Best Aquatic Dumbbells

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

12 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
147 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best aquatic dumbbells

Last Updated October 2019

Aquatic dumbbells can help you strengthen your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and core. These dumbbells can be used in conjunction with a variety of exercises, including arm curls and bicycle arms. They may even be incorporated into everyday water aerobics. The dumbbells often consist of EVA foam for buoyancy and low water absorption. They sometimes include an inner pipe that is padded to ensure you can maintain a comfortable grip. Some can be filled with water during exercise for added resistance weight. Aquatic dumbbells are sold in multiple shapes, sizes, colors, resistance, and buoyancy levels. They tend to hold up well to extended exposure to sun and chlorine. Most dumbbells will dry quickly.

Simply keeping aquatic dumbbells submerged is enough to provide the needed resistance to give you a good workout.

Resistance is key

Resistance training is one of the best ways to keep your muscle mass and to build bone density as you age. In fact, it is so vital to your overall health that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that some form of resistance training should be incorporated into everyone's life. Aquatic dumbbells allow you to perform resistance training while in the water so you can have greater flexibility and range of motion while exercising.

When considering which set of aquatic dumbbells to purchase, you need to first be sure they provide the appropriate resistance for you to get the results that you want. If you are just starting out, you will need a set of aquatic dumbbells that are fairly easy to move through the water. As you become more and more fit, you will want to climb your way up to moderate or medium resistance. This may be fine for most individuals, but those who wish to push themselves a little more can seek aquatic dumbbells that provide heavy resistance.

Some manufacturers list resistance in pounds, others simply state the resistance as light, medium, or heavy. For companies that offer a one-size-fits-all solution, it is usually a medium-resistance aquatic dumbbell.

DID YOU KNOW?

Being engaged in a low-impact water aerobics activity is one of the few ways expectant mothers may be able to keep fit, even in that third trimester.

Other considerations

Materials

Although some manufacturers offer alternatives, ideally, you want your aquatic dumbbells to be made with EVA foam because it is a lightweight, buoyant, flexible, chlorine-resistant, durable material.

Shape

By far, most aquatic dumbbells have the same basic shape — they look like colored foam versions of regular dumbbells. A few models, however, vary in their design by featuring triangular or square ends. This altered shape serves two functions. First, having a flat surface allows you to adjust your resistance slightly by rolling your wrist. Second, it makes your aquatic dumbbells easier to store because they won't roll away.

Fins

A few aquatic dumbbells feature fins that provide a uniform resistance when moving in any direction through the water.

Swim bar

If you are looking for an aquatic dumbbell designed to help you swim, you might prefer a swim bar. This design allows you to grab one long bar with two hands instead of having one short bar in each hand. A swim bar can be used to help you practice your swimming strokes. Additionally, more advanced users can target their legs with this type of equipment.

Grip

Aquatic dumbbells that have soft comfortable grips you can easily hold when wet are best. Additionally, some bars can be filled with water or sand if you'd like to add some weight. Adding weight to your aquatic dumbbells, however, may lessen the effectiveness of certain exercises that rely solely on buoyancy for resistance.

Color

If you have a favorite color, look for a model that approximates what you desire. Having an unusual color (something other than blue or white) will also make it easy to quickly identify which aquatic dumbbells are yours if you use them in a popular water aerobics class.

Using a set of aquatic dumbbells that feature fins will allow you to have consistent resistance no matter which direction you are moving.

Aquatic dumbbell prices

Inexpensive: From $6 to $12 is the budget range. It may be possible to find a quality product here but be careful of build quality and durability. Aquatic dumbbells need to withstand a considerable amount of movement under pressure and not break apart in order to be a worthwhile investment.

Mid-range: From $12 to $22 is where you should be able to find quality at a reasonable price. In this range, you will discover many of the same aquatic dumbbells that your local water aerobics instructor has available in class.

Expensive: If you're looking for name-brand or aquatic dumbbells that offer a little more resistance, the $25 and above range should have a solution for your needs.

EXPERT TIP

Because water negates the effects of gravity on your body, when using your aquatic dumbbells, you will have a greater range of motion and increased flexibility.


Staff  | BestReviews

Exercise tips

Using aquatic dumbbells in a pool may be a new experience for you. If it is, you're going to need a few tips on how to get the most out of your fitness gear. Here are a few important things to remember when using aquatic dumbbells:

  • Never alone: Always have someone with you or watching you while you are exercising. You should never be in a pool alone.
  • Stay hydrated: Just because you are in water doesn't mean you are hydrated. Working out while in a pool can actually mask dehydration symptoms, so it is even more important to drink water.
  • Opposite day: When working out with aquatic dumbbells, the hard part isn't lifting them up, it's putting them down. The deeper you go, the more resistance you'll experience.
  • Bend your elbows: If any exercise is too strenuous in the beginning, bring the aquatic dumbbells closer to the surface. In many exercises, this can be accomplished simply by bending your elbows slightly.
  • Step it up: When you're ready for more resistance, push the aquatic dumbbells a little deeper into the water.
  • Your range of motion: The best way to increase flexibility is to do the exercises using a range of motion that is comfortable for you. Never extend beyond comfort as this is how injuries happen.
  • Do not exercise at full extension: The buoyancy of aquatic dumbbells can cause unexpected torquing that can injure your spine or shoulders. Always have some bend in your elbows when working out to help protect your spine and shoulders.
  • Never lose sight of what you're doing: A good rule of thumb to keep you from overextending is to be able to see both dumbbells at all times when exercising.
  • Use good form: A straight spine and solid core are two keys to help you safely execute resistance exercises when using your aquatic dumbbells.

Other products we considered

The igBoss Sports Aquatic Exercise Dumbbells are made of EVA foam that is lightweight out of the water but provides considerable resistance when submerged. Likewise, Aolvo's Water Aerobics Dumbbells are also made of EVA foam, but come in a variety of eye-catching colors, such as purple and orange. If you are looking for something a little different, TheraBand has a Kickroller Flotation Device with a padded grip. The device is shaped like a classic rolling pin and can be used to work out both your upper and lower body.

Aquatic dumbbells can be combined with other workout gear, such as wrist weights, ankle weights, and a jogging belt, to make your workout even more intense.

FAQ

Q. Why should I work out in the water?
A.
When you exercise in the water, you still get all the same benefits as exercising on land — you increase your cardiovascular stamina, strength, and flexibility — only you are not putting stress on your joints. The water helps support your body, so it provides a low-impact workout that has all the pluses and none of the minuses of exercising on land. The right exercises can even have you burning more calories per hour, making it a great way to help control your weight. Additionally, it might be the only exercises that your doctor approves if you are recovering from an injury or an illness.

Q. Why are aquatic dumbbells so light?
A.
Aquatic dumbbells are light because they do not need to be heavy. In fact, if they were heavy, they wouldn't work. When you exercise on land, weights need to be heavy because gravity pulls them down, creating resistance when you try to lift them up. However, when you are in the water, resistance doesn't happen when you are lifting up, it happens when you are pushing down. The lighter, more buoyant your aquatic dumbbells are, the more effective your workout will be.

Q. How do aquatic dumbbells help?
A.
Using aquatic dumbbells can be extremely beneficial to your overall fitness in a number of ways. The first, most obvious way is that they allow you to rehabilitate muscle. If you are injured, working out in the water with a pair of aquatic dumbbells might be one of the only ways you can continue to exercise and get your body back into working order. If you already are in good shape, using aquatic dumbbells can help tone and better define your body. Depending on the exercises you choose, aquatic dumbbells can work out your arms, shoulders, back, legs, and even your core.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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