Dumbbells are one of the most widely-used pieces of fitness equipment in existence. They have endured for over a millennium, and can be traced as far back to the Ancient Greeks’ “halteres”, or hand weights made of stone or metal.
Today, these exercise essentials are available in various sizes, forms, and colors, with some infused with the latest technological innovations for added workout efficiency and convenience.
With the wide range of choices, choosing the most suitable pair could be a daunting task. In order to help you narrow down your choice, here’s a closer look at the different dumbbells sets along with their benefits and drawbacks:
First off is the single-piece fixed-weight variety (or two equal weights fixed to a handle), which usually comes with round-shaped plates. These are your “old-school” weights that serve its intended purpose well and with no frills.
The usual gripe with its design however, is that they roll off when you set them down, which can be inconvenient and a hazard as well. This is where hex dumbbells sets make perfect sense.
Hex marks the spot
While they’re still your traditional run-of-the-mill hand weights, the flat sides of these dumbbells provide more stability to prevent them from rolling on uneven surfaces. Compared to pro-dumbbells that have a 5-pound minimum, hex dumbbells like those from Cap Barbell can start from as low as 1 pound for lighter workout variety.
While the resulting corners of the hex heads could scratch and dent your floors, you may also invest in enamel-finished or rubber-coated varieties which are gentler on hands and delicate floors.
Although hex dumbbells are both affordable and easy to use, they require space, which is very limited for most people who workout at home. At first, this issue was addressed by the cheap plastic-encased concrete weights that easily break.
Innovation came to the rescue with the introduction of the spinning collar, along with compact weight plates slipped onto textured or chrome-plated handles. Only drawback with this version is you’ll often find yourself in a vicious cycle of constantly lodging/dislodging plates and spinning the collars on/off when switching workouts, and spend more time adjusting rather than lifting.
The cream of the crop is the adjustable and selectorized dumbbells, as they offer the most benefits overall. These all-encompassing dumbbell solutions can significantly reduce the amount of space needed for storage, eliminates long-adjustment times with spinning collars, and costs you much less than purchasing a whole set of individual fixed weights.
With Bowflex and PowerBlock leading the fray, you can choose to adjust the weights by simply turning a dial or slipping a pin and you can start lifting away – no plates cluttering the floor. Just be careful not to drop these babies, as they come with more moving parts that can break when repeatedly banged around.
Dumbbells sets have evolved over the millennium into innovative and fancy pieces of fitness equipment. But no matter if you’re using an old rusty set of dumbbells, or today’s best adjustable weights, the concept remains the same: dumbbells are all that you need to achieve a total body workout since ancient times.