Unless you’re using most of the amenities offered by a gym, it’s likely that you can get as comprehensive a workout at home with just a few pieces of equipment. While you probably don’t have space for a rowing machine or treadmill, many weight exercises can be done from the comfort of your living room. Investing in quality equipment will spare you the self-consciousness that can come from going to the gym, and it’ll save you money in the long run.
The simplest exercise machine of all — the adjustable dumbbell — offers a more comprehensive workout than you may have initially realized. All you need to know is the right exercises, and you can work out your back, legs, chest and of course your arms.
What To Look For In Adjustable Dumbbells
Be realistic about your needs. Will you be lifting 100-pound dumbbells soon? If not, maybe opt for a set that is more conducive to your current fitness level.
What kind of workouts are you doing? Some models can change weights fast and with minimal effort, while others are a bit more cumbersome and better for straight reps.
Where are you storing the dumbbells? Rounded styles may roll and become unsafe on uneven floors. We’ve also included options that are square and one style that comes with its own tray.
How We Chose The Best Adjustable Dumbbells
Whenever you’re dealing with exercise equipment and heavy weight, safety is paramount. We included options that were designed with consumer safety in mind. All options on our list are from trusted brands and include hundreds of positive reviews. We also included a wide range of weight limits to cater to every user’s needs.
1. Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells
Once upon a time, Bowflex was best known for its TV infomercials, but the company has matured into one of the leading makers of premium exercise machines. We’ve written about Bowflex treadmills and spin bikes on Spy recently, but our favorite piece of Bowflex equipment is much more compact: the SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells. This set of dumbbells is super easy to adjust while you work out. With the twist of the dial, you can select 5 to 52.5 pounds of weight. The dumbbells can be purchased as a single unit or a pair, but we highly recommend the pair.
Pros: Replace your dumbbell rack with a single adjustable dumbbell system. Comfortable grip. Comes with storage rack.
Cons: Much more expensive than manual adjustable dumbbells.
Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells
2. FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell
For a dumbbell that your whole family can use and can grow with you as your workouts progress, we like the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbell. The dumbbell goes up in five-pound increments between five and 25 pounds. Changing weights is easy thanks to the built-in locking mechanism that holds or releases weights into the accompanying tray. Changing weights takes only seconds, making this an excellent option for HIIT and interval training. An adjustable non-slip handle provides a secure grip. The Flybird tray is only 14.6 inches long and 7.9 inches wide, helping to save workout space.
Pros: Changing weights is fast and easy, includes storage tray, space-saving design.
Cons: The weight is sold as a single unit and not set, which makes this an expensive option.
FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell
3. Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re looking for a set of adjustable dumbbells with a high weight range, check out the Yes4All style. Designed like a traditional adjustable dumbbell, the set comes with two dumbbells that total 105 pounds (52.5 pounds each). Each dumbbell with its 15” handle includes 16 five-pound plates, four 2.5 pound plates, four 1.25 pound plates, and four collar handles. The durable cast iron plates are covered with black paint to help reduce the chance of corrosion or rust. A diamond knurled chrome handle and star-lock collars finish off a set of dumbbells that are safe and comfortable to use.
Pros: Traditional design, made from durable cast iron, including star-lock collars for safety.
Cons: Adjusting weights can be time-consuming.
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
4. POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbell
Get an entire gym in the palm of your hand with the POWERBLOCK Elite EXP Adjustable Dumbbell. Featuring a weight range of 5 to 50 pounds per weight (similar to the Bowflex SelectTech system), the Elite is sold in a set of two and can grow to 70 and 90 pounds per hand using an extender. An auto-lock feature and two chrome adder weights make it easy to micro-load each dumbbell in increments of 2.5 pounds. Corresponding color bands help to quickly identify weights and the secure magnetic polypropylene pin is rated at 500 pounds for added safety.
Pros: Space-saving, micro-loading increments, can buy weight extenders.
Cons: There’s a learning curve to understanding how to add weights. Not the most attractive design.