best dumbbell

Dumbbell: Test & Reviews

Author: Manuel Heitmann

Coach & Fitness Expert

 Our excellent consumer portal has selected the best dumbbells based on external tests and our evaluation of customer reviews. As it turned out, the round classics are the most popular. Good workmanship, easy changing of the panes and a comfortable grip are important.

Questions to Consider Before Buying A Dumbbell

What is a dumbbell?

Dumbbells in general are sports equipment that consists of a bar and two weights. The weights in spherical or disc shape are attached to both ends of the barbell. Lock washers, screw locks or adjusting rings are used as locks to fix the weights on the dumbbell bars.

If spring washers are used as a lock, the weights can be changed very quickly. The disadvantage of spring washers is that they can slip and thus represent a safety risk. Adjusting rings are short pieces of pipe that are pushed over the barbell and tightened using Allen screws or adjusting toggle screws.

Adjusting rings offer the highest level of security, as they securely fix the weights on the barbell. If the weights are fixed with screw caps, there must be a thread on both ends of the barbell in order to be able to accommodate the screw caps. The screw caps are also a secure variant of attachment.

Training with these sports equipment is consequently called “dumbbell training”. While lighter dumbbells are mainly used for fitness training, heavier dumbbells are used in bodybuilding or weight training. Dumbbells are mainly used for muscle training. However, certain sports clubs have now found out that targeted dumbbell training can also improve jumping, throwing and pushing strength.

Dumbbells are versatile and allow a lot of freedom of movement. As a result, they are used specifically in bodybuilding to train hidden muscles, which is often not possible with modern strength machines. For example, weaker muscle groups are subjected to targeted training. At the same time, this ensures even muscle growth.

Since training with the dumbbell places increased demands on coordination, the muscle regions that are important for posture, the cardiovascular system and mobility are particularly addressed. Exercises such as fly (reverse), shrugs, lateral raises or curl are typical exercises with the dumbbell and are high on the popularity scale.

How does a dumbbell work?

Every strength athlete realizes at some point that in order to get the desired fitness, there is no avoiding training with dumbbells. It is not necessary to purchase an expensive weight bench for targeted training. It is enough to limit yourself to dumbbells. Since they are very small, they do not take up a lot of space in the apartment, are inexpensive and suitable for home training for these reasons alone.

In contrast to barbells, dumbbells are used to target different muscle groups. Purchased as a set, the training device consists of two dumbbells. Exercising with a barbell, which has to be carried out with both arms at the same time, does not demand physical coordination as much as dumbbells.

Dumbbells are offered in two different variations, on the one hand as a dumbbell with interchangeable discs, on the other hand as a bone dumbbell, which consists of one piece. Bone dumbbells have the disadvantage that the weights cannot be increased. For this reason alone, the disc dumbbell is more suitable for building muscle, as the weight can be increased or decreased as required.

The interchangeable discs can be purchased as accessories as required. The advantage of the bone dumbbell is that there is no risk of injury from disks coming loose and falling.

Since the athletes have a lot of exercises to choose from during dumbbell training, the training is comparatively varied. However, it should be noted that, depending on physical conditions, not every athlete can or should do every exercise. The training differences with regard to the height of the weights do not only exist between male and female athletes, but also with regard to the different weight classes.

In order to achieve a certain routine, beginners in particular should get into weight training with simple exercises and low weights. Many have suffered severe muscle injuries through ignorance. It is important to make sure that you always perform the exercises according to the specifications in order to avoid mistakes.

Not every muscle can be trained with the same weight load. It is important to remember to increase or decrease the weights according to the muscles. Since the arm and leg muscles are equipped with muscles of different sizes, they must also be trained with different weights.

Otherwise there is more of a risk of injury than muscle building.

Make sure to avoid putting too much weight on muscles. These reasons, too, show again that muscle building of different muscle groups can be carried out better with a variable disk dumbbell than with a bone dumbbell. If you still hold on to the bone dumbbell, you have to buy several dumbbells in different weight classes. A dumbbell with interchangeable discs would be cheaper, since only the corresponding number of discs has to be purchased.

Depending on gender and type of training, each athlete has to decide individually how much weight he needs. Training exclusively to increase fitness or endurance requires less weights than training that is aimed at targeted muscle building.

A useful workout with dumbbells, for example, would be a circle that includes various exercises. For each training unit 3 to 5 different exercises should be selected, which do not consume too much force when performed in short intervals. After the repetitions, short breaks should always be taken so that the desired effect can occur. An absolute must before every training session is warming up the muscles to avoid injuries. Stretching or jogging are best for this.

Training plans should never be put together by yourself, but should come from a fitness trainer. There are plenty of offers on the Internet for this. Own training methods or incorrectly compiled training plans quickly lead to protracted injuries.

Advantages & areas of application

Dumbbells are becoming more and more popular as a training device for building muscle, even for home training. The advantage of dumbbell training is that no additional equipment is actually required. A dumbbell set is probably the cheapest variant of muscle training. With an effective training plan, it is easily possible to shape all muscle groups in the body. The special thing about dumbbell training is that with unilateral exercises either only the right or only the left half of the body can be trained.

Almost every training plan includes exercises like shoulder presses or biceps curls with the dumbbell. Dumbbells are also being used more and more in other fitness areas such as aerobics, in order to increase calorie consumption and thus effectiveness due to the increased level of difficulty.

What types of dumbbells are available?

Anyone who decides to train with dumbbells should know that there are different types of dumbbells. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, every strength athlete has to decide for themselves which type of dumbbell they prefer. On the one hand there are the dumbbells consisting of a bar and exchangeable weights, on the other hand the bone dumbbell. Somewhat different from these two types are kettlebells, which are also made as one-hand dumbbells.

The dumbbell set with weight plates
A dumbbell set consists of a barbell and one or more weight plates. This dumbbell is the more popular version with strength athletes, as it can be topped up with weight plates from the accessories. In contrast to the bone dumbbell, this saves a lot of money, since weights can be bought at will and the training can be intensified again and again. Another advantage is if you already have a barbell. If both bars have the same diameter, the weight plates can be used for dumbbells and barbell.

Athletes who repeatedly need different weights for different exercises will always have access to a dumbbell with interchangeable weights in order to be able to individualize their level of difficulty.

The bone dumbbell or hand barbell
This type of one-hand dumbbell is also known as a gymnastics or aerobics. In these sports, the lighter bone dumbbells are often used to intensify the fast training steps in boxing, Zumba or aerobics. The bone dumbbell is ergonomically formed from one piece and covered with foam or neoprene and therefore lies comfortably in the hand. In addition, hand dumbbells are often used as additional weight for running and for Pilates. Since these mini dumbbells are quite light, they can also be stowed away and transported easily.

The slightly different kettlebells
For certain exercises, kettlebells are increasingly being included in the training program. Kettlebells are round weights with a handle attached to the top and are cast in one piece. As with the dumbbells, the disadvantage is that the kettlebells have a fixed weight. So if exercises are to be performed with different weights, kettlebells in different weight classes must be purchased. In contrast to a dumbbell set, this is again the more expensive variant.

What do I have to look out for when buying a dumbbell?

The fitness boom has continued unabated for years. It is hardly surprising that more and more equipment for endurance and weight training is finding its way into the fitness room at home.

This is based on the fact that many athletes are now avoiding overcrowded and noisy gyms and prefer to train in their own four walls. Dumbbells are part of this exercise equipment.
They are the ideal device for targeting specific muscle groups directly, but are just as suitable for a complete full-body workout. Due to the increased demand, however, sports equipment manufacturers have always brought usable dumbbells onto the market. Now the offer is huge and the choice difficult. Especially since there are a few points to consider when buying a dumbbell.

The material has to be right

Most dumbbells are made of steel, iron, or cast iron. So-called soft dumbbells are equipped with a protective cover made of plastic or neoprene. This protects the devices from corrosion, dents and scratches. At the same time, the floor is protected by the plastic cover when the dumbbell is put down.

The dumbbell bars are often coated with chrome to achieve a stylish and classic look. However, beginners in particular should make sure that the barbell bars are equipped with non-slip grip surfaces, because the barbell can slip away quickly with sweaty hands. If the handle is also padded, the risk of blisters is also eliminated. Grips made of rubber are particularly comfortable in this and lie firmly in the hand. The weight plates are also coated with rubber by many manufacturers to prevent them from rolling away when they are put down.

How high should the weight load be?

The question is actually answered by the desired training goal. Fitness enthusiasts who want to use the dumbbell for endurance training or aerobics should drop their choice on dumbbells with a weight of 0.5 to 5 kg, because higher weights would only be a hindrance in this case. Experts recommend dumbbells for these types of sport, which are comfortable to lie on and are not a hindrance to dance steps or boxing strokes.

If your goal is to build muscle, it is advisable to buy dumbbells with a weight of 5 kg or more. At best, you are interested in dumbbells with interchangeable weights, because these can be topped up with weight plates up to the maximum load. When making this choice, however, you should pay attention to the closures. Star or screw caps offer the best security in this case, because they ensure that the weight plates are firmly seated on the barbell.

Where is the best place to buy my Dumbbell?

Because many strength athletes have moved their training into their own four walls, the demand for fitness equipment has increased enormously. The strength athlete’s favorite training device is the dumbbell. A versatile workout is possible with the dumbbell. Not only that individual muscle groups such as the biceps are addressed, but with the dumbbell even targeted full-body training can be carried out.

Due to the increased demand for dumbbells, the supply has of course increased accordingly. If you want to find out more before buying a dumbbell, you can get information on the Internet using product reports or comparison sites.

Once you have decided on a model, the only question left is whether the purchase should be made in retail stores or in an online shop. Which of the two options is better?

Purchase in private stores
Buying an item from a retail outlet is the long-standing method of shopping that many consumers still cling to. This is mainly justified with two arguments. On the one hand with the fact that the advice is better in the established trade, on the other hand that the goods can be picked up and examined more easily.

However, if one realizes how trained (or not) some of the so-called specialist advisors are, this argument does not apply. The goods can be safely picked up and examined in the established trade. However, only a limited range of models can be expected with this type of purchase. This is based on the fact that retailers usually work with a few manufacturers.

The limited selection is of course also noticeable in the sales price. You rarely get real bargains or long-term low prices in established retailers. One advantage of specialist retailers is that the dumbbell can be taken with you and trained with it immediately.


Buy on the Internet
The market shares of online trading have increased extremely in the last few years. Since most of the common payment methods can be used in online trading, more and more consumers are preferring to make their purchases from the comfort of their own home. This has primarily affected the weight training and fitness industries. If you want to buy a dumbbell today, you can order it from one of the many online shops.

The argument of better advice in established retail no longer counts today, as most online shops offer their customers comprehensive advice via e-mail, telephone or even direct chat. Many online shops were opened by active or former strength athletes. If they don’t offer good advice, then where?

Another argument in favor of online trading is the large selection. There is probably no dumbbell model that is not available on the Internet. Here the athlete can choose from the entire range. In addition, the entire selection and ordering process can take place on the Internet.

The wide range on offer in online trading has of course also boosted competition. As a result, online purchases always offer extremely cheap deals. In some cases, the price differences between established retailers and online shops are 20%.
The only disadvantage that could be cited is that online retailing has to accept certain but mostly short delivery times. After ordering, it takes around 2 to 5 days before you can train with the ordered dumbbell.

A large number of consumers now prefer buying on the Internet to the other option. There are also reasons for this, because what is more convenient than doing the entire selection and ordering process at home at your desk?

Useful accessories

Versatile exercises can be performed with dumbbells. These exercises are divided into standing training units, units sitting down on the bench or on the floor. In order to perform an effective full-body workout with the dumbbell, the range of exercises must be as broad as possible.

But this requires a lot of accessories to make the training as comfortable as possible. Everything that you need as accessories in addition to your training equipment, like your sports equipment, is available in every online shop dedicated to fitness and weight training.

Accessories for a full body workout
Certain exercises and training units require a little more equipment than just the dumbbells. For example, if you want to include the exercise dumbbell row or bench press in your training plan, you will need at least one flat bench. For example, when doing dumbbell rows, it is recommended that you wear a weight lifting belt.

An exercise mat is also recommended. It is not only used to sit and lie more comfortably during certain exercises, but can also be used as a shelf and noise protection for the weights.

The accessory trade – everything a strength athlete needs
In the accessory trade, fitness enthusiasts and strength athletes get everything they need for and around their training. This ranges from care and cleaning products for sports equipment to chalk and skin care products to bathroom scales, training gloves and literature on weight training. Just have a look at your favorite online shop if you need accessories for your training.

Dumbbell Alternatives

The dumbbell is not only a very popular training device with strength athletes, but also a very effective one. A variety of exercises are possible with the dumbbell. You can either do a complete full-body workout with the dumbbell or target specific muscle groups. Many strength athletes used the dumbbell to shape their biceps or chest muscles.

But are there alternatives to the dumbbell?
Kettlebells are one of the oldest training devices in the history of weight training. However, with the exception of Russia, they have been forgotten for many years. It was not until the boom in aerobics, Pilates and Zumba brought them to light again in Germany.

Certain exercises that strength athletes perform with a dumbbell could also be done with the kettlebells. The only disadvantage of kettlebells is that they are cast in one piece and have a fixed weight. That would e.g. B. in a variable training with different weights the purchase of several kettlebells with different weights. In addition, exercises such as lateral raises or bench presses with the kettlebells are not really comfortable, as the kettlebell can only be held by its handle at the top.

In principle, the dumbbell belongs to the dumbbell category. It is especially popular with women in the areas of fitness and endurance. The bone dumbbell is widely used, for example, in fitness exercises that are performed in dance-like movements. Here the bone dumbbell supports and increases the sequence of movements.

For athletes whose training aims to build muscle, dumbbells are less suitable because they, like kettlebells, are made of one piece. If you want to increase your performance, you have to buy a new set of dumbbells with a higher weight.

So why make the training more expensive than you have to. A dumbbell with interchangeable weights is and will remain the non-plus-ultra in weight training.

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