Getting a good set of dumbbells is key, and shopping for the right ones, like any piece of fitness equipment, can be a little daunting. So before you purchase any weights, make sure you do your homework to ensure that you get the best set of dumbbells for what you need.
A solid set of dumbbells is really all that you need to accomplish your fitness goals in your home gym. Even though most of us like to have variety in our exercise, dumbbells are a great full body workout. They're one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market, along with kettlebells. They have the ability to train any part of the body and effectively engage all muscle groups, making this the ideal piece of equipment for anyone, no matter what level of fitness you are at.
Previously, dumbbells were basically made up of metal bars with some weights attached to each side. Though this is functional, this design is not exactly suited for your general home or commercial gym, let alone not very aesthetically pleasing. Storage could also become an issue because the plates on the end would cause the dumbbells to roll around. Lucky for us, today we have a various different options when it comes to shapes, colors, styles and weights.
Types of Dumbbells
To begin, dumbbells today come in either fixed weights or variable weights. The less popular variable weighted ones have either clamps or screws at the ends to keep the plates in place. These weights usually can hold up to about 50 pounds. The fixed weight dumbbells come in a variety of different weights, and are usually hex or octagon shape to reduce the chance of rolling around.
Fixed dumbbells are typically the best choice, as more often than not, they come with a rubber or vinyl coating. This not only protects your floors from getting damaged, as well as the weights, but it reduces noise when the weights are dropped. Rubber hex dumbbells are made with chromed solid steel handles and they have welded-on cast iron weight heads that have a rubber coating. These are the most popular and have the best durability. There are also hex dumbbells that are not rubber coated.
Rubber Hex dumbbells are great for any home or commercial gym because they are less likely to ruin the floor. Even though the ends may look like they are sharp, the rubber coating provides a barrier so that when the weights are dropped they will not damage the floor.
Rubber Hex weights are made to be thrown around, so putting up with a beating will not be an issue. You do however have to make sure that you keep them out of the sun, as the rubber will expand in the heat, and with constant wear and tare, it will cause the rubber to crack. You will also want to make sure that whatever dumbbell you choose, it has gone through rigorous testing in the manufacturing facility. Most of the time the welding is done very well, but we have to acknowledge that there is always the chance that it could be bad. Testing for a bad weld usually entails dropping the dumbbell from up high at an angle so that one of the heads hits the ground first, which will put a significant mount of torque stress on the handle. The head will become loose if the welding is not done properly.
Use of Space and Mobility
The best attribute of the hex dumbbell, rubber or not, is that it will not roll away. Whether you are in your home gym or in a public facility, the worst thing that can happen is having your weights roll away, causing a passer by to trip. It is equally frustrating when the weights roll while you are trying to set up your workout station. Garage gyms are usually set up where the floor slopes to towards the entrance,
The hex dumbbells come in weights starting at just 1lb, and though most people don’t use anything less than 10lb, it is nice to have the option. You will most likely need a few sets, and depending whether they are going to be used by a man or woman, or the actual purpose of the weights (toning or strength training) you may need more or less variations.
For toning, if you are a woman, you will probably not want anything more than 12 lbs. For a man, you will probably not want anything more than 20lbs. If you are looking into strength training, depending on your existing strength, you will want to start higher. Always remember less weight more reps for toning, and more weight, less reps for strength. Getting a full set of dumbbells is always a good option as well. They come in various different weight categories and are great for commercial or home gyms.
Here are a few dumbbells racks for you to look at.
Remember to look into what you want to do with your dumbbells before you purchase. Think about who will be using them and what type of result you are looking for. Choose something that has been tested and that has good reviews. All in all the Rubber Hex dumbbells are the best and they come in various styles. Our favorite is the York Rubber hex dumbbell. Lastly, make sure to purchase a dumbbell rack to keep them all in order. Nobody likes a runaway dumbbell.