up is the seated barbell
shoulder press. And for this exercise, all you need is a bench and a rack and
I’m actually going to use something different. I’m going to use the seat cause
it’s already in the upright position. Now to get started, what you want to do is sit down and
keep your feet flat on the ground. Now if the bench you’re using has an
option where you can put your feet on the pegs, I’d recommend doing that because what you
want to do is make sure that your butt and your back stay against this pad
throughout the entire range of motion. So anything you can do to ensure that
you don’t slide forward throughout the movement is going to help you out. Because what happens is when you
start to slide forward too much, you’re basically turn the exercise
into an incline barbell bench press. So if you’re starting
here doing the movement, and you slowly go like this and you’re
arching your back and you’re pushing up, there’s no support right here and
you can severely injure yourself. And the main reason why that happens
with most people is because they want to lift heavier weights.
So just drop the ego. You use the correct amount of weight,
and you won’t risk injuring yourself. But with that being said, you do want
to have a slight arch in your back. So just make sure your glutes are
touching the bench and your shoulders, in the bench once in place. You’re going to grab the barbell about
two inches outside of shoulder width. If you grab too close
as you do the movement, you’re going to be recruiting a
lot more triceps into the exercise. You don’t want to do that. So let’s
get our hands evenly space on this bar. And then once you’re in place, you’re going to unrack the weight and
now what you’re going to have to do once you get to this position is you’re going
to have to turn your elbows forward slightly. And the reason is because obviously if
I were to keep the barbell right where it is right here and bring it straight down,
it’s going to smash into my head. So I turn my elbows forward slightly
so that I can bring the barbell down to the top of my chest. And yes, we’re doing full range of motion and
once it touches the top of your chest, you’re going to push up, but
you’re not going to stop here. You’re going to lock out back at the top
of the movement with the barbell over your head. Another thing that you can do to keep
this movement nice and fluid is make sure that you keep your head up a little
bit. So tilt it back just like this. And what this is going to do is help
make sure that as you bring the barbell down, it doesn’t hit you in the face
and then as you push it back up, you’re not going to smash
yourself in the chin. So keep these things in mind when doing
this exercise and you’ll have proper form. Now we’re going to go over the seated
dumbbell shoulder press and I’m going to use the same bench that I had before, but you guys use a regular bench
for this exercise if you want to. And if you use a bench that
has a really high back, it’s just going to give you more
shoulder support if you need it. So that can be a good thing. Now what I want you to do is get started
with both dumbbells on your thighs just like this. And what you’re going to do is push off
your toes to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Now once in place you can choose
to keep your feet flat like this. Or if you have the option, you can put them right here to help keep
you in the seat as best as possible. Remember, you want to prevent
your butt from sliding forward. So by pushing into this, I can keep my butt on the pad and make
sure I have a slight arch in my back and my upper back is still
touching the pad as well. Once in place you’re going to sit with
your palms facing forward just like this, and the dumbbell is going to
be down by your shoulders. Once in position you’re going to push
straight up to the top of the movement just like this, but you’re not gonna
have the dumbbells touch each other. Don’t bounce them at the top. Just
push straight up, get a full extension, and then come back down
and repeat for reps. So you guys are going to notice with this
movement that because I’m not using a barbell, I can press the dumbbells up right over
my head and bring them down over my head as well. So there’s no reason to
turn your elbows in like this. You can keep them nice and wide and
out to the side and complete all your repetitions with full range of motion, so which is better for building bigger
shoulders while each exercise has its pros and cons and it is going to be up
to you to determine which exercise better fits with your goals. As you
just saw with the barbell press, in order to lower it to
the top of your chest, you have to bring it down
in front of your body. What happens when you do this is that
you’re transferring more of the load to the anterior and middle deltoids as well
as the upper chest and recruiting less muscle fibers in the posterior deltoids. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing
because you have other exercises like a dumbbell bent over fly that you can use
to specifically target your rear delts in your workouts. Also, if your goal is to lift heavier to build
overall mass and strength in your upper body, you will certainly be able to lift
more using the barbell version of this movement. Another thing to keep in mind is that
the strength you’ve gained from this movement will transfer over to help
improve other lifts such as your barbell bench press, but if your goal is more aesthetics
and you want to make sure that you’re target all three heads of your deltoids
as best as you can for that round shoulder look, then you would want the
stick with the dumbbell shoulder press. Remember guys, when bodybuilding, which means your goal is
purely building muscle, you should always be utilizing exercises
that are going to help you break down the most muscle fibers
for more growth. Yeah, you will be able to lift more
with the barbell version, but if your posterior deltoids
are lacking in development, then you need to make sure you are
targeting them every chance you get. Also, and this is very, very important guys, more weight doesn’t
always mean more growth. The reason why you can lift more with
the barbell is because you are putting your body at a mechanical advantage when
compared to the dumbbell version. Just because you’re using a little
less weight with dumbbells doesn’t mean you’re still not applying all your
strength to complete your reps. now let’s look at some other advantages
and disadvantages to each exercise. The barbell shoulder press is also great
for helping to build muscle and strains in other areas such as your traps and
triceps where the dumbbell shoulder press because each arm is moving
independently of each other. Will force you to use more supportive
muscles like the ones in your rotator cuffs and you will feel a bit more bicep
engagement for stability throughout the movement as well. In fact, there was a Norwegian study that compared
the barbell overhead press to the dumbbell overhead press to see just
how different the extent of muscle activation was for all three deltoids
between the two exercises using electromyographic activity,
also known as EMG. They actually compared seated versus
standing for each access size to see what was ultimately the best option and I want
to share some of that information with you guys relevant to this video and I’ll
put the reference to the study in the info section below. For those of you
who want to see the entire thing. So for anterior deltoid recruitment, the seated dumbbell press had 11% greater
muscle activation than the seated by though oppress for middle
deltoid recruitment, the standing dumbbell was 7%
greater than the standing bar. Though they didn’t do a comparison
for the seated versions. But after looking at the data, it would seem that the seated dumbbell
would still recruit more middle deltoid. For the posterior deltoids, they
didn’t compare dumbbell versus barbell, but instead they compared seated
versus standing for both exercises. What they found out is that you will
recruit about 25% more posterior deltoids if you perform the exercises
standing versus seated, whether using a barbell
or dumbbells. However, keep in mind that you will still be
recruiting more posterior deltoids overall when using dumbbells. So what you should take away from this
is that if you want to really maximize posterior deltoid development, you should be doing the dumbbell
shoulder press standing. So my final thoughts on
these two exercises is this, and I know I just threw a ton
of information at you guys. If your main goal is overall upper body
strength and mass and improving other lifts like your barbell bench press, then you should be incorporating the
barbell shoulder press into your routine. If you’re looking to round out the
entire deltoid area for bodybuilding or aesthetic purposes, then you will want
to use the dumbbell shoulder press. But keep in mind that you
could also simply rotate
these exercises in and out of your routine from week to week
on heavier or strength days. You should use the barbell press and
for high volume days use the dumbbell press. Some other things that keep in
mind is that if you are prone to or have a shoulder injury, you might want to stay away from
the barbell version of the movement. You run a much higher risk of shoulder
impingement because your arms are essentially stuck in one place throughout
the entire movement and because you can lift more with this version, the added weight will be much more
taxing on your shoulders, in fact, because with the dumbbell press, your
arms moving independently of each other. When performing the movement, you
will be forced to use less weight, which will lessen your
chances of an injury. But I know that because 99% of you will
be able to lift more weight with the barbell press, that you will automatically think it’s
still better for building muscle that just isn’t true and is
just your ego taking over. Don’t confuse more weight with better. Utilize the information in this video
to understand the pros and cons of each exercise and use that information
to help you reach your goals. Now a quick bonus tip. If you currently do have shoulder
pain when performing either of these movements, you can try to perform the
dumbbell press with a neutral grip. This variation will
activate a bit more triceps, but you should still be able to perform
it pain free and it certainly beats your other option, which is not being
able to do either exercise at all. I hope you guys enjoyed the video and
if you missed any of the versus series, I will put a link to the entire
playlist down in the info section below. Be sure to hit that like and
subscribe button and as always, more good stuff coming soon.

100 thoughts on “Dumbbell Shoulder Press VS Barbell Shoulder Press | WHICH BUILDS BIGGER SHOULDERS FASTER?

  1. Every time I do these I get huge kink in the side of my neck a little while after…. what Can I do to stop hurting my neck?

  2. i think what he meant was dumbells recruited more types of shoulder muscle fibers. but in terms of the total number of muscle fibers barbels recruited more

  3. Big man, i need help. I have problems in my nick, and i believe it’s because keeping my head up while pressing with the barbell ( just like u mentioned in the video ). Is there anything that i can do. The pain is really annoying almost all day long, especially when training

  4. I do barbell press one day work out, then i use dumbbell press on second day. Though i would love it if there were more posterior deltoids workout.

  5. so on dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell should not touch at the top of the movement similar to incline dumbbell press?

  6. By locking the arms out at the top, aren't you defeating the whole time-under-tension rule that you push? Wouldn't this exercise be better to just stop short of the very top or is this exercise the exception to that rule?

  7. Love ur explained videos mate, A humble request to u to make a video about thicker back and the lower portion of the back. Hope to see that on ur next upload. Keep up the good work fam

  8. Disagree with not rotationing shoulder in the dumbbell press, bad for the shoulders to keep the externally rotated like that.

  9. how should I do f.ex. reverse flys or lateral raises (which u usually do with lighter weighs) for strength ?? what about the reps and sets and the weight for the movement?

  10. I found a lot of the times in gym I got lazy spent more time with dumbbells that would grown my arms better I think barbells are great but dummbells really active the stabilizers muscels I like doing both

  11. Why not both? The barbell works the front delt more, it pretty much made my ridge between middle and front delt appear, and the dumbbells made my middle delts bigger, do standing ohp and sitting dumbbell press

  12. Scott. I use the trap bar for “dead lifts” because a straight bar seems to hurt my lower back. I do squats with the padded “front grip” bar for the same reason. Seems to be effective, thoughts?

  13. You should make a barbell shrug vs hex bar deadlift video and another video about hip thrust vs upright row because you fucking suck🖕💪👍😎🏋️‍♂️👎😡🤬🥊🏥

  14. Really nice tips Scott, been following since my first day on 2011. Finally I know the answer why my shoulder finally hurt during barbell overhead press.
    Lets keep the natural gainz 🤙

  15. Hey Scott, grat video! Have you ever tried the hex bar overhead press? Could you make a video of that?. Blessings from Ecuador!!!

  16. Honestly I’m a fan of both I don’t believe in one being better then the other I like to be doing both and the benefits of both the strength from the overhead press will transfer to the bench press but that can be just me

  17. Why can I overheard press more with dumbbells than with a barbell?
    I’m using 75s for 8 reps standing with dumbbells.
    I can barely do 115 for 3 reps with a barbell

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