Seriously, what exercises does StrongFirst advocate for Dumbbells???

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
Carries, pulls, and deadlifts with Dumbbells are good to mix in because the thumb has to act as a "break" to stop the weight from rotating out of the hand, unlike kettlebells. This is more pronounced with thick grip DB handles of 2"-3".

When I set my grip for carries I offset a little back. This tilts the implemente a little lower in the front, and puts a little more weight on the stronger index and pointer fingers allowing for more time under tension. I also grip as deep in the palm as possible which also extends the carry as the handle slips into the fingers. If you grip with the fingers when the handle starts to slip you don't have any more support. The right grip placement makes all the difference.

@natewhite39 What do you mean by the slick side of the dumbbell.
 

Alexey

Level 6 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
If the question is, "what exercises does StrongFirst advocate for Dumbbells... over Kettlebells or Barbells?", the answer is none. The latter are our preferred implements to load our movements, each for its own purpose. Barbell lets us go real heavy, several times bodyweight for some exceptionnaly strong individuals. Kettlebell, thanks to its round form and its offset center of mass, sticks the best to most of the movements without compromising the most advantageous and healthy joint alignments.
Now, one may find him- or herself stuck somewhere with no access to KB or BB. In that case, we usually advise to work on one's bodyweight skills. But sometimes, you just want to move some weight, right? The last time that happened to me, I did use the Dumbbells available at the hotel's gym--to do the very same exercises that compose our curriculum. Because our real "tools of the trade" are the exercises, not the implements.
 

natewhite39

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@Geoff Chafe Commercial dumbbell handles are polished steel with shallow knurling and tend to slip out of the hand much easier than Kettlebells in my experience.
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Sorry, I though it was funny.

OK, when I was travelling, and no kettlebells/barbells around, I was doing snatches and bent presses with the dumbbells.
 

Rif

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
The best part of it being a principle based system is that the tool is less important than the concept. Except for ballistics, nothing beats the kb for that
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Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Sorry, I though it was funny.

OK, when I was travelling, and no kettlebells/barbells around, I was doing snatches and bent presses with the dumbbells.
That's about what I was thinking of for if I were stuck somewhere with dummbells and no kettlebells - snatches to replace the swings, and a press to go with it to replace the TGU, or heck, even just do the TGU with the dummbbell even though it probably won't be heavy enough.
 
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Rif

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
That's about what I was thinking of for if I were stuck somewhere with dummbells and no kettlebells - snatches to replace the swings, and a press to go with it to replace the TGU, or heck, even just do the TGU with the dummbbell even though it probably won't be heavy enough.
Sure, you can emulate the movements of the ballistic kb movements with dbs. you won't get the same effect but you will still train your hinge and your entire body. Again, principles first and it can all be adapted.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Sure, you can emulate the movements of the ballistic kb movements with dbs. you won't get the same effect but you will still train your hinge and your entire body. Again, principles first and it can all be adapted.
It's kind of a moot question to myself as to what I'd do if I only had dumbbells, since I have LOTS of kettlebells, but I figure I'd do a LOT of military presses one hand at a time to get the asymmetrical load effect, and hmmm... there really isn't anything terribly good for cardio/lower body development to match the kettlebell swing with dumbells. Squats are too light. Hmmm... maybe pistols would have to do it. Ah, probably the single leg deadlift! That would be it I think! There we go - a hacked together S&S for dumbbells - military (or other kind of) presses, and single leg deadlifts!
 

El Cid

Level 3 Valued Member
Sorry, I though it was funny.

OK, when I was travelling, and no kettlebells/barbells around, I was doing snatches and bent presses with the dumbbells.
This!

Learn to use DBs as a backup tool when you have no access to KBs or BBs.

Also, DBs can be a useful work around if an acute or chronic injury results in your body responding better to them on a particular movement.
 

Toby

Level 6 Valued Member
Not a representative of SF but I did dumbbell sidepress for PttP around 8 yrs ago (I gave up because it is hard to master)
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

If you do not have access to your bells, then you can replace them by dumbells.

The tool is less significant than the skill or the method.

SF programs are conceived to be straightforward, efficient and functional (work on big muscle groups, no isolation work). As Pavel principle says that each training has to give you more strength and stamina than it takes from you.

I believe that if you follow this principle, no matter the tool you are using, you're good.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Kit Meyer

Level 1 Valued Member
I feel a little awkward doing a swing with a DB. You can't make a DB "float" unless if you grip one of the weighted ends. All the feedback I'm looking for is not there.

I much prefer them for grinds. The Armor Builder Complex (double bells, 2 cleans, 3 squats, 1 press) is excellent for DBs.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Kit Meyer, if you have to use a dumbbell, use a loadable one and load the far end with more weight. It's still not a kettlebell but it's a better dumbbell for 2h swings.

-S-
 

Alexey

Level 6 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Kit Meyer
An alternative way to load the hinge with DB would be to do Speed Deadlifts, especially if you have two low boxes to stand on (to increase the ROM). It's kind of ballistic and you can still enjoy the powerful lockout and everything else associated with the Swing, except the "hike pass" and the "float".
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
I feel a little awkward doing a swing with a DB. You can't make a DB "float" unless if you grip one of the weighted ends. All the feedback I'm looking for is not there.

I much prefer them for grinds. The Armor Builder Complex (double bells, 2 cleans, 3 squats, 1 press) is excellent for DBs.
Thank you. This is an important piece of information.
 
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