An alternative to commercial micro weights for physical therapy.
Step 1: Alternative Micro Weights
My husband has been exercising at the gym for years. Recently he had a tendon “pull away from the
bone”. His physical therapist has had him slowly increasing weight starting with 2 pound dumbbells.
It hasn't been easy to locally find small incremental weights made for dumbbells. He wanted ¼ pound (114 gm) and ½ pound (228 gm) weights. One can get sets of micro weights online. They are color coded and pretty, and adding the cost of shipping, each ¼ lb weight costs close to $10... and we'd have to wait for them.
Thinking about it... What is really required of a micro weight? It has to fit on a dumbbell bar, be compact, not fall off, and weigh close to the right amount. Ideally, they would also be easy on and easy off.
Some body builders use links of chain,and some use big washers. We didn't have either on hand, but we did have a collection of small C clamps.
Step 2: Little C Clamps to the Rescue!
Small C clamps are available from most hardware stores and can be placed between regular weight plates and collars on a dumbbell bar. They are inexpensive, can be purchased in multiples, and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Ours weigh about ¼ pound each. The size that fits our bar is marked “1 ½ inch”.
Once closed AROUND the bar - NOT clamped to it! - and placed between larger elements so they can’t slide off the end, they are secure. One could pad them with foam sheeting or pipe insulation so they don’t make noise.
Step 3: If You're Going to Buy Some
Some small C clamps are too narrow to close over the
bar. Make sure that the “front to back” of the clamp is wide enough to go easily around your bar.