Dumbbells are one of the best tools for a home gym, but not if they are racked incorrectly and you end up dropping one on your foot or straining your back to pick them up. You might be okay piling your dirty clothes on the floor in the corner, but treat your weights with respect. A neat and safe dumbbell storage system keeps you safe and may make for a more inviting workout.
Get the right kind of rack for the job. Don’t try to balance your dumbbells on a rack made for shoes or storage baskets. A makeshift rack made out of wood by a handy friend will not do. Purchase a rack made of steel and confirm that it is appropriate for the types of dumbbells you have. Certain racks will not work with vinyl-coated weights, for example. Contact the rack’s manufacturer for specifications. If you’ve picked up a rack as a hand-me-down, inspect it thoroughly and make sure all the bolts and screws are tight and that it is free of rust.
Store heavy weights on the bottom; lighter weights up top. If you haven’t yet acquired a full collection of weights to fill out your rack, store the ones you have on the bottom portion. Top-loading the rack makes it vulnerable to tipping.
Rack pairs of dumbbells of the same size together and in ascending, or descending, weight. When your dumbbells are easy to identify, your workouts go more smoothly. You also reduce the number of times you pick up and check each weight to see if it is the one you need. Repetitive lifting of the weights without proper form can lead to strain and increases the risk that you will drop one on your toes.
Allow for proper clearance around your rack. Collecting medicine balls, tubing or stability balls around the rack makes for tripping hazards. Install the rack on a sturdy, level surface.
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.