A dumbbell is a type of free weight, composed of a short bar with a metal ball or weight disc at each end. The dumbbell is usually held with one arm, which gives the weight lifter more versatility to isolate particular muscle groups and body side. They usually come in a variety of weights and usually in pairs.
This interesting word has an equally interesting history. The term originated in Tudor England. The action of ringing bells were known to increase muscle size, so rich young men began installing similar devices in their homes, though without the bells. Over time, these silent bells became known as 'dumb-bells'
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