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The Benefits of Hex Dumbbells, According to a Fitness Expert

HEX DUMBELLS is the kind where the bell points are shaped like hexagons. Although less common than their rotund counterparts, they offer some unique advantages and, we think, may be the better choice for guys who train at home.

5 reasons to train with witch dumbbells

1. They don’t roll.

Living.Fit Dumbbell Pairs
Living.Fit Dumbbell Pairs

Living.Fit Dumbbell Pairs
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Shaving off the corners of a rock to make a wheel was a brilliant idea. But sometimes, as in the case of lifting weights, it is also useful to put the corners back. The biggest advantage of the hexagon dumbbell design is that the weights stay put. If you rest them on the floor between sets, they won’t roll away from you or onto your toes, making them great for both comfort and safety (especially if your home gym has an uneven floor).

The witch shape also allows you to easily stack multiple dumbbells, which can save space.

2. They are good for chest exercises.

handsome man doing push-ups exercise

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The ability to stay stable on the floor makes dumbbells ideal for pushups (or lunge rows, if you want to do the two movements in combination). They won’t roll or slide under your hands, and the slight height they provide allows you to go a little deeper on the descent, which activates more of your pec muscles. In fact, used this way, hex dumbbells act as mini-parallel bars—the handles gymnasts use to work on parallel bar exercises—providing a more wrist-friendly option than traditional pushups on the floor (that is, your wrists can remain neutral rather than bending backwards).

Hex dumbbells also lend themselves to bench presses. Lie back on a bench and squeeze the flat sides of the dumbbells, squeezing your pecs. Now do chest presses as usual, but keep the weights pressed together the whole time. The bench press emphasizes the contraction of the pecs in their most shortened position, which provides a different stimulus than other dumbbell chest presses (which stress the muscles more when the pecs are stretched).

Read more: Best adjustable dumbbells

Bonus points: Attach elastic training bands to the dumbbells and the other ends to sturdy objects on each side of your bench, so that the bands try to pull the dumbbells away from each other throughout your set. You will have to work even harder to keep the weights together.

Living.Fit Dumbbell Sets
Living.Fit Dumbbell Sets

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Advantages
  • TEXTURE: Textured handle for easy grip
  • SHAPE: Perform stable floor movements without rolling due to hexagon shape
  • ERGONOMIC HANDLES: Handles slope slightly to become a little wider in the middle to more accurately fit the shape of your hand

3. They are usually cheaper.

Many brands of round dumbbells have their weights coated with urethane, which makes them extra durable. These are ideal for a commercial gym where they will get a lot of use, but the price is usually higher, making them less suitable for home gym users. Another common design for round dumbbells is where individual plates are bolted to the handle. The extra material and labor is also reflected in their cost.

livingfit dumbbell sets the men's health store

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Hex dumbbells are often covered with rubber, or are made of solid cast iron, so they are less expensive. Last we checked, rubber gate pieces can be up to half the price (a pair of urethane-coated 20-pounders is $155 on Rogue.com, while two of their hex 20s are only $75). You can get a set of 10 pairs of hex dumbbells ranging from five to 75 pounds for under $2300 from Living Fit on the Men’s Health Shop.

If you want a wide range of weights for your gym, you will definitely save money with hex dumbbells because they offer smaller weights (2.5 lbs, 5 lbs, 7.5 lbs, etc.) than other models of dumbbells. If you do a lot of rehab/prehabilitation work (like dumbbell external rotations), or isolation exercises that require lighter weights (eg lateral raises), hex dumbbells can provide the smaller load and gradual weight jumps you need to progress.

Since they are usually covered in rubber, hex dumbbells can prevent damage to both your floor and the weights themselves if you drop them. They will not chip. If your gym is exposed to the elements, or gets particularly humid in the summer, rubber fences won’t rust either.

5. They are more comfortable.

The shape of the hexagon dumbbell makes it easier and more ergonomic to perform various exercises. Flat edges allow the weights to rest better on your shoulders during front squats, and they’re easier to grip for goblet squats, or dumbbell lunges (a core movement). Holding a light hex dumbbell at one end, pinch it between your fingers for a grip and forearm workout. Play all the angles to make your workouts more fun and creative.

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