Dumbbell Training and the Competitive Athlete

by Allen Hedrick, MA, CSCS,*D, FNSCA, RSCC*E
NSCA Coach June 2023
Vol 10, Issue 1

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This article provides a first-hand account of the usage and benefits of dumbbell training programs with athletes.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach Â»

Related Reading



  1. Bennett, S. Sport specificity, how far do you take it? Strength and Conditioning Journal 28(4): 29-30, 2006.
  2. Farias, D, Willardson, J, Paz, G, Bezerra, E, and Miranda, H. Maximal strength and muscle activation for the bench press and triceps extension exercises adopting dumbbell, barbell, and machine modalities over multiple sets. Journal of Strength Conditioning Research 31(7): 1879-1887, 2017.
  3. Fisher, F, Bruce-Low, S, Smith, D, and Steele, J. Evidence-based resistance training recommendations. Medicina Sportiva 15(3): 147-162, 2011.
  4. Hedrick, A. Strength and power training for football at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Strength and Conditioning Journal 18(4): 20-30, 1996.
  5. Hedrick, A. Exercise technique: Dumbbell clean. Strength and Conditioning Journal 40(6): 112-117, 2018.
  6. Hedrick, A. Dumbbell Training. (2nd Ed). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2019.
  7. Mang, Z, Kravitz, L, and Beam, J. Transfer between lifts: Increased strength in untrained exercises. Strength and Conditioning Journal 44(3): 101-106, 2022.
  8. Saerterbakkenm, AH, and Fimland, MS. Effects of body position and loading modality on muscle activation and strength in shoulder presses. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27(7): 1824-1831, 2013.
About the author

Allen R. Hedrick, MA, CSCS, RSCC*E

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Allen Hedrick retired in 2020 from the role of Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Colorado State University-Pueblo, in Pueblo, CO. Previously, He ...

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Available to:
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Program design
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