Dumbbells: History, Exercises & Body-Solid Options

At the core of every gym or commercial/home workout space, is the dumbbell. The cornerstone of workout equipment and the standard in essentially every gym across the planet. Whether you’re working out in Kentucky or Kazakhstan, chances are a dumbbell is within reach.

BodySolid.com - HaltereThe history of dumbbells begin in ancient Greece with a piece of equipment called the haltere. The haltere is a crescent-shaped stone with an included handle to make it easier to lift. Years later, the Indians created a similar tool called a nal, Indian Club or meel. This more resembled a club than a stone like the Greek haltere but still fits into the lineage of a dumbbell.

The actual dumbbell as we know it began in the Tudor era of England. During this period, English athletes would hold hand-held church bells to train and build muscle. There was a problem with this practice though — they were church bells and made a LOT of noise while these athletes were training. Smartly enough, the athletes removed the clappers literally making the bells “dumb” bells, officially coining these new pieces of equipment dumbbells.

Body-Solid has a long-standing history of producing high-quality/affordable dumbbells through our 25+ years in business including standard iron dumbbells, rubber and vinyl coated, silver, black and all the colors of the rainbow. Not sure what’s the right dumbbell for you? Here is a brief look at each of our dumbbell options including benefits and uses to try and make the decision easier for you:

Body-Solid Vinyl Dumbbells (BSTVD)

Body-Solid’s modern take on the classic dumbbell, BSTVD Vinyl Dumbbells are ideal for personal or group exercises but stand out as great accompaniments for jogging, power walking, aerobics and even yoga routines.

Dumbbell weights range from 1 to 15lbs and are also color-coded making it quick and easy to find the dumbbell you’re looking for.

The durable vinyl coated is easy to grip and easy to clean making these ideals for both home and commercial settings.

Body-Solid Neoprene Dumbbells (BSTND)

Similar to our vinyl dumbbell offerings, Body-Solid Neoprene Dumbbells feature durable non-slip neoprene coating making them both easy to grip and easy to clean. Weight designations are permanently stamped onto the dumbbell ends as well as color-coded to ensure you pick up the right weight at the right time.

Neoprene dumbbells are available in weights ranging from 1-12 lbs. making them ideal for beginning lifters, seniors and anyone looking to supplement their cardio (jogging, power walking), aerobics or yoga.

Hex Dumbbells (SDX)

With no frills or strings attached, our Hex Dumbbells are as simple as they come. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, these are strong bells featuring extra-thick, stress-proof, knurled steel alloy handles.

With weights ranging from 15-100 lbs. these dumbbells can be used by nearly all fitness levels from novice all the way to experienced power-lifters.

The heads of our SDX dumbbells are cast completely with two high-carbon Roll Pins permanently embedded in the steel handles. What this means is no matter what you do to these bells short of blowing them up, they won’t break. Drop them, throw them, use and abuse them, they’ll keep working!

The specially-designed hexagonal shape prevents rolling around your facility or space and assures a much safer workout than circular-handle dumbbells.

Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells (SDR)

Last but certainly not least, our Rubber-Coated Hex Dumbbells with durability that simply can’t be matched by any other dumbbell on the market. The rubber coated resists cracking, fading and chipping while at the same time protecting your floors and equipment. The SDR dumbbells are made from solid cast iron with a six-sided/Hexagonal anti-roll design.

The dumbbell heads are securely fastened with a uniquely-designed pin mechanism.

With weights ranging from 3-120lbs. the SDRs can be used by literally anyone, anytime for any reason. From a senior power-walking around the neighborhood all the way to the experience power lifter preparing for a show.


You’ve got your dumbbells, now what do you do with them? Well, there are hundreds if not thousands of different exercises you can perform utilizing dumbbells. BodySolid.com offers an interactive Body-Focus tool that will match your fitness goals and intended muscle groups with the right exercises, we’d definitely recommend starting there.

Otherwise, as mentioned, the options are unlimited. Some of our favorites include the Alternating Biceps Curls, Shoulder Press, Lunge, Bench Press, Bent-Over Delt Row, Front Raise, Lying Fly, Squat, Deadlift, Pullover and Upright Row.

The video below with show you a brief tutorial on how to perform the mentioned recommended moves:

Do you have any other questions about dumbbells or need some help picking out the right one for you? Don’t hesitate to call us at 800-833-1227, email sales@bodysolid.com or reach out to us via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram — we’re always willing to help and add new members to our ever-growing Built for Life club.

Author: Body-Solid

America's favorite source for fitness, strength, and cardio equipment. With the strongest warranties in the industry, our products are Built for Life.

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