Dumbbells are very effective for working out, but they can get costly, especially if buying multiple sets.
You can make your own weights for under $10 or even for free using stuff you already have at home.
The best part is that these cheap homemade dumbbells are just as good as the one you buy.
You can make a DIY weight in less than 5 minutes, we included several methods with easy to follow steps and how-to videos.
If you want to make heavier dumbells at home, we show you how to use sand and cement to get more concrete dumbbells. These can take a little more time to make but can last for years, so well worth the time spend and money saved.
The Advantages of Dumbbells For Home Workouts
5 Ways To Make Dumbbells
We are going to show you 5 ways to make dumbbells, some super easy, other a little more involved, but still worth it.
You can make light or heavy homemade dumbbells, we'll cover several methods here. Some super easy, other a little more involved.
Are you ready? Let's go
Homemade Water Bottle Dumbbells
These homemade water dumbbells are simple and very easy to make.
You can make them for free using supplies you already have in your home or spend just a few bucks to buy what your need. These DIY water dumbbells can weigh as little 3 pounds each or up to almost 30 lbs.
- 1Fill water into each water bottle, either full or as much as you would like them to weigh.
- 2Take heavy duty tape and wrap four water bottles together, then do this for the other four water bottles.
- 3Get your pipe, stick or a rode.
- 4With the bottom of the water bottles facing the stick, insert the stick into the middle space formed by the four water bottles. Repeat this step with the other water bottles, mounting them on the other side of the stick.
- 5Tape and secure the stick and water bottles to each other
Make Dumbbells with Sand
These sand weights take 30-45 minutes to make which is a little bit more time to make than the water bottles weights we mentioned before.
You will need a few tools, but it's still quite simple to make even without any DIY experience.
The step by step instructions are easy to follow, and the video demonstrates every step along the way.
- 1Get two bottles and make sure the wooden dowel can somewhat tightly into the bottleneck. If it's a little lose, it's ok, but a tighter fit is better.
- 2Take a marker and mark the upper part of the bottles and cut them with a knife.
- 3Cut right below the label of the bottom of the bottle
- 4The top and bottom pieces should not fit around each other (we basically made the bottles shorter)
- 5Secure both parts of the bottle together with tape, preferably a strong duct tape.
- 6Using a wooden saw cut the dowel in order to get two pieces. Use a measuring tape and mark with a pen to make sure you cut the dowel into two pieces so that each will be 12 inches (30 cm) long. These will be the handles of the dumbbells.
- 7Roll a paper into a cone (funnel) shape with the hole at the bottom and secure with sellotape or duct tape to keep the cone shape.
- 8Place the cone into the bottleneck and fill both the bottles by pouring sand into the cones. The same should come to the top of the bottles.
- 9Press the stick into each bottle, approximately 4 inches (10 cm) deep.
- 10Using a screwdriver take one screw and screw into the bottleneck to secure the dowel into the bottle so it won't fall off.
- 11This step is optional. You can use foam to cover the dowel to make for a more comfortable when working out with the dumbbell.
- 12Place the other bottle on the other end of the stick and secure with the screw as you did in step 10. That's it, how cool is that!
Homemade Concrete Weights
In this video and the instructions that follow, we'll you show here how to make concrete dumbbells at home with cement.
These concrete dumbbells are much heavier and more robust, so if the previous do-it-yourself dumbbells we showed are too light for you, try the cement ones.
This project is a bit more advanced and will take a total of one week to make. It is 1 week only because the cement has to sit and harden for a few days.
- 1Take a tape measure or a ruler and mark to cut a dowel into two pieces of 12 inches (30 cm) in length each. You can use a saw to split into two pieces, alternatively, simply buy two dowels that are each 12 inches long.
- 2Screw 10 screws into each side of the dowel. These don't have to be in any pattern they should all stick out about 1-1.5 inches (2.5-4 cm)
- 3Take the empty bucket and pour into it 2 parts of sand and one 1 cement, mix and stir together.
- 4Take about 1 tablespoon of white glue and add to a container with about 2 cups of water.
- 5Add the water and blue mixture to the sand and cement mixture from step 3.
- 6Mix thoroughly until the mixture has a uniform consistency. You may need to add a bit more water while stirring until you get a cream-like uniform consistency.
- 7Either put the cement mixture into the small empty bucket you want the side of the dumbbell to be OR keep the mixture in the bucket as is if that is the size you want the ends of the dumbbell to be.
- 8Place one end of the dowel into the mixture. Note: make sure the dowel is straight and not tilted.
- 9Leave the bucket with the dowel in a safe area and let sit for 2-3 days until the cement is completely dry.
- 10After the cement has dried, repeat steps 3-9, this time putting the dried cement bucket on top of the newly created one.
- 11After 2-3 days the other side of the dumbbell has set.
- 12Now you need the remove the plastic buckets to expose the cement. Use a utility knife and carefully cut the plastic bucket so it would be easier to tear away and detach the plastic buckets from the cement. (Tip: you may heat the utility knife to make the cutting easier)
- 13To make your dumbbell nicer use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
- 14Create a 2 parts glue with 1 part water mixture (a cup of water is enough) in an empty container, Mix the glue and water thoroughly in the container.
- 15Apply the glue and water mixture with a medium paintbrush to the cement on both sides of the dumbbell. This "painting" of the dumbbells with the glue mixture keeps the cement from coming apart.
- 16(Optional) you can wrap the dowel with foam or rubber (glue it to the stick or use duck tape). It will make the dumbbell grip thicker so it's more comfortable to hold with your hand.
Homemade Milk & Water Jug Dumbbells
This method is great if you don't have the time to make a sand or concrete dumbbells of if you only need light weight dumbbells.
There are many ways to make dumbbells out of milk or water jugs, but this method is by far the easiest one. You can make your own weights in less than 5 minutes, no tools required!
- 1Take your milk jugs, water jugs, or any other bottle kind and fill with water, rice, pebbles or sand.
- 2Secure the original lids back onto the jug and lift. That's it.
The Backpack Weights
Looking for something heavier?
Turn any backpack you have lying around into an effective homemade weight with which you can do many exercises to target all muscle groups.
Take a backpack or a duffel bag and fill with books, magazines or any heavy stuff you find at home.
If you fill the backpack or duffel bag with books or magazines, it can quickly get really heavy, ideal for intense home workouts.
It can act as a quick adjustable weight because you can swiftly add or remove stuff from the backpack between exercises and sets, making it lighter or heavier, keeping your rest during the workout to a minimum.
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