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Getting Smart about Dumbbells

For one of the most common pieces of exercise equipment, dumbbells can present an overwhelming challenge when considering a purchase for home use. Their value is obvious – easy to store, minimal space requirements and oh the number of workouts and benefits for your body!

While they’re easy to find, there are also myriad options. Fit spoke with some local experts to get the lowdown on making your at-home weight purchase easier.

First things first, you’ll notice a few differences when it comes to the type of dumbbell available, and what you can expect. Hex, or steel, dumbbells have a thinner, flat handle, and the hexagon shape gives these dumbbells their anti-roll design. Gronkowski noted these handles won’t work your forearms as much and may put a bit more stress on your wrist, though.

Rubber hex dumbbells offer more contoured handles that provide more for your hands to grip, which can help your form by allowing you to better hold the weight throughout your workout. Due to the softer exterior, these are less likely to scratch up surfaces at home as well.

At most commercial gyms, you’ll find pro-style dumbbells, which have a straight handle with weighted plates attached. The plates are semi-permanently fixed to the handle, allowing you to add more when you increase weight so you don’t have to have a full set of dumbbells lying around.

Adjustable dumbbells allow you to select the weight you want with the turn of a dial. The remaining weight will stay put, and you can switch between different weights pretty quickly. While they require more initial investment, they will take up less space than multiple sets of single-weight dumbbells.

“Everyone’s probably going to want to start lighter to start developing muscle, developing your physique, before just jumping into a heavier weight where you could potentially injure yourself or tweak the muscle,” said Gordie Gronkowski, owner of The Fitness Store in Dublin.

Where to buy

The Fitness Store, Dublin – livefit.com

Berry’s Barbell and Fitness Equipment Co., Gahanna – www.berrysbarbell.com

Rogue Fitness – www.roguefitness.com

Dick’s Sporting Goods – www.dickssportinggoods.com

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