- Best Adjustable Dumbbells
- 1. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
- 2. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- 3. POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbell
- 4. Vivitory Adjustable Dumbbells with Connector
- 5. G-Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell 88 Pounds
- 6. ROBURFLEX Krato Adjustable Dumbbell
- 7. Tasly Adjustable Dumbbell
- 8. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
- Buying Factors
- Space Saving
- Manual Vs Mechanism
- Weight Plates
- Construction Materials
- Is A Dumbbell Necessary?
- Other Considerations
- Gaining Muscle
- Long Term Success
Adjustable dumbbells will seem like the perfect choice for your home gym, giving you a whole range of dumbbells in the one neat package. However, you will rarely see them at a commercial gym. Join me as I take you through a comprehensive buying guide to explain all.
Best Adjustable Dumbbells
1. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
While there are some great options for contained adjustable dumbbells, the more traditional approach with plates and collars is also fantastic.
Yes4All makes adjustable dumbbells that are 4 pounds unloaded and can fit 1.125 inches plates. They come in many different combinations, ranging from 40 pound sets to a 200 pound pair.
The handles are made of steel with a chrome finish, while the weight plates are iron with a powder coated finish.
It is easy to buy additional plates and add them to the generous 5.8 inches of room on the dumbbell bar. Keep in mind that the 52.5, 105 and 200 pounds per dumbbell versions have a 1.15 inch hole size, while the 40,50 and 60 pounds set have 1 inch hole size.
The weight plates that come with Yes4All’s product are approximately 1 inch thick, meaning you can fit about 5 of these plates on a single handle.
The biggest plate you can purchase from this seller is a 10 pound plate, but you could use a heavier plate from a different set of adjustable dumbbells as long as the aperture is the same.
The use of star collars to hold the plates to the dumbbell means the weights are solidly attached when the collars are tightened. The collars have a customization screw to apply an extra locking mechanism to keep the weights from shifting or wobbling during the workout.
Yes4All is one of the few sellers who have a connector as an optional purchase. A connector makes two dumbbells into a barbell, allowing you to have much more flexibility in both your workouts and available exercise equipment.
2. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
A long time manufacturer of fitness equipment technology, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are a great addition to any home or commercial gym.
The adjustable Weight Range of Weights is as follows: The increments are in 0.5-lb increments up to the first 25 pounds. The minimum weight is 5 pounds and it goes up to 52.5 pounds.
The Bowflex adjustable dumbbells use 15 different weight plate sets to make up the weight.
The dumbbells measure 15.75 inches long by 8 inches wide, coming in at over 9 inches tall.
It comes with a stand that has durable molding around the metal plates that provides for a smooth lift-off. It acts as a storage place for the dumbbells when they’re not in use, as well as containing part of the weight switching mechanism.
Picking up dumbbells from their holder to start a workout or after a easy to adjust weight adjustment is accompanied with a clanging or metal sound. However, the Bowflex dumbbells fit snugly into the slots and don’t rattle or make unnecessary noise.
Bowflex also provides access to their Bowflex SelectTech App to help your workouts. This includes by following a trainer built workout, an ability to journal your workouts, and an option to build custom workouts.
Bowflex offers the standard two year limited warranty on all parts but a whopping five-year warranty on the weight plates.
Another great pair of selectorized adjustable weight dumbbells similar to the Bowflex pair is the Nordictrack Select A Weight.
3. POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbell
As the name might suggest, the POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbell set uses square weight plates and so has an overall block design.
With a weight range of 5 to 50 pounds, the POWERBLOCK EXP can also be expanded to take up to 90 pounds per hand. This is done by purchasing a POWERBLOCK EXP Stage 2 and Stage 3 Kit.
It does this by having extra joined, weight increments that can be attached to your existing POWERBLOCK. You also get additional chrome adder weights with your purchase of specific POWERBLOCK models, giving a micro adjustment capability of 2.5 pounds.
There is a great safety feature of the POWERBLOCK models that is essentially an auto locking handle, to stop weights moving or falling off when the lever is selected.
They come as a pair, but shipped in two boxes to effectively take advantage of shipping prices so you as the consumer are paying the lowest price.
The dumbbells are very compact and measure 12 inches in length, the other dimensions of width and height both measuring 6 inches.
The adjustable dumbbel weight stacks are welded steel construction, offering durability and mass to last for years.
The handles are padded and are located inside the blocks. These dumbbells certainly have one of the highest weights possible on the market.
4. Vivitory Adjustable Dumbbells with Connector
Vivitory Adjustable Dumbbells come in a black and blue color scheme with a connecting bar, enabling you to turn your dumbbells into a barbell.
They also come with the hexagonal shape, preventing them from rolling when on the floor. This can be a health hazard along with being annoying, as when you’re setting up some exercises with a deadweight, such as a deadlift, heavy weights will roll away if they’re round.
This hexagonal shape has an additional advantage with storage, as they won’t be rolling around there either.
Made primarily out of polyethylene and EVA resin, the weight consists of concrete and sand inside. The handle is rubber coated to give more grip, and the handles measure 15.6 inches.
Vivitory states that the ease of changing from a dumbbell set to a barbell set is not the only feature, but by employing different movements you get a full home gym. This is because their equipment can be used also as a push-up board, for grip work, and back training.
You can also have two different types of barbells, the light and heavy. The light barbell consists of 23 pounds of weight on the ends of one of the dumbbell handles, with the connecting rod in between.
The heavy barbell has weight on both ends of the barbell, with the connecting bar in between. This brings it up to 44 pounds for the weight of the heavy barbell.
The adjustable capability is achieved by locking nuts on the outside, and plates are removed or added and then the locking nut is tightened.
5. G-Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell 88 Pounds
The G-Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell is a heavy duty all purpose piece of equipment that comes with metal handles and a compact switching station.
It can be set up with as little as 5 pounds, then maxing out at 88 pounds.
There is a dial located on the end of the dumbbell, which is rotated to select which weight value to have. This is a simple mechanism to work and get the exact weight amount you need without needing to read a manual.
Further, these adjustable dumbbells look exactly like regular dumbbells with no bulky mechanisms. This way you can have confidence that you can use G-Fitness’s products in the same way you used to use conventional, non-adjustable barbells.
G-Fitness also offers a 2 year warranty on both the weight plates and parts of their adjustable dumbbells.
6. ROBURFLEX Krato Adjustable Dumbbell
With each dumbbell going from 4.4 pounds up to a whopping 70 pounds, this is an adjustable dumbbell set for the intermediate to advanced lifter.
ROBURFLEX Krato Adjustable Dumbbells have a simple twist action and dial to change the weights up or down.
These dumbbells also offer a unique feature that the length of the handle never changes even when you change the weight arrangement. This helps you be comfortable with the handle and feel of the dumbbells, as the last thing you need during a workout is a distraction.
However, the length of the dumbbell will get shorter as you go down in weights, giving the dumbbell a balanced feel at the differing weight selections. This is quite an advantage and it is gained by using an interlocking system, where one plate is joined to the next.
This means with one of the lowest weight configurations, the dumbbell measures 8.5 inches across, whereas on the max loadout of 70 pounds it measures 17.3 inches.
Made out of 95% cast iron, these are solid dumbbells that will last for years.
They come in a variety of colors but the army green is a subtle olive green that will complement many decors. The matte gold is also very fetching if you have slightly louder colors in your gym area.
7. Tasly Adjustable Dumbbell
The Tasly Adjustable Dumbbell offers something unique that not many adjustable dumbbells do with the inclusion of a kettlebell attachment.
Coming with 44, 66 and 88 pound versions, this dumbbell set is adjustable by removing the screw nuts, putting the weight plates on, and then securing them with the screw nuts.
The weight plates are plastic and use sand and concrete as the weight material. If you have weights with an aperture size of about 1 inch, they can be used with this weight set.
Both the connecting bar and dumbbell handles are made from high density steel and covered with hard plastic and foam.
The kettlebell attachment comes with a kettlebell bar, and the weights can be added onto the bar to add resistance. These attachments also have a dual function as a push-up handle, allowing you to do push-ups without putting too much pressure on your shoulders.
8. Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
Going up to a maximum of 50 pounds each, the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell comes as a set with two dumbbells and two cradles.
The cradles are the best spot to store the dumbbells, as they are made from aluminium meaning they are lightweight but still solid. The cradles are very low profile making them easy to store and then deploy when needed.
Using an interlocking mechanism, these dumbbells can be switched from 5 to 50 pounds with a quick twist of the handle while it is in the cradle. Core Fitness are using the dial mechanism rather than a clunky lever or hard-to-turn knob.
Measuring at 14.5 inches long, this is one of the smallest adjustable dumbbell sets on the market, perfect for apartment workouts or bringing with you for a holiday pump session.
The internal rod system means the dumbbells reduce plates from the outside first, making the dumbbell more compact as you go down the weights.
The main differences to be aware of are the space saving abilities, whether you want manual weight plates versus an adjusting mechanism, preferred shape of the weight plates and accessories, preferred construction materials like the finish, and whether you really need a dumbbell.
Adjustable dumbbells help you perform two basic functions.
The first is that you can do dumbbell exercises for fitness, rehabilitation, or gaining muscle.
The second is that because you don’t need to buy 20 different sets of dumbbells or a rack, you’re saving significant amounts of space, clean up time and general issues with storing heavy fitness equipment.
Adjustable dumbbells that have removable plates are likely going to take up much more space than those with interlocking or dial mechanisms, depending on how many plates you want to have on hand. However, either style is still better than having 16 pairs of dumbbells.
Manual Vs Mechanism
Adjustable dumbbells are one of the best fitness tools out there. Modern adjustable dumbbells, particularly like the select a weight dumbbell offerings from Bowflex, give you a huge amount of control over how much weight and in what increments you do your workouts with.
While it may cost a little extra, a fully self-contained adjusting dumbbell set is super convenient and can help you do a complicated workout with different weights with little downtime messing around with dumbbell weights.
Having to constantly unscrew the caps, pull off plates you don’t want, then put on the plates you do want, then retighten the caps, gets old very quickly.
When you’re trying to get through a hard workout, the last thing you want to be doing is wasting willpower on messing around with dumbbells and their weight plates.
While generally the choice is between round or hexagonal plates, adjustable dumbbells also come in a box or square shape.
These are not for everyone, and the position of the handles deep within the POWERBLOCK does seem to limit some range of movement.
The addition of a connecting bar for some of the adjustable dumbbells is a significant buying factor. It effectively means you have both a barbell and dumbbell set, giving you a home gym that is the envy of most.
Kettlebells have long been shown to be great muscle builders and for high intensity cardio workouts, meaning you get the best of both worlds with these attachments.
Metal products such as dumbbells are generally finished with a black powder coating over steel.
While black phosphate finish is one of the most common, adjustable dumbbells that use a mechanism to change the weights often have more colors. The rod mechanism or other rails are sometimes made of plastic and this can allow them to have an attractive design.
Some dumbbells will be made of mostly steel or iron, while others feature plastics heavily. Adjustable dumbbells are best not to be dropped from a height or treated very roughly. This is particularly the case if they have a mechanism which could be damaged.
If you want the most durability, a steel or iron construction would be your best bet.
Is A Dumbbell Necessary?
Dumbbells are one of the best multifunctional pieces of exercise equipment you can get your hands on.
The versatility of a dumbbell is best understood by looking at the huge range of exercises you can do, along with their variations.
Dumbbells allow you to do squats, calf raises, stationary lunges, and deadlifts. You can also train your back by doing rows, reverse flys, and shrugs. To hit the chest, you’ve got so many options including chest press, flys plus all the accessory work that improves chest strength.
A weight you can hold in your hands also enables a bunch of trunk and abdominal exercises including crunches, rotations, leg raises, and deadbugs.
Of course, arm exercises is one area synonymous with dumbbells, and you can do so many including curls, tricep extensions and pushdowns, as well as many shoulder exercises like lateral raises, shoulder press, front raises, delt rows and so many more.
In the end, a dumbbell is only an effective and worthwhile tool if you use it properly.
Weightlifting is a complicated process that deals with human biology, human movement, nutrition, and many other facets. To get the most out of your dumbbell, read the following sections emphasizing how to get long term success and gain muscle using your dumbbells.
Resistance training, particularly through compound lifts, is one of the best ways to increase muscle mass. This doesn’t mean you’ll like a bodybuilder, but will go a long way to achieving body recomposition goals as well as reduce injury.
The versatility of a dumbbell set is perhaps only matched by the versatility that a barbell can give you. As some of the products we looked at can be converted into a barbell, this means you can do your resistance training with just a few pieces of equipment.
Getting that perfect dumbbell set that is rated for all these exercises is the key to long term success.
Increasing lean muscle and fixing your diet can help not just your general health, but also will help deal with any potential weight loss ambitions. Most people will equate muscle growth to success when considering gym results, and free weights are the best way to do it.
Muscle growth occurs after damage and repair to the muscle fibres. As the resistance on your dumbbell goes up, your muscles have to work harder to lift, resulting in the micro tearing of muscle fibers which are then repaired.
An adjustable dumbbell allows you to slowly increase the resistance, putting enough stress on the muscle to encourage growth.
This muscle building process then creates new ones over the old fibers, meaning each time it happens the muscles are bigger than before. This incremental process eventually leads to muscle growth and increase in strength.
In other words, this is hypertrophy. Dumbbells can be loaded with the optimal weight to encourage hypertrophy to occur in the muscles by challenging them with free weights and resistance, adjusted to the point where you can only do a few repetitions at that weight.
This can enable you to gain strength over time. Given that you can do such precise adjustments to the dumbbells, this allows you to gain strength without getting massive or out of proportion.
While barbells fundamentally are similar, given the huge amount of lifts and disciplines that make use of barbells has seen certain features rise to prominence. So it is important to set your fitness goals and purchase the barbell that will help you achieve this.
Long Term Success
Purchasing your own comprehensive dumbbell set is the first stage to taking ownership of your fitness. Consider that selecting the right adjustable dumbbell set for you will motivate you to workout, workout for longer, and do all the variations that you want to do for success.
Keeping up your motivation is one of the hardest things about working out, particularly given the timeline horizons around building muscle. Furnishing your home gym with a versatile piece of equipment based around dumbbells is a surefire way to get to your fitness goals.
A properly fitted-out gym in your house or office will allow you to go to more workouts. Making your home gym as good as a commercial gym means you don’t have to worry about opening times, travel distance, or whatever other excuse that is convenient for that day.