Five Fantastic Exercises You Can Do With Hex Dumbbells
Dumbbells are one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment.
Despite their simplicity, dumbbells allow us to do unilateral exercises (where we train one side at a time), which promotes balance, strengthens our deep core muscles, and prevents muscle imbalances.
Having access to some dumbbells allows you to do dozens of effective activities that build strength, balance, symmetry, and overall athleticism.
In today's post, we'll take a look at hex dumbbells, what they are, what benefits they offer, and five great exercises you can do with them.
Let's dive in.
What Are Hex Dumbbells And What Makes Them So Good?
At first glance, hex and round dumbbells seem like the same thing. So, it's only normal to wonder, "What makes hex dumbbells so special?"
A hex dumbbell consists of a handle and two iron heads, each with six sides. The name 'hex' is short for hexagonal, which refers to structures with six straight lines and six angles. Hex dumbbells are welded together, so you cannot add or remove weight like you could with adjustable dumbbells.
A 20-kilo hex dumbbell weighs the same as a round dumbbell and has the same function. Both are also similar in size and don't feel that different when used in training. But thanks to their unique shape, hex dumbbells offer some distinct advantages.
First, hex dumbbells allow you to do certain exercises you can't do with round dumbbells. For example, you can place a pair of dumbbells on the floor, grab them, and do push-ups or renegade rows. Doing so is possible because hexagonal dumbbells don't roll away. Similarly, hex dumbbells don't roll around if you drop them on the floor after a hard set.
Second, hexagonal dumbbells stack better and take up less space, which is beneficial if you have a home gym. Round dumbbells aren't bad, but they take up more space, and you will need a dumbbell rack to keep them organized.
Hex dumbbells are also typically cheaper to buy, which is excellent if you want to expand your home gym dumbbell collection. If budget isn't a concern, you can get rubber-coated hex dumbbells that make less noise and don't lose their paint coating from everyday use.
Five Fantastic Exercises You Can Do With Hex Dumbbells
1. Push-UpsPush-ups are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that strengthens your chest, shoulders, triceps, and serratus anterior. The movement is also great for improving shoulder stability and health. The only trouble is, placing your hands flat on the floor might bring wrist discomfort that could ruin your training experience. Luckily, hex dumbbells can fix that.
With this movement, the goal is to place both dumbbells on the floor and parallel to one another. You would then grab them, assume the push-up position, and start doing repetitions with straight wrists. Aside from providing relief for your wrists, this variation is great because it offers a slightly longer range of motion, which can help you build more muscle.
2. Renegade Rows
The renegade row is a great full-body movement that emphasizes your chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, upper back, and entire core.
The idea behind renegade rows is to assume a push-up position while holding onto a pair of hexagonal dumbbells. You then pull one dumbbell off the floor, which trains your back and bicep.
Plus, you're forced to support your upper body on one arm, which forces your core to work extra hard in keeping you stable. The deep stabilizers of your spine, hips, and abdominal region develop, leading to better stability and athleticism.
If you're looking for a challenge, you can also include push-ups into the renegade row, making the exercise useful for your chest, triceps, and serratus anterior. Here is how it would look:
Row with right arm ⇒ Do push-up ⇒ Row with left arm ⇒ Do push-up ⇒ Repeat
3. Russian Twists
Russian twists are an excellent core exercise that improves rotational strength and overall stability. The movement is also great for enhancing your intermuscular coordination because it teaches multiple muscle groups to work together.
The bodyweight Russian twist is a fine start for most people, but it eventually gets too easy, which forces athletes to include extra resistance.
Holding onto a hex dumbbell is great for Russian twists because it's comfortable to hold. You can grab the hex dumbbell by its iron heads and hold it in front of your torso for extra resistance.
4. Goblet SquatsThe Goblet squat is a dumbbell exercise that shares similarities to barbell front squats. In both cases, you support the weight on your front, which forces you to maintain a more upright torso. Your upper back and core muscles have to work harder, which allows you to fix weak links and strengthen your body.
Unlike front squats, Goblet squats are more beginner-friendly and easier to learn. Plus, it's nice to have an effective squat variation you can do outside a squat rack. All you need is a single dumbbell, and you're good to go.
Using a hex dumbbell for the movement is beneficial because the iron head's shape is blockier, making it easier to support in your palms.
5. Hex PressThe hex press is a dumbbell exercise for the chest. The goal is to put together a pair of dumbbells and squeeze them as you press. Doing so is fantastic for activating your chest muscles better, which can lead to superior growth. You also have to maintain a neutral grip during the hex press, which reduces the stress you can put on your shoulders.
Hex presses are also helpful because their overload potential is excellent, allowing you to use the exercise for a long time. You can start with a light pair of dumbbells and gradually increase the load as you get stronger.
You can use a pair of regular dumbbells for the movement, but that isn't ideal because one can roll over the other as you squeeze them together. That could lead to instability or even an injury. In contrast, using hex dumbbells allows you to stack them together with no risk of slipping up even if you squeeze hard.