How to choose dumbbells for sports and fitness

A healthy lifestyle, fitness and regular physical activity – nowadays these are not just words, but a real fashion trend that is gaining more and more popularity every day. Fitness clubs and all kinds of workout grounds grow like mushrooms after rain, attracting visitors with modern equipment and all kinds of bonuses. However, there are those who are used to doing the old-fashioned way, at home. It is they who most often have a desire to choose high-quality, suitable dumbbells that will always be at hand and which will keep the muscles in good shape, regardless of the time of day and other factors.

How to choose dumbbells

What dumbbells to choose

It is immediately necessary to make a reservation that it is impossible to fully work out all muscle groups using only dumbbells. To gain muscle mass, in any case, you will need at least a set of simulators to perform the so-called 'base' – bench press, deadlift and squats with a barbell. Dumbbells are a classic addition that allows you to point-load small muscle groups – biceps, triceps, deltoids, shoulders.

Depending on the design, all dumbbells on sale can be divided into two conventional types:

  1. Non-collapsible dumbbells. Models with a solid bar and 'pancakes' that have a specific weight and do not allow you to change it during training. Such dumbbells are relatively inexpensive, but they do not allow you to spot the load and change it during the exercise. Those who choose non-collapsible dumbbells, sooner or later will have to face the need to buy models of greater or lesser weight to perform exercises of a different nature. Given the low cost of such models, this is quite easy to do;

  2. Collapsible dumbbells are a specialized set that includes a set of discs of certain weights, a compact bar with screw tips, and a system of locking devices – locks. Using a similar design, the trainee is able to combine the required dumbbell weight by removing or adding 'pancakes'. Such dumbbells are versatile – it is enough to have 2 bars and 2 sets of discs of different weights and you get the opportunity to cover all training conditions. There is only one drawback – collapsible dumbbells are almost always more expensive than their non-collapsible counterparts;

Which dumbbells to choose is entirely up to you. The best are compact collapsible models with a corrugated steel neck and a set of rubberized discs of 2.5, 5 and 10 kilograms (each weight is two 'pancakes' for one dumbbell). If the budget is limited, non-separable models are also suitable, but here the weight must be determined based on your own experience and physical capabilities.

Handle Selection Guide

Currently on sale there are dumbbells equipped with two main types of handles:

  1. Classic grooved metal handle. Found in budget models, it provides decent contact even with sweaty hands. The metal handle is fraught with one significant drawback – during long and multi-repetitive sets, it is able to rub calluses on the hands, causing significant discomfort. It is for this reason that it is best to work with such dumbbells with gloves;

  2. Dumbbells with a rubberized neck with a grooved structured surface. The rubberized handle is currently considered the ideal option – it is she who provides excellent contact with the dumbbells, does not slip and does not turn during the exercise. Such dumbbells are more expensive than their metal counterparts;

As for the thickness of the handle, everything here is individual and entirely depends on the size of the palm, the length of the fingers and other anatomical features of a particular person.

How to choose the right dumbbell weight and 'pancakes' to it

choose the weight of the dumbbells

“Pancakes” among supporters of a healthy lifestyle are called discs, which serve as a kind of burden. It is the combination of their weight that represents the specific weight of the dumbbell required to perform the exercise.

By analogy with the neck, both classic metal 'pancakes' and their rubberized counterparts can be found on sale. The second option should be preferred – they are much more convenient to use and do not cause discomfort when working with them. It is possible to give a choice in favor of traditional metal pancakes only in case of significant financial constraints.

As for the choice of dumbbell weight, it all depends on the level of training of a particular person.

  1. If we are talking about non-collapsible dumbbells, for a full workout, a set of dumbbells weighing from 8 to 25-30 kilograms is required (2 dumbbells of each weight). Beginners may also need lighter dumbbells, about 5-6 kilograms of weight, for experienced athletes, a 30-kilogram dumbbell may not be enough;

  2. If you buy a prefabricated model, you will need 2 rubberized necks, as well as a set of discs from 2.5 to 10 kilograms, two discs of each weight;


POWERBLOCK dumbbells have recently become an alternative to traditional dumbbells. In many ways, their principle of operation is similar to conventional collapsible models, the difference lies in the principle of disassembly and assembly – in order to add or remove weight from a dumbbell, it will take only 2-4 seconds. However, it is not without its drawbacks: the main one is the rather large step of the interchangeable weights – 2.2 kilograms. This makes the POWERBLOCK dumbbells unsuitable for use by beginners – with the weight of the minimum load, it does not work to achieve the required load on the muscles, however, if you load the dumbbells at a minimum, it becomes impossible to perform the exercise. For advanced athletes, these dumbbells will become a real revelation – with their help, you can very effectively perform drop sets, as well as work to reduce and increase weight without changing the exercises.

In the following articles, our experts will tell you how to choose a gainer, the secrets of choosing a protein, recommendations for choosing amino acids for sports, and the features of choosing a barbell for home.

Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.

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