When it comes to shopping for dumbbells, Pruett says you shouldn’t worry about making sure they’re from a well-known brand. “They don’t have to be expensive or brand name. Go to your local Target or general store and purchase a set. Weights are weight, and movement is movement.”
But there are a few specific things you can look out for.
If you’re not buying a full rack, you should consider what dumbbell weight is good for you. Pruett recommends opting for a weight that you can comfortably use for both upper body and lower body exercises. “If you purchase a set of dumbbells with only lower body exercises in mind, chances are they’ll be too heavy to complete upper body exercises with. So a good ‘happy medium’ weight is what I suggest.”
For women, this is typically something between 10-20 pounds, Pruett says. But, if you’re looking to add multiple sets of dumbbells, throw in a heavier set as well, she adds. “I suggest also adding a heavier weight option for lower body exercises. For women, that’s anything from 30-45 pounds.”
How much room you have for storage
“Since this is for your home gym, you want to consider how much space you’re working with, the floor your home gym has, and if you’re looking to own just one set or multiple,” says Pruett. For example, if you’re in a smaller apartment you might consider a vertical rack as opposed to a horizontal rack.
If you’re using an office or bedroom for your gym, Pruett recommends having a basket that you can easily store in a corner to throw your dumbbells or other small home gym equipment in to.
One way you can check in on a dumbbell set’s durability are its online reviews. But you should know that most dumbbells do go through normal wear and tear. “For example, the dumbbells with the colored coating on them do eventually chip/break off,” says Pruett.
She mostly recommends metal or brass weights, specifically with a rubber coating. “These are very durable and handle being dropped very well,” she says.