Can Dumbbells Break?

Dumbbells can break if dropped repeatedly or in time when dropped multiple times. Dumbbells and weight plates can break when they have no rubberized coating or when dropped on a concrete floor. Rubber gym flooring can reduce the impact dropping dumbbells has on their integrity.

How long do dumbbells last? It depends on how you use them. Constantly dropping dumbbells creates micro-tears that can eventually break them.

Most dumbbells never break if used properly. There are gyms that still use dumbbells made decades ago. Other dumbbells, particularly adjustable dumbbells, are known for a reduced lifespan, especially when dropped.

Can dumbbells break?

Breaking dumbbells is one of those fears only fitness fans understand. Whenever you’re doing your chest extensions with heavy dumbbells there’s something at the back of your mind giving you’re the impression the dumbbell can break and disintegrate falling on your head.

This fear is normal. Fear creates long-living healthy individuals in the gym. Fearless gym-goers often take unnecessary risks. You need to be smart about training, particularly in a home gym where there’s nobody to help in case something happens.

Dumbbells break when slammed

Most dumbbells only break when repeatedly slammed. Dropping dumbbells can create small tears or even chip the dumbbells and make them unsafe to use.

It’s best to avoid dropping dumbbells. Most people only drop them when using heavyweights. You want to drop dumbbells in certain exercises such as chest presses as they put a lot of pressure on your wrists, especially when training to failure giving your all until the last repetition.

But dropping dumbbells should always be considerate depending on your environment as you could hurt someone at the gym or even hurt yourself. One of the best reasons not to drop dumbbells is their price. Dumbbells are very expensive and you’re risking your own money by dropping them.

Dropping dumbbells on concrete floors breaks them

Dropping dumbbells can have different damages or no damages at all. Dumbbells dropped on solid surfaces such as concrete floors can quickly break. They can also chip the concrete which means you risk damaging floors as well as dumbbells.

Dumbbells break when they constantly get wet. Some dumbbells made with exposed metal are known for rusting when in contact with sweat or rain. Forgetting dumbbells outside will not break them, but it might allow rain to come in contact with them and essentially promote a rust appearance.

Some dumbbells are made to be dropped

Dumbbells are typically coated in nylon, vinyl, or plastic. Thick rubber-coated dumbbells are made to be dropped, but only from a few inches above the ground as they tend to bounce a lot. Rubber coating on dumbbells also ensures there’s no slamming noise when you put your dumbbells back in their metal rack.

Is it OK to drop weights?

It’s generally not OK to drop weights as they can bounce around hurting others, yourself, or damaging floors. Some exercises such as heavy dumbbell chest presses and dumbbell snatches are known for constantly dropping weights. It’s best to used rubberized coating dumbbells for these exercises.

  • Dumbbells can bounce around when dropped

The biggest reason not to drop dumbbells and thus avoid them breaking is the constant bouncing around. Dumbbells can bounce around in just about any direction. For most exercises, it’s best to avoid dropping dumbbells as they’ll last a very long time.

  • It’s OK to drop weights on thick rubber gym flooring

Some types of thick gym floors can also help keep dumbbells in a good shape. If your home gym is equipped with thick gym flooring you might get away with dropping dumbbells.

While they won’t break, dumbbells can still be responsible for other damages.

  • Breaking mirrors

Home gym mirrors are mostly broken by weights. Dumbbells bouncing around aren’t the safest when it comes to keeping your mirrors intact. It’s best to avoid training with dumbbells next to mirrors if you plan to drop them.

  • Bouncing on fragile objects such as smartphones on the floor

Even if dumbbells can’t break when you have thick soft gym flooring in your home gym, they can still bounce around a lot. This bouncing around can eventually lead to dumbbells landing on objects such as headphones, smartphones, or any other objects you have laying around on the floor.

  • Damaging walls

Bouncing dumbbells can also risk damaging walls. Your home gym’s walls can be chipped by dropped dumbbells. The weights themselves can also break when they bounce around the walls.


Dumbbells can break even if they rarely break. Dropping is the main reason dumbbells can break. Other visual damages such as rust are also common with inappropriate use such as leaving dumbbells outside in the rain.