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Are Dumbbells Or Resistance Bands Better?

When working out, choosing the right equipment can play just as important a role as the types of exercises you do.  When it comes to comparing dumbbells to resistance bands, the result you’re looking for will be a large factor in which type of equipment is better.  Other considerations such as convenience, cost and durability will also play roles.  In this article we’ll go over the pros and cons of each to try and find out whether dumbbells or resistance bands are better for workouts.

Resistance Band Pros

Resistance bands are very cheap compared with dumbbells and can be bought or replaced for little cost. 

Resistance bands are also very light and therefore very portable.  If you travel a lot for business or pleasure, it’s very easy to bring your resistance bands along with you to continue your workouts on the road.  They take up very little space and weigh practically nothing.  It’s highly unlikely you’ll be packing your dumbbells in your suitcase on your next flight! 

Resistance bands are also quite versatile and can be used for a wide variety of exercise types.  They can be used for warm ups, resistance training and even cardio.  Resistance bands can also be easily used to work your core muscles.

Because resistance bands aren’t dependent on gravity they are much more forgiving on the joints than free weights.  This also makes them ideal for working out while recovering from injury.

Resistance Band Cons

Resistance bands are nowhere near as durable as dumbbells and will eventually break after too much use.  So although they’re much cheaper, you’ll find yourself replacing them more often than free weights.

Unlike dumbbells, it’s much harder to measure your progress when working out with resistance bands.  You may eventually move up to a stronger band, but it’s hardly the same as adding five pounds of weight to your dumbbells.

Resistance bands are not as effective at building muscle mass as are free weights.  If you’re looking to get ripped, resistance bands are probably not the right equipment over the long run.

Dumbbell Pros

Dumbbells are the most effective tool for acquiring muscle mass.  If size is your goal, free weights should be your go-to gear.

Dumbbells also let you easily measure progress.  With the addition of extra weight you can easily see that you’re getting stronger.

Dumbbells are highly durable.  Very seldom will you ever have to replace a set of dumbbells because they’re broken.  Once you’ve bought them you’ll pretty much have them for life.

Dumbbells are also very effective at targeting core muscles.  Although resistance bands also work the core muscles they also tend to involve other muscles making it harder to target specific muscle groups.

Dumbbell Cons

Dumbbells are much more expensive than resistance bands making the entry barrier to weight lifting that much higher.  Their weight and size also make them harder to transport and require much more room for storage.  Without a dedicated room for your dumbbells your house can easily become cluttered with weights.

Dumbbells have a tendency to cause more injuries than resistance bands.  It’s quite easy to overestimate your strength when using free weights which can result in strained muscles or improper technique.

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