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Whether you’re just starting out or are deep into your weightlifting journey, dumbbells are a necessity for your home gym. While traditional dumbbells can take up a lot of room and can get quite pricey, adjustable dumbbells are a space-saving and more convenient option. The best adjustable dumbbells have a base weight that can be easily adjusted to your desired weight with either a dial or selector pin during your workout. There are a variety of sets on the market and different sets provide different weight ranges. With just two dumbbells that can be adjusted to your desired weight, depending on the specific set, you can easily switch it up during your workout. These home gym essentials are designed for a range of fitness experience and interests, so you can find the perfect set for you.
- Best overall adjustable dumbbells: NordicTrack Speed Weights
- Best adjustable dumbbells for beginners: PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best adjustable dumbbells for lifters: BowFlex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best adjustable dumbbells for travel: GoXccess Adjustable Dumbbells Weights Set
- Best budget adjustable dumbbells: LifePro Powerflow Adjustable Dumbbells Set
What to consider when shopping for the best adjustable dumbbells
When shopping for the best adjustable dumbbells, there are a few things to take into consideration, such as how much weight you want the option of lifting, if you want to take your set on-the-go, and if you want to work out with an app. Once you prioritize what’s most important to you, you’ll be able to narrow down the options and add a set to your fitness gear.
How much weight do you want to lift?
Dumbbell sets come in a variety of weight ranges. Typically, beginner sets are lighter, with weight between five to 25 pounds, while sets for more advanced lifters can range between 10 to 55 pounds. When sorting out which set will be best for you, consider how much weight you want to lift and what types of exercises you plan on doing.
Do you want to lift with an app?
Some people prefer to workout solo while some prefer the assistance of a workout video. If you fall into the latter, it’s a good idea to purchase an adjustable dumbbell set that is compatible with an app so you have access to a library of videos. Something to note—even if the brand you go with doesn’t have a corresponding app, there are many available that could work for you.
Will you travel with your dumbbell set?
If you want to take your dumbbell set on the road, you probably don’t want to carry 25+ pounds with you, so why not opt for a lighter set that has the option of adding weight up to 11 pounds? This way, you can stick with your workouts even from your hotel room or airBnB.
How do you want to adjust the weight on your dumbbells?
Adjustable dumbbells are actually quite easy to use. Depending on the set you purchase, you will either use a dial or a selector pin to adjust to the desired weight you want to lift. Try out some options to see which you prefer.
Is having a stand important to you?
While it’s not necessary to have a stand for your weights, it can make weight lifting safer and more convenient. Having a stand to place your weights eliminates having to pick them up and place them back down, which can lead to injury. Plus, a stand that holds your technology allows you to watch fitness videos or TV from your tablet or phone.
The best adjustable dumbbells
The best adjustable dumbbells come in the weight range you want to lift within, provide a comfortable grip, are space-saving, and easy-to-use. Once you have a better understanding of which factors you want to prioritize, you’ll have no problem selecting the best weights set to add to your home gym.
Best adjustable dumbbells overall: NordicTrack Speed Weights
The space-saving NordicTrack Speed Weights each offer 15 weight selections, essentially replacing 30 dumbbells. With the easy to use selector system, you can move from ten pounds to 55 pounds quickly to make the most out of your workout. Once you’re done working out, you can place the weights in the custom molded storage trays that also feature clearly labeled weight markings. Plus, with your purchase of the set, you get a 30-day iFit trial membership via the app for access to numerous on-demand strength training workouts.
Best adjustable dumbbells for beginners: PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbells
The PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbells come in a pair, with each dumbbell ranging from three to 24 pounds, in three pound increments. To put that in perspective, this set replaces eight dumbbells. You can easily change the weight with a selector pin, similar to the weight stack machine at the gym. For those just getting started lifting weights, these dumbbells have a smaller design for maximum balance and control. Plus, the rubberized padded handles offer a more secure grip and wrist protection while lifting.
Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Lifters: BowFlex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells and Stand Bundle
If you’re an avid lifter and want to dedicate a section of your home gym to lifting, the BowFlex SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells and Stand Bundle is for you. The pair of dumbbells replace 15 sets of weights and can be adjusted from five to 52 pounds in 2.5 pound increments. With the easy-to-use dial, you can adjust to your desired weight. The stand offers one convenient place for both your technology and weights. Designed with your safety in mind, you won’t have to bend over to pick up or place down your weights ever again. Plus, you can conveniently watch fitness videos, TV, or listen to music while you workout. This bundle is compatible with the free BowFlex SelectTech Training app available via iOS and Android.
Best adjustable dumbbells for travel: GoXccess Adjustable Dumbbells Weights Set
The GoXccess Adjustable Dumbbells Weights Set is offered in two weight options: a lighter set that ranges from 2.2 to 4.4 pounds each and a heavier one that ranges from 2.3 to 11 pounds each. To adjust to your desired weight, the end of each dumbbell can be screwed off to add metal blocks. The soft neoprene handles are easy-grip and non-slip to protect your hands against friction. And if you don’t love your travel dumbbells, there is a 30-day full refund policy.
Best budget adjustable dumbbells: LifePro Powerflow Adjustable Dumbbells Set
You don’t have to empty your wallet to get a good lift in. The LifePro Powerflow Adjustable Dumbbells Set are sold as a pair for under $200. With a base weight of five pounds each, you can easily adjust up to 25 pounds in five-pound increments with the convenient slider. For added safety measures, the weight plates lock while in use. The sleek, textured steel handle provides a comfortable, stable grip.
Q: Are adjustable dumbbells worth it?
Adjustable dumbbells are a great option for home workouts because they take up less space and as you get stronger, you won’t need to continue adding more dumbbells to your home fitness equipment.
Q: Why are dumbbells so expensive?
Adjustable dumbbells can have an expensive price tag for a few reasons. Compared to fixed dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells have more parts which can be more expensive to produce and purchase. Additionally, adjustable dumbbells are more difficult to make and can take longer periods of time. However, keep in mind that when you purchase adjustable dumbbells, you’re essentially getting an entire rack of weights.
Q: Is it possible to build muscle with just dumbbells?
In short, the answer is yes, you can build muscle with just dumbbells. In addition to building muscle mass, dumbbells help with balance, muscle imbalances, and coordination. In order to build lean muscle, you can use a combination of heavy and light dumbbells.
The final word on shopping for the best adjustable dumbbells
An adjustable dumbbell set will quickly become essential home fitness equipment once you give it a try. The best adjustable dumbbells are easy to use and easily customizable, save space, and are comfortable to grip. Depending on your lifting level, how much you want to lift and the types of exercises you want to incorporate into your workout routine will determine the type of weights you end up purchasing. When you’ve narrowed down your options, you might never go back to fixed weights again.