While we’ve seen the marriage of magnets and dumbbells in the past, it was done more for artistic purposes than for any sort of extra workout potential. Which is what makes the Yanko Design’s O2 Magnetic Dumbbells so innovative.
When you think of a dumbbell, the image that comes to mind probably involves a metal bar with small heavy hexagons on either ends. These ask you to erase that image from your mind and believe in a weight you can’t see.
These dumbbells are split into four bracelets. You wear one above each elbow and another below each one. Ever push two magnets together and felt the pressure as they repelled each other? That’s how these work. Each arm holds two bracelets of repelling electromagnetic force, which can be adjusted with a small dial on them.
The idea is certainly an interesting one, but the images on Yanko Design’s website do leave some questions. The weight isn’t in your hand, as with a traditional dumbbell, but distributed throughout the arm. One can’t help but wonder as to the possible dangers inherent in them. After all, it’s pretty easy to have poor form (thus injuring yourself) with traditional weight training. Will these force good form or encourage bad form?
If it does prove to be safe, though, it could have incredible benefits. Instead of needing a full range of dumbbells, all you’d need is four bracelets that can fit in a shoebox.