Homemade Dumbbells

Written by ann pedtke
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Homemade Dumbbells
Dumbbells made at home can be just as effective as store-bought models. (two black dumbbells image by msw from Fotolia.com)

Dumbbells can be used in a variety of upper body exercises, including bicep curls, squats, overhead push-ups, arm and shoulder raises and more. They are smaller and easier to store than other exercise equipment and can be used to target specific muscle groups. While dumbbells purchased at fitness stores can cost plenty, you can easily construct homemade versions using water bottles or other household items.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 matching water bottles with lids (or milk jugs, detergent jugs or other large containers with handles)
  • Water, sand or cement
  • Accurate scale
  • Duct tape
  • Bubble wrap or other cushioning

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  1. 1

    Obtain two matching water bottles -- either disposable plastic bottles or more durable Nalgenes. For heavier weights, use milk jugs, detergent jugs or other large containers with handles. Check your containers for leaks and make sure they are equally sized.

  2. 2

    Fill the containers with water, sand or a mixture of both, balancing to ensure they are evenly weighted. For extra weight, fill with cement and allow it to harden.

  3. 3

    Screw the lids on tightly. For an extra safeguard against spills, wrap duct tape around the lids to strengthen the seal.

  4. 4

    Cut hand-width strips of bubble wrap and wrap around the centre of each water bottle to provide extra cushioning and a more comfortable grip. Tape the ends down with duct tape. If you are using larger jugs, wrap strips of bubble wrap around the handles and tape down.

  5. 5

    Test your dumbbells on an accurate scale to make sure they are the desired weight.

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