The humble dumbbell is the everyman’s free weight. It has had a long history and continues to be an indispensable piece of workout equipment both at home and at the gym. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved upon. Now, these workout essentials are available in an assortment of shapes and styles.
But among these, the adjustable variety appears to offer the most value for money, with all the modern conveniences and unique benefits that they bring. But this leaves the question: what are the best adjustable dumbbells in the market today? Well, without further ado, we’ve compiled the top three models for this year.
Bowflex SelectTech 552
Bowflex took the idea of adjustable dumbbells to great new heights with their quick dial adjustment system. Among their offerings, the SelectTech 552 has received the most favorable reviews from customers with its cost-effective and space-saving benefits. With a twist of the dial, you can switch to your desired weight in seconds.
As you may already have figured out by the name, each hand will let you start from a weight of 5 pounds all the way to 52 pounds. The small increments of 2.5 pounds (from 5 to 25 pounds) and 5 pounds (from 25 to 50) also ensure that you get effective progress minus the strain caused by adding weights too quickly. You can also read our detailed review of Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells.
PowerBlock Elite 50
PowerBlock is another innovator in the field of fitness with their selectorized dumbbells that offer higher load-bearing capabilities. Instead of using a dial mechanism, these employ a simple pin-and-lever adjustment system for changing weights rapidly. They typically come in four different versions: Classic, Elite, SportBlock, and Personal Trainer, which all share the same aesthetics, but have different poundage.
The Elite 50 is the most popular of the bunch and offers a beginner-friendly weight range of 5 to 50 pounds. What’s more is they’re not just ideal for newbies, but for intermediate and advanced weight-lifters too, as the weight limit is expandable to a whopping 130 pounds at max. Additionally, the box-like design will let you use the dumbbells as push-up bars, which adds a whole new dimension to your training program.
You can read our full review of the PowerBlock Elite 50.
Bayou Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell
The Bayou Fitness adjustable dumbbell can be bought as a single or in a pair. It uses a similar concept as the SelectTech 552 and Elite 50, and it comes with its own housing base so that it does not roll around on the floor. With a weight range from 10 to 50 pounds, you have plenty of scope to do a lot of different exercises with this dumbbell, and grow with it as you improve your strength.
Universal Power Pack 445
Like the other models in this list, the Power Pak 445 will let save you save plenty of space, as it eliminates the need to purchase multiple dumbbells or separate plates and bars. It uses a dial-a-weight system similar to the SelectTechs, and can replace as many as 18 individual dumbbells.
The solid steel handles are coated in thermoplastic rubber to allow a comfortable and steady grip, while the weights are wrapped in thick foam to prevent them from scratching or denting your floors when dropped. This set is also the most cost-efficient of the three, as it comes bundled with a dedicated rack that holds your weights at an ideal height and keeps them organized when not in use.
Now that you have an idea about the best adjustable dumbbells, it’s time to get out there and see which one can give the most bang for your buck. Remember that while these models all have their fair share of benefits, the choice will still boil down to your specific fitness goals, personal preferences, and of course, your budget. You can read our full review of the Universal Power Pack 445.
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
If you’re looking for some serious strength training without shelling out a hefty amount of money, Yes4All is the way to go. Boasting of solid chrome handles for comfortable gripping, spin lock star collars, and cast iron plates, it’s one of the better ones you’ll find in the under $50 range. Coming with a secure fit, they’re quite a good option for beginners as well.
Being rust resistant and durable are some of the other things that make them a truly value for money product given their incredibly low price.
So, who are dumbbells for?
It isn’t really surprising that dumbbells have become one of the most important fitness equipment, thanks to helping one achieve a wide range of fitness goals. The versatility they come with is surely something that has managed to impress quite a lot of fitness enthusiasts throughout the world, and made them as popular as they are today. From simply toning up your body to losing weight to building massive muscles, working out with dumbbells is the way to go.
Also, as probably some of you already know, there are a wide range of exercises you could follow using dumbbells. They all help one achieve different fitness goals, something that can be so relieving given that not many other fitness equipments manage to do that. They can be used to get your entire body in shape rather than just focusing on a particular part of your body, as well.
What’s more is, you can’t even give yourself excuses such as having less time, having to go to the gym to workout, and so on. You can exercise at the comfort of your home using just a pair of dumbbells. Also, there are tons of different types of exercises out there, which are simple enough to do on your own using the dumbbells. So there’s hardly anything that should stop you from exercising now. Can’t get any better than this, can it?
Let us now move on to taking a look at who exactly can consider using dumbbells for their fitness needs.
People looking to balance their body
Some people have a rather imbalanced body. Some of their body parts may boast of being strong and in perfect shape, while some others might seem far from being in a really healthy state. Sometimes, it may be just natural. However, there are also cases in which the person has fallen prey to performing exercises focused at improving only a single or a few specific parts of the body. Such exercises always tend to result in strength imbalances, and it’s surprisingly common nowadays, what with all the misconceptions about different types of workouts out there.
Hence, people who have such an imbalanced body may look forward to strike the perfect balance by going with some specific exercises using dumbbells. After all, using dumbbells is a great way to train some specific parts of your body, and get rid of all the strength imbalances it’s currently going through. There are a few highly effective dumbbell workouts that help you do it, and surprisingly enough, they’re usually incredibly simple.
People looking to get their body in shape
This is a common issue as well. A surprisingly high number of people throughout the world complain about not being in shape. There can be a lot of reasons for this though, but regardless of what they’re, dumbbell exercises are here to help you with that as well.
There are quite a few dumbbell exercises that seem to be focusing solely on getting your body in shape. Again, they’re usually very easy to follow, and may start showing pleasantly surprising results in as less as just a few weeks.
People looking to lose weight
Oh, and what about people looking to shell out a good few pounds off their body? They’d love dumbbell exercises too. To a lot of people’s surprise, dumbbells aren’t just for building massive bicep muscles. As mentioned above, there is a wide range of fitness goals you can achieve using them, and losing weight is no exception.
There are some specific exercises using dumbbells for losing weight as well. It’s usually recommended to start small, and probably even try different exercises over a course of every few days to see which ones work the best for you.
Those who’re still using barbells
Well, no offense meant to those who love working out using barbells, but dumbbells surely offer quite a few significant advantages over them, and hence can be considered by those who’re still sticking to barbells.
One of such advantages is the versatility. Dumbbells are far more versatile than barbells ever could be, and this is something that makes them a much better fitness equipment.
On the other hand, not all types of exercises one can do using dumbbells can be done using barbells, and that alone can be a reason for a lot of people to replace their fitness equipment from the latter to the former. As for the other advantages, you’ll probably only get a feel of the overall difference if you decide to go with dumbbells for a few days at the least.
Hey, you don’t have to fall under any specific category, including the ones mentioned above, to go ahead and work towards staying fit using dumbbells. There are some general dumbbell exercises as well intended for everyone intending to stay fit and in good shape.
What’s so special about dumbbells?
Well, there’s so much more to talk about dumbbells. However, one of the important things you might want to know about is the advantages they offer. Surely, you’ve already gone through quite a few above, but they are usually for some specific people looking for some specific solutions. The ones mentioned below are some of the most crucial advantages of using dumbbells for almost everyone who decides to give them a go.
Doesn’t require more space or time
One of the biggest issues associated with most of the fitness equipment is the space and time requirements. Also, a lot of them may need another equipment too, sometimes even more than one, to workout using them. This can mean a lot of expenses as well.
Also, such equipments usually require a lot of space. Now though it may be fine with some, it may just not be practical for some others. After all, not everyone can have a separate room to keep all their fitness toys, and here’s where dumbbells can be such a great option if you’re looking to workout at home.
Furthermore, unlike most of the other fitness equipments, they don’t even require one to spend a lot of time exercising with them. However, they probably help you achieve the same, if not better results.
These factors clearly give them an upper hand over their other counterparts, as one wouldn’t have to disrupt their life in any way for being able to workout at the convenience of their home.
They help one achieve some serious strength
Well, if you’re looking to grow stronger, there may not be many better options out there than exercising with dumbbells. They’re a great way to grow stronger, and given the number of people who achieve that using dumbbells, it hardly needs to be proved.
A lot of people also turn to dumbbells for growing the muscles to a great extent, and hence it’s no surprise they’re tremendously popular for helping one grow their muscles significantly.
A wide range of exercises can be done using them
Most of the other fitness equipments allow one to only use them for a specific purpose, and usually, one can only use them for doing a particular exercise. On the other hand, dumbbells can be used to do a wide range of exercises, and therefore, achieve a wide range of fitness goals.
It’s also probably worth mentioning that dumbbells can be used to perform literally all the exercises you can do with barbells. However, it’s obviously not the other way round. You can’t do all the exercises with barbells which you can using dumbbells, such as single-arm and alternating-arm exercises. You’d actually have a huge number of exercises to look forward to, using dumbbells.
Well, this is a more practical benefit of working out using dumbbells. They’re incredibly cheaper when compared to their other counterparts, who’re usually priced many folds the price they’re offered at. This, coupled with the fact that despite being tremendously expensive, other fitness equipments can be used to perform only a single type of exercise, makes them way less favorable option than dumbbells. Dumbbells are instead available at a very cheap price and can be used for performing way more exercises.
Dumbbells hold a lot of surprises for you as far as the advantages they offer are concerned. They pretty much seem to be offering the very best of almost everything, and safety isn’t an exception either. They’re considered to be a lot safer than barbells, not to mention the other complicated fitness equipments. This is especially true when it comes to exercises such as the one-leg squats or lateral box crossovers. You can’t put the barbells down while following these exercises as easily as dumbbells, and this is where they again seem to be having that much needed edge.
Things to keep in mind while shopping for dumbbells
Anyway, enough about the advantages now, you probably now know the rewards of getting yourself a pair of dumbbells. So let us now move on to discovering some of the important things to keep in mind while deciding on a particular set of dumbbells.
Deciding on the type of dumbbells you want to go for
There are different types of dumbbells out there, almost all intended for achieving different goals. Here’s some of the most common and popular types of dumbbells and what they’re best for:
- Adjustable dumbbells: These dumbbells come with a metal bar surrounded with weight discs at both the ends that can be easily adjusted by taking them on and off the outer portions of the dumbbells using the clips. They’re believed to be a great option for strength training as well as growing muscles.
- Fixed-weight dumbbells: As the name suggests, they come rather fixed with the weight discs, and you can’t adjust them. They’re best suited for simply toning up your body.
- Aerobic/plastic-coated dumbbells: They usually weigh just around 1-3 pounds, and come with a plastic coating allowing easy gripping. They’re usually the recommended option for losing weight as well as those who’re looking to start out with exercising using dumbbells.
What type of workouts you’ll be following?
You might also want to decide on the type of workout you’re looking to do with your dumbbells, as the size tends to differ for different workouts. Some of the common workouts are:
- Chest workout
- Bicep workout
- Back and triceps workout
- Shoulders workout
- Quadriceps workout
- Triceps workout
So for example, as quads are much bigger than biceps, you’d have to go for a heavier pair of dumbbells for strengthening them than the latter.
Deciding on the weight you can lift
It’s something you need to be careful with, and not overestimate yourself. Doing so may result in some serious injury as well as other complications. Usually, one is recommended to start small, and gradually increase the weight in order to find out the maximum weight they’re comfortable with lifting. This may usually be around 1 to 10 pounds. However, if you’re looking to build some strength or muscle volume, the weight you might want to lift will probably be in the range of 15 to 40 lbs.
The price factor
The pricing of dumbbells varies widely, depending on the quality, size and other factors. You might also want to consider if you’ll just be buying a pair or two of dumbbells or want to own a small collection. As far as the most affordable ones are concerned, you can find quite a lot of decent ones for as low as well under $50.
Deciding on the material
This also includes the quality. The adjustable dumbbells are made up of metal. If they come in contact with too much water or humidity, they’re bound to rust. However, thanks to their engraved crosspatch, they’re quite easier to grip.
On the other hand, the plastic and rubber coated ones won’t rust, but may require weightlifting gloves to grip them properly when your hands get sweaty.
A Final Word
Dumbbells are by far the most flexible workout equipments money can buy. It’s not just about the flexibility alone, either. They’re also beginner-friendly, and absolutely safe for almost everyone unless you are picking too heavy dumbbells for you. So, if you’re just moving up from free weights, dumbbells can be great option for you. The prices are usually really cheap compared to various other fitness accessories, and that helps the dumbbells generate a really high bang for the buck.
Among the three main types of dumbbells, the adjustable variant is by far the most versatile, as well as value for money. Not to forget they’re fairly new in the market. All these reasons make buying a pair of adjustable dumbbells a no brainer for anyone looking to get started with resistance training.