Dumbbells are among the most popular pieces of fitness equipment ever created.
They are a fundamental tool in the strength training trade, and their versatility makes them ideal for use in both home and commercial gym settings.
The following are crucial aspects to consider when buying heavy dumbbells:
- Adjustable vs. fixed
- Weight range classification
- How you'll store your dumbbells when not in use
Continue reading to learn about the fundamental factors to consider when purchasing dumbbells for your home gym or commercial facility.
Do I Need Dumbbells in My Home Gym?
When used effectively, dumbbells target muscles in both the lower and upper body:
Squats and lunges strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Your pecs and shoulders will benefit from pressing exercises.
Rowing exercises will strengthen your back.
Activities that involve lifting will help you target your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
That said, dumbbells may not be necessary if you only plan to do stretching, cardio, and bodyweight exercises. Furthermore, if your main focus is on heavy barbell exercises, you won't need dumbbells.
After resistance bands, dumbbells are probably the most versatile gym equipment for a home gym. Anyone who wants to do some muscle building/toning will benefit from a set of dumbbells.
Dumbbells can exercise almost every muscle in the body, especially when combined with a bench. They are a great addition to any gym, even if you already have a rack and barbells.
Dumbbells target muscles differently, and you train both sides separately to avoid imbalances. They also help train the small stabilizing muscles around the joints, which aid in injury prevention.
1. Dumbbells: Adjustable or Fixed?
The adjustable dumbbells vs. fixed dumbbells decision is one of the most critical for home gym owners/builders to make.
Dumbbells with adjustable weights are similar to small barbells with removable plates because they do not have a fixed weight and allow you to adjust the weight. Adjustable dumbbells are a cost-effective option for home use.
The most common type of dumbbell is the fixed one, which comes in pairs of fixed weight settings. They are the best option for heavy weight lifting because of their general ease of balance.
Of course, the range of dumbbells required varies from person to person.
A small set of dumbbells weighing 2.5 to +-15 pounds is ideal for aerobics or other light exercises, while a set of 5-50 lbs. is preferable for people looking to bulk up.
2. Weight Classification
If you're looking to buy dumbbells for use at home and your exercises have a wide weight range, we recommend a set of fixed dumbbells for your heaviest lifts and adjustable weights for high repetition.
If the weight range is small, a single pair of adjustable dumbbells will suffice.
Several factors determine the dumbbell weight you choose, including:
- Your fitness goals (cardio, strength training, muscle building, etc.)
- Body type
- Type of exercises you intend to do
- Previous dumbbell experience
If this is your first time using dumbbells, choose lighter weights. Women should begin with weights weighing 5-10 pounds, while men should start with 10-20 pounds.
If you want to build muscle, get some dumbbells with which you can comfortably do four sets of six to fifteen repetitions.
If you are unsure of the weight, purchase adjustable dumbbells to test your strength and perform different exercises with different weights.
3. Dumbbell Head Shapes
Dumbbell weights or "heads" come in a variety of shapes. While there isn't much difference, here are a few pointers.
Dumbbells are typically hexagonal or round in shape.
The main distinction is that round dumbbells are slightly more comfortable in some situations due to the lack of edges. The pointy bits on hexagonal dumbbells can be somewhat uncomfortable.
They do not roll away when you place hexagonal dumbbells on the floor, which can keep the weight from rolling into your toes or the mirror and injuring either of them. As a result, hexagonal dumbbells are the preferred choice of many people.
For home gyms, hexagonal dumbbells are preferable to circular dumbbells because they will roll away if the floor is even the slightest bit uneven.
Depending on your budget, choose circular or hexagonal dumbbells in rubber or urethane for commercial gyms.
4. Common Dumbbell Materials
Dumbbells are typically made of the following materials:
- Vinyl-coated: They are typically made of cast iron and have a vinyl coating. They are colored differently for different weights, which aids in identification.
- Rubber dumbbells: The weight plates of rubber dumbbells are covered in a layer of rubber, which protects them from scratches and rust. When dropped by accident, rubber dumbbells do not cause as much damage as steel dumbbells. One disadvantage of rubber is its strong odor, especially when the dumbbells are new.
- Solid metal: They are made of solid metal and come with metallic silver rods and silver-colored discs at the tail end. These are the most widely available on the market. When using them, you must exercise caution because accidentally dropping them may result in injury or damage.
Because the handles are the parts that you are constantly in contact with, they are extremely important. A dumbbell handle has four distinct features:
The majority of dumbbell handles are made of metal. It is long-lasting, simple to clean, and admirably served its purpose for many decades.
A rubberized dumbbell grip provides a tacky grip and is slightly easier on your hands. The disadvantage of rubber is that it is frequently the first thing to wear off. Aside from that, it's a little more challenging to clean and can get quite filthy.
In the long run, metal handles on dumbbells are the best option.
A slight cross-hatch pattern, known as knurling, should be cut into the metal handle. Knurling provides additional grip, preventing dumbbells from sliding around in your hands. The extra grip comes in handy when you're sweating.
Shallow or deep knurling is possible. Deeper knurling provides more grip, but it is also more difficult on the skin of your hands and vice versa. The more weight you use, the more critical the knurling becomes.
A handle diameter of 1" to 1.4" is suitable for most people because it provides a secure and comfortable grip without taxing your hands too much.
Some high-level and professional athletes are known to use 2" or thicker handles. Because all of the weight is concentrated in one spot, the 25mm handle can feel like it's cutting into your hands when using heavy dumbbells.
The weight is distributed more evenly across your hand when the handles are thicker, so thicker handles are more comfortable with heavyweights.
Going up to 2" or even 2.5" for comfort is unnecessary because most people find 1.5" to be comfortable.
The handles of dumbbells can be slightly bulbous in the middle or straight. The bulbous handled ones provide marginally more grip and comfort, but the difference isn't significant.
But when it comes to heavyweights, every little detail counts. So, if you intend to get strong and lift heavy, an ergonomically shaped handle is a must.
If you have multiple dumbbells of varying sizes, we recommend investing in a dumbbell storage rack. The rack is useless if you only have one or two pairs. If you have a large number, you should invest in a stand to properly store them.
A rack ensures that your dumbbells aren't just lying around, tripping you up when you walk over them. A rack also makes it easier to pick up and stack dumbbells before and after a workout.