In 4 steps to the perfect dumbbell

Dumbbells are the perfect training tool: With these small devices you can train almost every muscle of your body, they fit in every home, and there are so different models that there is certainly something for you.

But what kind of Dumbbells are there anyway? Do you need rather small fixed ones with rubber cover or large adjustable ones made of cast iron? Don’t worry, we will show you in 4 steps in our guide how to find the perfect dumbbell for you.

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In this article:

  • What do I have to pay attention to when buying dumbbells?
  • What weight do I need?
  • Which closure fits my training?
  • Which material is the best?
  • Which accessories do I need?
  • What are the advantages of dumbbell training?
  • What do I need to know about barbell training?

What do I have to consider when buying dumbbells?

Of course it is also a matter of taste, but you should keep these 3 points in mind when choosing your dumbbells:

1. pay attention to quality. Especially with cheap no-name products, sharp edges, harmful substances in the sheathing or poorly secured weights can make your training quite dangerous.

2. choose the correct weight. It depends on your training habits and experience. Make sure you approach your training level from below!

3. take non-slip grips. They are a must for safe training! Especially when the sweat starts to flow, the grips need a coating or ribbing to prevent you from slipping.

Heize deine Muskeln mit den Kurzhanteln ein You ready to put some dumbbells on your muscles? © Romariolen /

Step 1: What weight do I need?

Depending on how and what you train, your dumbbells must be of different weights. For Zumba training, for example, 0.5 kilos can be enough, for crunchy squats it can even be 10 kilos or more.

So before you buy any weights, think about what you use the dumbbells for. The rule is: less is more. First see how you can manage with less weight and only then improve. For your orientation we present 4 types of dumbbells and give recommendations for the right dumbbell weight:

Small dumbbells complement your endurance training

If you prefer cardio training, such as jogging, Zumba or even kickboxing, the slightly smaller bone dumbbells are perfect for putting a shovel on it. Such gymnastic dumbbells like those from Proiron are cast in one piece, we recommend weights from 0.5 to a maximum of 5 kilos for this sport.

Fitness-Hantel-Set 0,5 kg von Schildkröt Soft dumbbells with hand loops are particularly practical when jogging or doing quick exercises. © manufacturer

Ideal for endurance athletes: Light soft dumbbells can be strapped around the hand and are especially suitable for jogging, aerobics or boxing training because of their soft material.

Tip: Fitness dumbbell set 0,5 kg from Schildkröt

These are the 4 best dumbbell exercises

Medium weight dumbbells train the upper body and isolated muscle groups

The classic dumbbell training trains individual muscle groups, especially in the upper body. Biceps curls, rowing or side lifting define the arms, strengthen the back and improve posture.

Your exercise and fitness level will affect how heavy you want your barbell to be. Occasionally, 2 or 3 kilos can make your muscles burn, with other techniques you can lift 10 kilos or more.

Tip: The dumbbell set from #DoYourFitness offers a whole range of medium and heavy dumbbells.

Large dumbbells put the trunk muscles to the test

If you want to use the dumbbells as extra weight for lunges, sit-ups or other exercises, you can also buy even heavier models. But don’t overdo it: first feel your way to the right weight and pay special attention to the correct execution of the exercise. In the worst case, something could go wrong and you could hurt yourself.

Depending on your muscle group and your training level, 2 times 5 kilos can be enough, but there is hardly a limit to the upper limit as long as you work it out.

Tip: At Gorilla Sports you will find big dumbbells that will really heat up your muscles.

Adjustable dumbbells deliver maximum training success

If you really want to go full throttle and push every muscle to its limits, the adjustable dumbbell is the right thing for you. Unlike the “bones” that are cast in one piece, you can adjust the weight precisely with each exercise. Decisive for such dumbbells are the dumbbell bars and the weight plates. The longer the bar, the more weights you can put on it, and the discs should all have the right diameter. With the set from Bad Company you can adjust your training weight very flexibly.

Hantelsystem von Profihantel With a rotating mechanism you can change the training weight as easy as never before. © manufacturer

Tip for dumbbell professionals: With the dumbbell system from Profihangel you can adjust your training weight even easier and without annoying screws or clamps.

This is how you build sexy muscles

Step 2: The correct closure for the adjustable barbell

If you buy an adjustable dumbbell and not a bone barbell, take a look at the clasp. With it you fix the weights on the barbell bar so that nothing rattles or slips down. For the most common models you can choose between 3 different types of locks, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages:

Star closures for screwing on are the most common closures, because they are small, uncomplicated and can be changed relatively quickly. This closure is great for all beginners and for experienced users who want to change the discs from time to time during training.

Locking rings sit bombproof, but it takes a little longer to change the weights. So if you want to increase your barbell weight in the long run, but only need the one weight for your workout, these locks are perfect for you.

Clamp Springs are the quickest to assemble, but will eventually wear out. So that you do not hurt yourself, you should then quickly get new ones! If you keep an eye on it and otherwise switch back and forth between weights a lot, this fastener is perfect.

Klemmringe von Navaris Instead of big springs you can also use smaller clamping rings, they are just as tight. © manufacturer

Especially practically : The Navaris clamping rings can be changed as quickly as the normal springs, but are much smaller and therefore do not protrude over smaller weight plates.

How do you actually HIIT ?

Step 3: Which material is best for the dumbbells?

Now you have to find out which material suits you best. On the one hand, the surface should suit your training habits (sensitive floors, many dynamic movements, etc.)

On the other hand, of course, the price-performance ratio should also be right. Smaller gymnastic dumbbells are usually available for as little as 10 Euros, but especially the larger dumbbells cost different amounts depending on the material. These are your options:

Cast iron dumbbells are simple and robust

The classic adjustable dumbbell consists of a chrome-plated steel grip bar and cast iron weight plates. Dumbbells like the ones here from Songmics are simple, have a good price-performance ratio and if you store them dry, they last forever.

Coated dumbbells do not scratch

If you want to protect the floor, furniture and your skin from scratches and dents, coated weights are a good choice. Especially during cardio training, where you often wobble wildly with the weights, such a cover is useful. The cast iron dumbbells are then covered with neoprene such as Promic’s or vinyl, which makes the dumbbell quieter and also easier to grip

Gymnastikhanteln von Movit With a secure grip you can also lean on such dumbbells, for example during push-ups. © manufacturer

Especially non-slip: The gymnastic dumbbells from Movit are not round, but star-shaped. So nothing rolls or rumbles, and the neoprene surface is floor-friendly and tested for harmful substances.

This is how the training at home in the Home Gym goes

Chrome dumbbells are particularly chic

If you want your home gym to look a little more upscale, you can use a chrome model instead of cast iron. These are sometimes a bit more expensive, but have the advantage that there are both adjustable and fixed dumbbells. Like the cast iron models, the chromed dumbbells often last a lifetime.

Plastic dumbbells are versatile

Dumbbells made of plastic are a bit cheaper, which are now also available in qualitative processing, adjustable or fixed and in many sizes. The dumbbells from C.P Sports, for example, range from 1 to 40 kilos.

The advantage of plastic, besides the price, is the fact that it is more gentle on surfaces, so it is good for those with limited space or sensitive floors. But you have to pay special attention to good workmanship and good weight distribution. It is best to try this out a little before training.

Bei Kunststoff-Hanteln muss die Qualität stimmen If the quality is right, plastic is a great alternative. © Romariolen /

Step 4: What accessories do I need for my dumbbells?

Dumbbell weight: Check. Seal and material: Check. Now you can actually start. But to make your training even more comfortable, there are some accessories that might be worthwhile for you:

A set of weight plates for even more variation

If you want to buy additional weights for your adjustable dumbbell, make sure you check the diameter of the inner hole (otherwise the disc may not fit on the barbell bar). If you want to protect your surfaces, the discs are also available with a coating, for example from #DoYourFitness.

Gloves protect your skin

If you like working with heavy weights, you will quickly notice this not only in your muscles but also in your palms. If you don’t like rough construction worker hands or blisters, you can wear special gloves like Fitgriff’s when you train.

Training bench for upper body training

For some exercises, such as bench presses, a weight bench is extremely practical. It opens up even more training possibilities than the small dumbbells already offer.

Verstellbare Trainingsbank von Sportstech

Multi-talent : The adjustable training bench from Sportstech can be folded into all possible positions. So you can train every single muscle in your body and then store the bench easily.

Here you will find the best exercises for the upper body

A dumbbell tree arranges your dumbbells

If you store your dumbbells correctly, they will last much longer (and look much neater). Small racks like Powrx’s are perfect for storing a few dumbbells neatly in a small space. Professionals who are fully equipped, on the other hand, can set up larger dumbbell racks.

What are the advantages of dumbbell training?

The great thing about dumbbell training is that you are not tied to any equipment. You can do the exercises freely and not only train your muscles, but also your coordination. Furthermore, free weight training ensures that, unlike with guided equipment, the muscles surrounding the muscle are also challenged.

And: Many people think directly of biceps training when they do dumbbell training. But dumbbells can do much more. Whether back, legs, buttocks: you can strengthen each muscle group with the appropriate exercises and train them in isolation. But one thing is most important: concentration! If you let yourself be distracted during the workout, the risk of injury is high. So keep your mind on the matter.

Mit der richtigen Ausführung vermeidest du Verletzungen With the right execution you avoid injuries and train more effectively. © Romariolen / Kettlebell instead of dumbbell? What you have to consider when buying

What do I have to pay attention to when training with dumbbells?

1. élan yes, swing no! Do the exercises from the muscle, not from the swing. Move the dumbbell slowly and in a controlled manner in the desired direction.

2. be careful even before the exercise! If you lift the barbell carelessly from the stand, you may either underestimate the weight and the barbell falls, or you may get entangled. Same here: …start your workout.

3. make sure your back is straight! And that with every exercise. As soon as you go into the hollow back or make a hump, you take the strength out of the back and it will not thank you later. So: Check in the mirror.

4. Breathe properly! By breathing you supply your muscles with oxygen. Breathe out during exertion when the pressure decreases.

Dumbbell training is a must for fitness fans. Dumbbells are available in so many different versions that there is something for every training type. So go ahead, because now you know which dumbbell fits you perfectly.

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