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Dumbbells can be useful for home workouts. They are relatively small, inexpensive, and suitable for a wide variety of exercises that people can perform in their own homes.
Some people may refer to dumbbells as free weights.
They are available in a variety of types, shapes, weights, and materials to help fit the needs of each individual. They may help people save money from gym fees and help them achieve fitness goals, such as losing weight or building muscle.
This article will discuss the potential health benefits of using dumbbells, provide a list of products to consider, and suggest some alternative options.
A person can incorporate dumbbells into their resistance training routine. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that people engage in resistance training at least twice per week.
Benefits they cite include:
- boosting resting metabolic rate (burning calories)
- protecting against injury
- increasing the strength of the bones, muscles, and connective tissue
Using dumbbells also has other benefits. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the benefits of dumbbells include the following:
- They activate a number of different muscles and stimulate muscle growth.
- They can help improve both muscle force and flexibility.
- They can promote coordination and stability for muscles and joints.
- A person can use dumbbells for a variety of different exercises.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) note that strength training can provide many health benefits. In addition to strengthening the muscles, strength training can help prevent chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Dumbbells come in a variety of sizes, shapes, weights, and materials. A person can choose to buy individual dumbbells, a set, or adjustable weight dumbbells.
It may be worth considering the following factors when choosing dumbbells:
- individual fitness goals and levels
A person’s needs and preferences can help determine which type of dumbbell is most suitable for them.
There are three main types of dumbbell: adjustable, fixed, and studio.
Adjustable dumbbells allow a person to change the amount of weight they are lifting. There are two primary types of adjustable dumbbell: bar and plates and modern adjustable.
Bar and plates are separate bars and weight plates that allow a person to add or reduce weight by changing the weight plates.
The modern adjustable type allows a person to adjust the weight by clicking and locking more or less weight onto the bar, without having to manually add or remove weight plates.
These types may be suitable for people who are short on storage space but want to use a variety of different weights during their training.
Fixed dumbbells provide a consistent weight. A person can buy them individually, in pairs, or as part of a larger set. Fixed weights come in a variety of materials and shapes.
Sets of fixed weights typically require a lot of room to store, unlike adjustable varieties. Because of this, people who do not have much space may want to consider a different option.
Studio weights are often lighter weights covered in a coating such as textured neoprene or rubber. This coating protects the weight and helps add slip resistance.
Although a person can use these weights for strength training, the lighter weight range and superior grip make them well-suited for cardio exercises. Also, they are often cheaper, and they may be useful for people new to using dumbbells.
A person can use dumbbells for a variety of exercises, including resistance and cardio routines. Dumbbells are some of the most versatile weights because a person can use them to work their core, upper body, and lower body.
Initially, a person should use light weights and learn the proper form for the exercise they choose to do. They should maintain strong form and use the correct technique to prevent injury.
Once comfortable, a person can increase the weight to make the exercise more difficult. However, they should stop if they feel that the weight is out of control or too heavy.
There are a large variety of exercises that a person can perform using dumbbells. The ACE suggest several different exercises, including the:
- squat to overhead raise
- renegade row
- lateral lunge
- rotational shoulder press
- triceps kickback
- hammer curl
Many different dumbbells are available to buy. Below, we list some different options suitable for people to use at home.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.
Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells
This adjustable set of dumbbells is available in two weight variants of either 5 to 52.2 pounds (lb) or 10–90 lb. The manufacturers suggest that the adjustable weights can replace up to 15 or 17 sets of weights, respectively.
For this adjustable system, they state that the user just needs to turn the dial to change the weight. As a modern adjustable dumbbell set, this could be a suitable option for people who are short on storage space.
Skonyon Adjustable Dumbbells
This set of adjustable dumbbells features the traditional format of a dumbbell bar and weight plates. The weight plates contain iron sand and use screw collars to connect and stay secure to the bar. People can manually add the weight plates to increase resistance.
The manufacturers state that the bar includes a comfortable, nonslip handle and that people can easily store the weight plates.
Max Gravity Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set
This fixed rubber dumbbell set offers a selection of dumbbells ranging from 5–50 lb. The set includes two of each weight. Because the set offers a wide selection of weights, people can perform a wide variety of exercises at different resistances.
The manufacturers do not include a storage rack, however, so a person may need to buy one separately. Due to the cost and amount of space this set would require, it may not be suitable for some people.
This fixed dumbbell offering from Rogue Fitness may be suitable for those wanting certain weights or a smaller selection of dumbbells. People can select and purchase individual or pairs of dumbbells in weights ranging from 2.5 to 125 lb.
The manufacturers suggest that their dumbbells deliver on quality, performance, and longevity. They also indicate that the design of their dumbbells minimizes noise, limits wear and tear, and features a firm and comfortable grip.
AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Hand Weights
This color coordinated dumbbell set may be a suitable option for those wanting a lighter set of weights. This particular set of neoprene-coated iron cast dumbbells is available in 3-, 5-, and 8-lb pairs. There are also different sets available if people wish to have a lighter or heavier set.
The set also includes a small tree rack, which may be useful for storing the weights.
Some alternatives to dumbbells that people can also use at home include:
- Medicine balls: These are weighted balls that people can use for strength training.
- Kettlebells: These are ball weights with a handle that people can use for similar resistance exercises to dumbbells.
- Resistance bands: These strong elastic bands are often cheaper and take up less room.
- Exercise machines: Although these are larger and often more expensive, people can use exercise machines to perform exercises for different body parts.
- Pullup bars: This piece of equipment allows a person to perform pullups on a door frame or other sturdy location.
- Body weight: A person can perform a number of exercises, such as pushups and chair dips, using just their body weight.
- Common household objects: If people wish to do so, they can use common household objects — such as bottled water, soup cans, or bags of rice — in place of dumbbells.
Dumbbells may provide an easy and versatile at-home resistance training option. A person should pick a set of weights that best fits their goals, space, and budget.
A person should always maintain good form when performing exercises, and they may wish to consider purchasing a few different weights for when they need to increase or decrease weight to help meet their goals.