What Types of Dumbbells are Available?

by Jodee on October 22, 2010

If you have decided to invest in some free weights to help build muscle to improve fitness, one thing you will need to know is what types of dumbbells are available. You have the option of choosing from adjustable and fixed weight varieties. Materials range from rubber, iron and steel.

Adjustable Dumbbells

The adjustable dumbbell is a good choice when you want to be able to buy one set that you can add weight to as your level of fitness increases. This option features a steel bar measuring one inch in diameter.

Look for one with a crosshatch pattern in the center to give you a better grip when you are lifting or moving it. To add weight to the dumbbell, you would simply slide weight discs onto each end of the bar until you get the desired weight in place. The discs are held in place by clips or collars.

Buying a set of adjustable dumbbells gives you the convenience of buying a single set that can grow with you as you develop strength. The disadvantage of choosing them is that you do run the risk of having the weights slip off the bar if they are not secured properly.

Fixed Weight Dumbbells

This dumbbell style has a set weight attached to it and cannot be adjusted by the user. Less expensive versions may be made from hard plastic that has been filled with concrete, while the top of the line variety is fashioned using rubber-coated cast iron.

The advantage to choosing a fixed-weight dumbbell for your workout is that you can start exercising right away without stopping to adjust the weight. You don’t need to be concerned about the weight slipping or sliding off the rod if it hasn’t been secured properly

The disadvantage to choosing this style is that you if you choose a light weight, you will eventually progress to the point where it doesn’t present a challenge for your anymore. You may not be able to use the heavier weights until you have been working out in this manner for a while, so you need to have an idea of your own abilities before you go shopping.

Rubber, Iron and Steel Dumbbells

If you have young children in your household, rubber dumbbells are a good choice, since they reduce the risk of injury.

Cast iron dumbbells are available in a variety of weight choices and are a good choice for home use. If you want to reduce the risk of scratching, choose a vinyl-coated iron dumbbell.

Steel dumbbells are a very durable choice for people who want to exercise to strengthen the heart and other muscles. They are available in weights ranging from 5-50 lb. weight options so you can keep adding weight to the routine as you continue to build muscle.

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