How to Choose a Dumbbell
Single-handed dumbbells are a fitness equipment essential for both home and professional training. A dumbbell is a universal tool – it will help you exercise all muscle groups. Here, we will tell you how to find one to best suit your needs.
According to their type, we divide dumbbells into two categories – adjustable dumbbells and fixed dumbbells (with fixed weight). Dumbbells with adjustable weight are suitable mainly for home gyms. Keep in mind their bar diameter, in case you should want to use the weight plates with a barbell or a training machine. Dumbbells with fixed weight are, on the other hand, ideal for public gyms, clubs and fitness centres (where there are groups of people exercising). According to the type of dumbbell choose between:
- Adjustable dumbbells – quick weight adjustment allows users of all fitness levels to perform many types of exercises. The weight range of each dumbbell is described (i.e. 3-18 kg). An adjustable dumbbell set is made up of plates of various weights, bars and safety clamps. The diameter of the bar and the weight plate holes must always be the same (i.e. 30 mm).
- Fixed dumbbells – with a fixed weight (in the range of 2 to 60 kg). Their advantage lies in an ergonomically shaped grip and anti-slip grooving. Included in this category are Vin-Bell and Ketlebel dumbbells or foam dumbbells to be used in water.
- Aerobic dumbbells – running, Fitbox and other sports – with a fixed weight (from 0.5 to 3 kg), for more effective exercising. They are usually sold in pairs.
- Dumbbell sets – this category includes chromed, hexagonal, steel, rubber and polyurethane dumbbells (that can be purchased to make a set).
Metal (steel) dumbbells are usually coated with chrome, plastic or vinyl while they are most often filled with steel or cement. Chromed dumbbells are better than plastic ones, even for home use. Rubber-coated dumbbells muffle possible noise and absorb impacts. When choosing a dumbbell, design also plays a role (i.e. specially designed plastic plates with cement filling, bright green aerobic dumbbell, etc.).
Lighter dumbbells are, generally speaking, most suitable for women trying to tone their figure, while heavier dumbbells will best serve men building up muscle mass and improving their strength.
If you are a beginner or an intermediate user, the best option for you would be a set of single-handed dumbbells with maximum load of 5-10 kg per dumbbell. Unfortunately, beginners often overestimate themselves and put too much stress on their back with a too-heavy load without performing the exercise set correctly.
You can start training your strength any time you want – choose between adjustable dumbbells, affordable colourful dumbbells for fitness training or a set of dumbbells and weight plates.
How To Choose a Barbell
A barbell will help you exercise mainly your biceps, triceps, deltoid muscles and chest muscles. It is a necessary tool for both home and professional training. For beginners, a barbell with maximum load between 15-20 kg will suffice.
And how to go about picking a barbell for yourself? The most sought-after products are barbell sets or water-filled power bags that provide a great workout, and not just near water. Very popular is also a multi-purpose dumbbell shaped as a baseball bat. You can use it both at home and outdoors.
Types of Barbells
- Adjustable barbell set – allows you to quickly change the weight of the barbell, for example in the range of 3-50 kg. One set usually contains weight plates of varying weights, bars and safety clamps. The diameter of the bar and the weight plate hole must always be the same (for example 30 mm). You can put barbells together by yourself, out of separately purchased bars, weight plates and clamps. For regular home weight-lifting, you usually use 160 or 180-cm long bars with 30 mm (check the distance between the bars on your barbell rack). Ideal weight plates are made of steel with chrome coating. However, the cement plastic-coated weight plates are cheaper, as well as durable. Olympic barbells provide the highest quality.
- Power bag with grips – with fixed weight, filled with soft foam and sand. Allows you to exercise all muscle groups. Fillable bags are also available.
- Water-filled power bag – filled with water up to the stated maximum weight.
- Double-handed dumbbell shaped as a baseball bat (Clubbell) – a multi-purpose training accessory with fixed weight. Thanks to its high-quality material, it has a long service life.
Pick Out Your Equipment From the Comfort of Your Home
On our e-shop, you will find standard dumbbells and barbells, weights and weight plates, weightlifting bars, dumbbells for children, racks and everything for women’s training with dumbbells. All training accessories are made according to the highest European standards. Aside from product descriptions, you can use our on-line chat to find out more about the products you are interested in. We’ll be happy to help you.
Tips for Picking Out Your Bars and Weight Plates
For effectively exercising the upper half of your body, you can put together your own adjustable dumbbell or barbell to perfectly suit your needs. For this purpose, we offer bars, weight plates and other accessories. Let’s find out a bit more about them.
It’s essential for the weight plate diameter to correspond with the diameter of the bar. For example, if you have a bar with 50 mm in diameter, the weight plate you use must have holes with 50 mm diameter as well.
Main Criteria When Picking Out Bars
- Material – a bar comes under a lot of stress during weightlifting, that’s why it must be made of high-quality stainless steel. Olympic bars can carry a bigger load than regular bars.
- Bar length – for regular weightlifting, 160 or 180-cm long bars are usually used. For bench presses, be sure to pick out the bar according to the distance between the two bars on your rack. The most common bar is the 180-cm one, but sometimes it has to be longer. You’ll find specifications for inSPORTline bench press racks in their product description. Dumbbell bars are shorter (35 or 40 cm). Weightlifting bars have a separate subcategory on our e-shop.
- Bar diameter (thickness) – the diameter is usually 25, 30 or 50 mm. Bars for home use usually have 30 mm in diameter, bars for gyms and fitness centres have 50 mm in diameter. The holes in your chosen weight plates must correspond with the bar diameter.
- Bar shape – for standing biceps exercises or for bench presses, choose a classic straight bar. Curled bars (i.e. the RZ type) are used for toning your triceps and focusing on separate muscle areas.
- Weight plate attachment – spring clamps or threading (threading offers better fixation, but screwing the plates on is a time-consuming process). Browse through all safety collars for bars.
How To Choose Weight Plates
A weight plate is an essential component of every dumbbell or barbell.
- Types of weight plates – we offer rubber-coated weight plates, multi-purpose steel plates and even plates with special vinyl coating. You can choose from plates with 25, 30 and 50 mm in diameter of various weights and colours. An improved variant are weight plates with grips. Popular among our customers are the practical and affordable weight plate sets (most sought-after is the weight plate set inSPORTline CEM 2 x 1.25 - 15 kg). Special ERGO plates with grips can be also used as single or double-handed dumbbells to tone your biceps or triceps.
- Filling – weight plates can be filled either with cement or with steel. Both types are very durable, but the advantage of cement plates with plastic coating is their significantly lower price. For the purposes of your home gym, they are more than suitable.
If dumbbells, weight plates and bars keep piling up at your home, purchase a special rack to store them. This way, you’ll have everything you need for dumbbell exercises in one place.