An iron dumbbell certainly works the muscles, but it might also break the toes.
One alternative is the Sandbell, which can be lifted, tossed or slammed. Sandbells are Neoprene-filled disks made to weigh 2 to 50 pounds.
They are used in many school districts, including Miami, Los Angeles and Dallas, said Jordan Pratt, marketing manager for the Sandbell maker, Hyperwear Inc. She was showing them off at a recent expo for fitness instructors.
"They inspire creativity, which sounds clichéd, but you can do anything with them. You can drop them, and I'm not going to hurt myself. They're not as intimidating as regular iron dumbbells," Pratt says.
And, she says, since they're pliable, they provide good exercise for the hands.
Eight fluid ounces of sand weighs a pound, and Sandbells can be purchased empty, from $7.99 to $85.99. http://www.hyperwear.com/discover/sandbell.html/