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5 Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Your Home Gym of 2024: Choose Smart Fitness

Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Your Home Gym

Adjustable dumbbells are an incredibly efficient piece of equipment for anyone looking to establish a home gym. As space-saving solutions, they offer a range of weights in a single compact design, bypassing the need for racks full of traditional dumbbells.

The adaptability of these dumbbells makes them particularly suitable for a variety of exercises, enabling seamless transitions between different levels of resistance and catering to all fitness levels.

The mechanism differs among products, some use a dial system, others come with pins or levers, and there are models that require manually adding or removing weight plates. Choosing the right adjustable dumbbells becomes a balance of functionality, personal preference, and the specifics of one’s training program.

After countless hours spent evaluating a wide range of adjustable dumbbells against criteria of quality, functionality, and user feedback, I have pinpointed options that stand out for their reliability and ease of use.  

My Top Picks:

Improve your everyday workouts with these high-quality adjustable dumbbells:

Best Overall
ProForm 50 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair, Black
Best For Strength-Training
BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)
Best For Beginners
BowFlex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell (Single)
ProForm 50 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair, Black
BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)
BowFlex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell (Single)
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
10 - 50 Pounds
10 - 90 Pounds
5 - 52.5 Pounds
Adjustable
Best Overall
ProForm 50 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair, Black
ProForm 50 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair, Black
Amazon Prime
10 - 50 Pounds
Adjustable
Best For Strength-Training
BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)
BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell (Single)
Amazon Prime
10 - 90 Pounds
Adjustable
Best For Beginners
BowFlex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell (Single)
BowFlex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell (Single)
Amazon Prime
5 - 52.5 Pounds
Adjustable

1. ProForm 50 lb Dumbbell Pair

ProForm
With Fitted Tray & Weight Selector

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 81%

I’ve added the ProForm 50 lb. Select-a-Weight Dumbbell Pair to my workout arsenal and was immediately impressed by their seamless operation. It remains my top pick.

The ability to switch weights quickly with the Rapid Strike Weight Selection System means I can escalate the intensity of my workouts without breaking pace, a true game changer for maintaining momentum and focus. While using these dumbbells during my arm and shoulder sessions, I appreciated being able to store them compactly.

Their design exudes a professional aesthetic, making my home gym look more polished. The sturdy feel when handling the weights reassured me of their build quality, which, coupled with the provided storage trays, ensures my exercise area stays organized.

As much as I value these dumbbells for their benefits, I did notice that they cater to a more intermediate fitness level. For beginners, the initial 10-pound setting might be a bit too heavy, and for advanced athletes, the 50-pound weight cap could soon become limiting.

Moreover, as someone who sometimes trains fairly hard, I find myself treating the plastic components with a bit more care to prevent potential damage.

What I liked
  • Simplifies space usage by replacing multiple sets
  • Swift weight adjustments mid-workout
  • Durable and reliable during various exercises
What I didn't like
  • Limited maximum per dumbbell
  • Starting weight might be high for beginners

2. Bowflex SelectTech 1090

BowFlex SelectTech 1090 Dumbbell
For strength-training and bodyweight workouts

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 80%

The simplicity and convenience Bowflex SelectTech 1090 offers is definitely a highlight. The transition from one weight to another is as easy as turning a dial, which allowed me to keep the intensity up throughout my workouts without breaking the flow to change weights.

This feature is especially helpful when doing drop sets or supersetting different exercises. The compact design of these adjustable dumbbells is a major plus. It helps those whose workout area is cluttered, making it difficult to maintain a clean and organized space. 

Surely, Bowflex SelectTech 1090 is not without its drawbacks. Users on a budget might find the price point a bit steep, but I view it as an investment towards a more streamlined and efficient home gym. While the dumbbell’s size is a bit larger than traditional dumbbells, it hasn’t posed a problem for the majority of my exercises. 

If you’re a pro-level heavy-lifter, the 90-pound max might fall short for some exercises like heavy deadlifts or shrugs, but for the vast terrain of weight training—from full-body workouts to targeted muscle groups—it has catered well to my needs.

What I liked
  • Space-saving design 
  • Easy weight adjustment mechanism
  • Wide weight range suitable for beginners
What I didn't like
  • The initial cost may be higher 
  • The size could be slightly bulky sometimes

3. Bowflex ST 552 Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
For heavy & light exercises

stridestrong.com bestbuy 
Customer Satisfaction: 89%

I noticed how seamlessly I could transition from one exercise to the next, thanks to the rapid weight change mechanism. Typically, switching weights can disrupt the flow of a workout, but the intuitive dial turned those moments into mere seconds.

It was as if I had an entire rack of weights at my disposal, but without needing the space that a full set usually requires. The construction and feel of the Bowflex ST 552 dumbbells impressed me; they’re not just rugged metal tools but thoughtfully designed equipment that enhances the look of my gym space while promising longevity.

The rubber grips were comfortable, providing a secure hold even when my palms got sweaty. These dumbbells cater well to a range of strength levels, yet those on the more advanced side of weightlifting may find the 52.5-pound ceiling limiting.

On one occasion, when I was doing squats, the dial system didn’t rotate as smoothly as expected, but this was quickly resolved with a little wiggle.

What I liked
  • Quick adjustment system
  • Significantly reduces the space
  • Aesthetically pleasing and durable design
What I didn't like
  • The price may be a deterrent for some
  • Not suitable for extremely heavy lifting

Buying Guide

Now, I want to provide you with the factors you should take a look at the best adjustable dumbbells for your home gym.

Assessing Your Space

Before investing in an adjustable dumbbell set, it’s crucial to take a thorough assessment of your workout area. The space available in your exercise environment plays a pivotal role in determining not just the size of the dumbbells you can accommodate, but also how effectively you can perform a range of exercises.

If you’re working within a constrained space, such as a small room, a home office that doubles as a workout area, or even a corner of your living room, opting for a compact design becomes essential.

Adjustable dumbbells with a smaller footprint are ideal in such scenarios as they require less storage space and can be easily tucked away when not in use. To start, measure the dimensions of your available workout area.

Consider not only the floor space but also the vertical space, especially if you plan to incorporate exercises that require overhead movements. Keep in mind that during workouts, you’ll need additional room around you to ensure a full range of motion.

This is particularly important for exercises like dumbbell swings, overhead presses, or lateral raises, where restricted movement could impact the effectiveness of your workout or even lead to injury. Also, think about the surface you’ll be placing the dumbbells on.

If you’re working out on a hardwood floor, you might want to invest in a protective mat, both to safeguard your floor and to provide stability during your workouts. Once you know of your space, consider the dimensions of the adjustable dumbbells you’re eyeing.

Check their length, width, and height, and visualize how they would fit into your workout area. Some adjustable dumbbell sets come with stands or trays, which, while adding to the convenience, also require additional space.

Weight Range and Increments

The weight range and increment options is crucial for aligning the equipment with your fitness goals and current strength level.

Here’s what you should focus on:

  • Assessing Current Strength Level:
    • Evaluate your current strength and endurance level.
    • If you are new to weightlifting or returning after a break, start with lighter weights.
    • Consider dumbbells that start at a lower weight, such as 5 pounds, to avoid strain or injury.
  • Progression and Growth:
    • Choose a set that allows for gradual progression.
    • Look for dumbbells that offer small weight increments, which are essential for consistent strength development.
    • Smaller increments (e.g., 2.5 to 5 pounds) are better for finely tuning the resistance as you grow stronger.
  • Training Versatility:
    • For a diverse workout routine, select dumbbells with a broad weight range.
    • A wide range accommodates various exercises, from light toning and endurance workouts to heavy lifting.
    • Ensure the set covers the full spectrum of exercises you plan to include in your regimen.
  • Future Fitness Goals:
    • Anticipate your future fitness goals and strength gains.
    • Investing in a set that offers a higher maximum weight can be more cost-effective in the long run.
    • Consider how your strength training might evolve and whether the dumbbells can grow with you.
  • Ease of Adjusting Weights:
    • The mechanism for changing weights should be user-friendly and quick.
    • Efficient weight adjustment is vital for maintaining the flow of your workout, especially during circuits or interval training.
  • Safety and Stability of Weight Adjustments:
    • Ensure that the weight adjustment mechanism is secure and reliable to prevent accidents.
    • Check for a locking mechanism that keeps the weights firmly in place during use.

Durability and Material Quality

The durability and material quality of adjustable dumbbells are paramount, not only for the longevity of the equipment but also for ensuring safety during workouts. 

Material Type Pros Cons Ideal For
Steel
  • Extremely durable
  • Resistant to wear
  • Heavier
  • Can be more expensive
Heavy lifting and frequent use
High-Quality Plastic
  • Lighter weight
  • Can reduce cost
  • Less durable than steel
  • May wear quicker
Home gyms, light to moderate use
Rubber Coating
  • Reduces noise
  • Protects floors
  • Can wear over time
Use in shared spaces, floor protection
Chrome Finish
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Can be slippery if not combined with good grip
Modern home gyms, corrosion resistance
  • Quality of the Handle:
    • The handle should be made from a sturdy material, such as hardened steel, and should have a comfortable, non-slip grip.
    • Check for ergonomic designs that enhance grip stability and comfort during prolonged workouts.
  • Locking Mechanism:
    • A reliable and secure locking mechanism is critical for safety.
    • It should firmly hold the weight plates in place, preventing them from slipping or wobbling during use.
  • Overall Construction:
    • Assess the dumbbells for any loose components or parts that could wear out quickly, significantly different from barbells.
    • Well-constructed dumbbells will have a solid feel, with no rattling or shaky parts.
  • Resistance to Corrosion and Wear:
    • Consider dumbbells with a coating or finish that resists rust and corrosion, especially if you plan to use them in a humid environment or store them in less-than-ideal conditions.
    • A good finish also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the dumbbells.

By carefully evaluating these aspects, you can ensure that your investment in an adjustable dumbbell set is not only cost-effective but also safe and durable. Quality materials and construction translate into a more enjoyable and long-lasting workout experience.

Ergonomics and Grip

Ergonomics and Grip - Buying Guide on the top Adjustable Dumbbells for Home Gym

The importance of ergonomics and grip cannot be overstated. Comfort in handling the weights is crucial, not only for a pleasant workout experience but also for preventing potential injuries and strain, especially to the wrists and hands. An ergonomically designed dumbbell takes into account the natural curvature and movement of the human hand and wrist.

This means looking for dumbbells with handles that are shaped to fit comfortably in your grip, reducing the likelihood of awkward positioning or excessive strain during lifting. The goal is to find a design that feels like a natural extension of your arm, allowing for a range of movements without causing discomfort or fatigue.

The grip itself plays a vital role in both control and safety. A textured grip surface is highly beneficial, as it enhances your hold on the dumbbell, even when your palms get sweaty during intense workouts.

This feature becomes particularly important when performing exercises that require dynamic movements or when lifting heavier weights, as it reduces the risk of the dumbbells slipping from your hands. It’s also worth considering the material of the grip.

Some dumbbells come with rubber or foam grips, which can provide additional comfort and reduce the pressure on your palms and fingers. However, these materials may wear down faster than a solid metal grip, so it’s a balance between comfort and longevity.

Price Point vs. Utility

Investing in a quality set is important for durability, safety, and effective training, but it’s equally crucial to consider your budget and ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. When assessing the price point of different adjustable dumbbell sets, start by identifying the features that are non-negotiable for your workout routine.

This could include aspects like a wide range of weight options, a sturdy and comfortable grip, an easy-to-use adjustment mechanism, or compactness for storage. These core features will form the baseline of your search.

Next, examine additional features that enhance the utility of the dumbbells, such as ergonomic designs, special coatings or finishes, or the inclusion of accessories like stands or storage options. While these features can increase the price, they might offer significant value in terms of convenience and longevity of the equipment.

On average, adjustable dumbbells are usually between from $200 to $500. However, prices can go up and down depending on the features, as I’ve already mentioned.  It’s also beneficial to consider the long-term perspective.

A higher upfront cost might be justified if the dumbbells are more durable, require less maintenance, and offer more versatility as your strength and skill level grow. On the other hand, if your training needs are straightforward or if you’re just beginning, a simpler, more budget-friendly set could be entirely adequate.

Another important aspect is to compare brands and read reviews. Sometimes, lesser-known brands offer products of comparable quality to premium brands but at a lower price. Customer reviews and ratings can be invaluable in assessing the real-world performance and durability of the dumbbells.

Easy to Adjust System

Easy to Adjust System - Buying Guide on the top Adjustable Dumbbells for Home Gym

The efficiency of adjusting weights plays a crucial role, especially for those who prioritize maintaining a high intensity and seamless flow in their workouts.

The ability to swiftly change weights, ideally within a matter of seconds, is not just a matter of convenience but also a key factor in maintaining workout momentum and effectiveness.

  • Adjustment Mechanism Type: The type of adjustment mechanism is the first aspect to consider. Some dumbbells use a dial system, others use a pin or clip system, and some even have a proprietary mechanism unique to the brand. Each type has its own advantages in terms of speed and ease of use.
  • Weight Changing Speed: The ideal set allows for quick changes. This is particularly important in circuit training or interval workouts, where time spent adjusting weights is time not spent exercising.
  • Smoothness of Transition: Besides speed, the smoothness with which the weights can be adjusted matters. A jerky or stiff adjustment mechanism can disrupt your workout rhythm and may lead to frustration or even injury.
  • Reliability of Locking Mechanism: Ensuring that the weights are securely locked in place after adjustment is crucial for safety. The last thing you want is weights slipping or moving during a lift.
  • Ease of Learning: Consider how intuitive and easy to learn the adjustment system is. A straightforward mechanism means less time fumbling and more time lifting.

FAQs

Do you need 2 adjustable dumbbells?

Yes, I recommend having a pair of adjustable dumbbells. This is crucial for performing a wide range of exercises that target both sides of the body equally and maintain balance in muscle development.

Can you build muscle with adjustable dumbbells?

Absolutely. With proper exercises and progressive overload, I can confirm that you can build muscle efficiently using adjustable dumbbells just as you would with fixed-weight dumbbells.

Should I get 15 or 20 lb dumbbells?

It depends on my current strength level and fitness goals. If you’re just starting out or looking to do high-repetition endurance workouts, 15 lb dumbbells might suit me better. For those looking to increase muscle mass or improve overall strength, 20 lb dumbbells could be more appropriate.

Are 2kg dumbbells useful?

Yes, 2kg dumbbells are useful, particularly for beginners, those engaged in rehabilitation, or when I am focusing on high-repetition exercises to improve muscular endurance.

Is it OK to only use dumbbells?

Yes, it is okay to only use dumbbells, especially when I have limited space or prefer the versatility and convenience they provide. Dumbbells can offer a comprehensive, full-body workout and be effective for strength training.

Epilogue

To find the ideal adjustable dumbbells for a home gym, I’ve assessed various models for quality, versatility, ease of use, and a variety of other factoes.

ProForm 50 lb Dumbbell Pair stands out for its quick adjustment system and wide weight range.  Investing in adjustable dumbbells is a promising step toward a varied and flexible strength routine.

I recommend potential buyers to prioritize adjustment mechanisms, grip comfort, and overall sturdiness, ensuring a worthwhile addition to their home workout equipment.

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