Best Budget Dumbbells – Introduction
What are the best budget dumbbells for your home gym in 2022?
Despite their name, there is nothing dumb about dumbbells. In fact, it could be argued that dumbbells are the most versatile tool in our home training arsenal. Whether you are training for muscle size, strength, endurance, fat loss, or fitness, dumbbells can help you achieve your fitness goals.
This article takes a closer look at the pros and cons of dumbbell training and reveals the five best budget dumbbells for your home gym.
What Are Dumbbells, Anyway?
Dumbbells are hand weights designed to be used singularly or in pairs. After rocks, they’re the original strength training equipment! Athletes trained dumbbell-like hand weights called halteres way back in 5th century Greece, and they were used for militaristic training by many ancient civilizations.
Modern dumbbells were invented in the early 1700s and are so-called because they were originally used by English bell-ringers who wanted a soundless way to practice their musical skills. In this instance, dumb means silent and not stupid.
Dumbbells are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, from molded plastic one-pounders to cast iron dumbbells weighing several hundreds of pounds. There are fixed weight and adjustable dumbbells, and they can be round or hexagonal.
Regardless of the type of dumbbell you use, you can use your hand weights to train your entire body with any of the hundreds of exercises available.
The Advantages and Benefits of Dumbbell Training
Not sure if dumbbells deserve a place in your home gym? Consider these advantages and benefits and then decide.
You can use dumbbells to train every muscle in your body. There are dumbbell leg exercises, dumbbell back exercises, dumbbell chest exercises, dumbbell shoulder exercises, dumbbell arm exercises, and dumbbell core exercises.
Add an adjustable bench to your home gym, and, combined with your dumbbells, you can create any number of effective workouts.
Dumbbell training is arguably a lot safer because there is no danger of getting trapped under your weights. Just lower them out to the side and down the floor. That’s good news if you like to train to failure or work out on your own.
Increased range of motion
With dumbbells, you are free to move your limbs through a larger range of motion during exercises like bench presses and overhead presses. This increased ROM can produce better increases in strength and muscle size while enhancing joint mobility. In contrast, with barbell exercises, you may not be able to use such a large movement.
Improved muscular balance
It’s very common to have one limb stronger than the other. However, if imbalances are allowed to become too big, they can affect your appearance and functional strength. Muscular imbalances can even lead to chronic injuries. Training with dumbbells makes it easier to avoid, identify and fix left-to-right strength imbalances.
Training with dumbbells invariably means that you have to control two weights at once. This increases nervous system engagement, challenges your central nervous system, and improves things like balance, coordination, and proprioception. If you want to improve your athletic performance, training with dumbbells will help.
Compact and portable
Compared to barbells and bumper plates, dumbbells are much more compact, which makes them ideal for smaller training spaces like home gyms. You can also put them in your car and take them on your travels, which would be impractical with a standard 7-foot Olympic barbell.
And a Couple of Drawbacks…
While dumbbell training is mostly beneficial, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider.
Heavy, large dumbbells can be awkward to use
While getting your weights into position is easy when using light dumbbells, heavy, large dumbbells can be much more awkward, especially for things like bench presses and overhead presses.
You’ll need to learn and master the dumbbell power clean and may even need to do it seated to get your weights into the right starting position.
Harder to balance two weights
You’ll probably find that most dumbbell exercises are more challenging than their barbell equivalent. That’s because it’s usually more difficult to balance two weights than one. You may even find that your limbs move in different directions despite your efforts to stabilize them. As such, you may not be able to use as much weight or do as many reps.
However, while this can be viewed as a disadvantage, it’s also an advantage as this instability is part of what makes dumbbell training so effective. However, it can also be frustrating if all you want to do is lift heavier weights.
Less effective leg workouts
While dumbbells are brilliant for upper body training, they may not be as good for lower body workouts. While you can use dumbbells for squats, lunges, and deadlifts, the barbell version of these exercises is arguably better. You’ll probably be able to use more weight with the barbell version.
The Best Budget Dumbbells for Your Home Gym
It’s clear, then, that dumbbells would make a great addition to any home gym. Armed with a pair of dumbbells, you can train your entire body within a minimum amount of space. With or without an exercise bench, dumbbells are the ideal home training tool.
But, before you rush out and buy your dumbbells, take a moment to read our mini-reviews of the best budget dumbbells for home gyms.
#1. Amazon Basics Hex Dumbbells
- Dumbbell for resistance training—great for arms, chest, back, core,...
- Made of solid high-quality cast iron for reliable built-to-last...
- Hexagon-shaped ends help prevent rolling and promote stay-in-place...
- Ideal for fitness classes or a wide range of at-home workout routines
- Sold individually; weighs 10 pounds; backed by an Amazon Basics...
Amazon Basics hex dumbbells won’t win any style or innovation awards, but they’re well-made, competitively priced, and should deliver years of excellent workouts. Made from durable cast iron, these dumbbells are available in various weights/sizes and with or without rubber covering.
However, you’ll probably need to buy several pairs of these hex dumbbells as you’ll want different weights depending on which muscle groups you are training, for example, heavier for legs but lighter for arms.
#2. TELK Adjustable Dumbbells
- Includes: 2 x Dumbbell bars and 4 x Collars. NO Plates Included.
- Coated in high-quality chrome for a secure, non-slip grip. This set...
- Total weight = 10 lbs. Each dumbbell is 15.75" long. Fit plates 1.15"...
- Use with our 100% Cast Iron Weight Plates
If you buy fixed-weight dumbbells, you’ll probably need several different weights so you can perform a wider range of exercises. And, as you get stronger, you may even find that your lighter dumbbells become redundant, and you need to buy another set to ensure your workouts stay productive.
Alternatively, you can buy an adjustable dumbbell set and change the weights exercise by exercise and as you get stronger.
These dumbbells from TELK have spin-lock collars for quick and easy weight adjustments, and you can always buy extra plates if you need to upgrade your workouts. Weights are available in sets from 40lbs to 200lbs.
On the downside, this type of adjustable dumbbell can be a little unwieldy, especially when loaded with a lot of weight.
#3. Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- Replacing five pair of traditional hex dumbbells, the 25lb pair of...
- The space saving design is ideal for your home gym or your apartment....
- Save time during supersets as you’re able to quickly and easily...
- The heavy-duty chrome plated steel construction make these dumbbells...
- With dozens of exercise variations (biceps curls, triceps kickback,...
While traditional dumbbell handles and weight plates are cheap and practical, changing weights can be annoying and time-consuming. For example, if you want to do things like supersets or drop sets, time spent changing weights is time wasted.
That all changes with a pair of Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells. Using a clever twist-lock mechanism, changing weights is as simple as turning a dial. The dumbbells come with a small stand, and each dumbbell can be adjusted from 5 to 25 pounds.
The only real downside to these dumbbells is that they’re not very heavy. So, if you want to lift more than 25lbs per side, this is not the product for you, and there is no way to add weight beyond what is supplied.
#4. ProForm 50 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbells
- Trainer-Led Strength Workouts: Download the iFit app to start your...
- Replace 10 Dumbbells; With 5 weight increments per dumbbell, this...
- Rapid Strike Weight Selection System; Easily choose the weight value...
- Fitted Storage Trays Included; Store your adjustable dumbbells in...
- Durable Construction; These adjustable dumbbells are crafted from a...
If you like the idea of twist-lock dumbbells but want a heavier, more challenging workout, these adjustable dumbbells from ProForm are the ones you want. Topping out at an impressive 50lbs per dumbbell, these weights are quick and easy to adjust and suitable for stronger, more experienced lifters.
Each dumbbell can be adjusted from 10 to 20, 30, 40, or 50lbs, and changing weights takes no more than a couple of seconds. They’re supplied with storage trays, so your ProForm dumbbells always have a neat and tidy home in your gym.
#5. Spri Vinyl Dumbbells
- Dumbbell hand weight: Comfortable, no-slip color-coded vinyl coating...
- Step up your workout with a weights set: These durable hand weights...
- Lightweight options: Dumbbells are available in smaller sizes (1, 2,...
- Durable professional grade: Weights are built to a professional grade...
- Sold as a set of 2: Dumbbells are sold in pairs and available in 1, 2,...
Not everyone wants huge, heavy dumbbells. In fact, if you are a beginner, an older exerciser, coming back from injury, or just prefer to do higher rep strength training, you probably won’t need a pair of 50-pounders.
Spri vinyl dumbbells are compact, comfortable, and come in a range of weights from 1lb up to 20lbs. They’re made from cast iron but completely covered in vinyl, so they won’t rust and shouldn’t damage your floor either.
Because they’re fully enclosed in plastic, Spri dumbbells are ideal for outdoor use, and it won’t matter if you accidentally leave them out in the rain. Each weight is color-coded to make choosing the right weight (and matching pairs) much easier.
Best Budget Dumbbells – Wrapping up
Training equipment doesn’t come much more versatile than dumbbells. Whether you use traditional dumbbell handles and weight plates, twist-and-lock selectorized dumbbells, or fixed-weight dumbbells, you really don’t need much else to get a great, full-body workout.
Whichever option you choose, you can use dumbbells to train for muscle strength, bodybuilding, fitness, or fat loss without taking up a whole lot of space.
You can use dumbbells to complement your bodyweight or barbell training or on their own. Adding dumbbells to your home gym will add an entirely new dimension to your workouts.
When it comes to working out for weight loss, many exercisers pivot to aerobic training aka cardio.
While cardio does burn fat, it can be time-consuming.
The good news is that there is another way you can reach your weight loss goals – weightlifting for weight loss.
Now that you have a great pair of affordable dumbbells, it’s time to put them to work!
See how in this article: Weight Lifting for Weight Loss Plan: A Program That Works.
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