Friday, June 3, 2016

Why are dumbbells called dumbbells?

The term "dumbbell" developed in 17th century England, and it was inspired by the clappers (the weighted, swinging part of the bell) of large church bells. Since the clappers on these bells were heavy, bell-ringers would often train using weighted but soundless—hence "dumb"—clappers to build strength. The term "dumbbell" soon caught on to describe these soundless clappers. At a later date, strongmen and athletes began adding weight to the other ends of clappers for the purpose of strength training, and they kept the dumbbell name. Even though the styles and materials of dumbbells have changed through the centuries, the clapper-inspired name has persisted.


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