Best Adjustable Dumbbells For A Versatile Home Gym
Do you have big goals for strength training, but no space in your home for a series of dumbbells?
Your solution: adjustable dumbbells.
Using adjustable dumbbells at home is all the rage in the home gym community right now, and for good reason.
While many gym products boast their ability to be space efficient or storable, in my mind adjustable dumbbells take the prize for being the best training equipment to truly maximize your home gym space.
As a workout enthusiast who strives on making functional strength training accessible to all people, I put a lot of confidence into just how effectively adjustable dumbbells can transform your home gym and workout routine.
No matter who you are, or where you are, you can use adjustable dumbbells to lose weight and gain muscle.
In today’s articles, I am going to give you the lowdown on the top adjustable dumbbell sets that I have tried out personally, which ones stand out as my favourites, and how you can buy your own set of adjustable dumbbells.
But first, let’s review some of the facts…
What Exactly Are Adjustable Dumbbells?
Okay, not really. But hear me out: Adjustable dumbbells take a series of dumbbells, let us say 5 to 80 lbs., which equates to about 16 different dumbbell sets, and puts them into just 1 adjustable dumbbell set.
So, instead of having a dumbbell stand holding a series of different dumbbells all at fixed weights, you save space (as well as your budget) by just using one pair of adjustable dumbbells that can instantly change between weights throughout your workout.
To be so versatile, each adjustable dumbbell set uses different technology and design to change between different weights in an instant. You will see adjustable dumbbell sets that use dials, magnetic pins, or loadable plates in order to adjust how heavy they are.
You will also find different shapes with adjustable dumbbells, some come in a blocked, square shape, while others adhere to a more traditional round plated appearance.
Finally, adjustable dumbbells vary in the range of weight they offer. Some go up to 50lbs, others to 80lbs, and more.
Before you purchase your own set of adjustable dumbbells, you will want to consider what technology, shape, design, and weight range you are looking for to suit your training needs.
Luckily for you, I will lay out all of the best adjustable dumbbells specifics in my “Best Of” series below.
How Do Adjustable Dumbbells Add to a Home Gym?
Aside from the obvious they let you lift weights, using adjustable dumbbells at home give you a big advantage in your strength training, and here is how…
The basic theory behind lifting weights is something called progressive overload.
What this means is that as you work out, you are always striving to do a little more with each workout.
This might look like lifting more weight, or performing more sets or reps at a single weight.
If you are training with traditional dumbbells at home, unless you have an unlimited budget and big workout space, you probably only have a couple of dumbbell weights at your disposal.
Sure, those will help you get strong for a while, but eventually your body will adapt to lifting that single weight, and your muscles will no longer benefit from it like they used to.
In the weightlifting world, we call this a plateau. Plateaus happen when you are no longer challenging your muscles with new weights or exercises.
So, how do adjustable dumbbells play into this theory? Well, adjustable dumbbells prevent plateau by growing with you.
Instead of lifting the same dumbbell weight day in and day out, adjustable dumbbells allow you to increase your resistance and weight that you are lifting as you get stronger.
Because of this, adjustable dumbbells give you far more effective workouts over a longer span of time than a set of traditional dumbbells would.
Aside from the theory of progressive overload, adjustable dumbbells can also be used to create a variety of effective workout routines.
For example, with fast changing adjustable dumbbells I can easily incorporate supersets and dropsets into my weight lifting routine, without having a ton of different equipment at my disposal.
In this way, adjustable dumbbells are really the ultimate home workout equipment: they give you maximum versatility in your training, without the inconvenience of loading up your living room (and credit card) with many different weights.
Denver Matheson’s Guide to the Best of Adjustable Dumbbells:
So, are you convinced that adjustable dumbbells are the next best thing for your home gym? Read on to decide which of these best adjustable dumbbells will be your next purchase.
#1. Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells -
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells that are Budget Friendly
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells are a top choice amongst the best adjustable dumbbells for obvious reasons: they are incredibly affordable and functional for a wide variety of workouts.
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells adjust their weight using a dial that is found on the end of each dumbbell.
You will see clearly labelled notches that show you which weight you are dialing the dumbbell to, which ensures that your workout resistance is no guessing game.
In terms of weight range, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbell set adjusts from 5lbs to 52.5lbs, which equates to about 30 different traditional dumbbell weights.
For the weight range under 25lbs, the weights increase by a precise margin of 2.5 pounds with each turn of the dial, making the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells ideal for exercises that require you to increase the weight slightly in order to improve your strength (think isolated movements like overhead tricep extensions or lateral shoulder raises, where even the slightest increase of weight makes the exercise that much more difficult).
When I tried out these Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells, I was immediately impressed by how quiet they were when I was working out.
There were no clanging plates and no sound when I was switching between weight settings, making the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells optimal as adjustable dumbbells at home, when you are being conscious of neighbours or housemates.
The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells also feature a textured grip that felt really comfortable when I was holding them, and came in handy especially when I was tiring in my final reps of my workout.
I purchased my Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells from the Bowflex website for a very budget friendly $329 for the pair.
#2. Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells -
My Top Choice Adjustable Dumbbell Choice for Beginner Users
Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells are unique because they are sold as a single unit, rather than a pair.
This is ideal for individuals who are setting up a home gym and are relatively new to working out; you don’t yet need the power and weight of two dumbbells, and you are still testing the waters of strength training with weights.
The Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells use a GlideTech Adjuster with Quick Change technology to allow you to easily navigate between weight increments.
When these Ativafit Dumbbells are rested in their tray, simply pull up and slide the adjuster to indicate the weight you want to use. Then, the iron plates that you need for that weight are held onto the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbell using a secure internal locking mechanism.
A single Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells ranges from 2kg to 20kg (or 4.4lbs to 44lbs (about 7 different dumbbells in one), and people who Olympic weight lift in kilos will appreciate these kilogram settings. The weight on the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells adjust in increments of 3kg or 6.6lbs, which helps you achieve progessive overload in your training.
When I experimented with the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells, I was impressed by their compact design. One Ativafit Dumbbell measures 16.9 inches x 9 inches x 6.7 inches, making them less bulky than competitors designs.
Interested? You can purchase the Ativafit Adjustable Dumbbells from the Ativafit online store on Amazon for $179.99. By purchasing directly from Ativafit, you also benefit from free shipping, expedited delivery, and a 1 year warranty.
#3. Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells -
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Optional Weight Ranges
Lots of adjustable dumbbell sets boast their wide and heavy weight range, but in reality, some folks are just not looking for a super heavy dumbbell.
This is what I like about the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells, they give you options.
With the Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells, you can decide between a single dumbbell that maxes out at 25lbs or 50lbs to best suit your body type or training style.
The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells use a dial changing system to allow you to move between weight increments with ease; as with other adjustable dumbbell systems, the Flybird dumbbells change weight while they are on their secure weight tray, with a simple twist of a dial to keep your workout routine fast and efficient. In fact, Flybird boasts a 1 second change time that can be operated with just one hand!
The Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells are designed with safety in mind; this adjustable dumbbell uses all metal weight plates that are held securely with their own locking mechanism.
The handle is also durable, made out of aluminum alloy and complete with anti-slip texture to protect your grip, even during sweaty workout sessions.
Get your Flybird Adjustable Dumbbells from Amazon. Pick between a single 25lb adjustable dumbbell for $109.99 or a single adjustable 55lbs dumbbell for $199.99. Remember to order two of each if you are looking to make your purchase a dumbbell set.
#4. Powerblock Elite EXP Series -
My Top Tried and Trusted Pick for Best Adjustable Dumbbells
One of the most popular choices amongst home gym enthusiasts for a set of adjustable dumbbells are the Powerblock Elite EXP Series dumbbell set, and this is for good reason.
The Powerblock Elite EXP Series uses two different processes to change between weights, depending on how precise you want to increase or decrease to be.
You can quickly move between 10 pound weight adjustments using the Powerblock Elite EXP Series’s magnetic polypropylene selector pin.
Then, if you want to make micro adjustments in smaller weight increments, like 2.5lbs, you add or remove the Powerblock Elite EXP Series adder weights from inside the adjustable dumbbell’s lower ballast tubes.
While this process may sound slightly more complicated than the quick turn adjustments of the other dumbbell sets on my list, it gives the athlete a big advantage: total and precise control over the exact amount of weight they are lifting.
Therefore, the Powerblock Elite EXP Series are a big draw for intermediate or advanced weight training athletes, and particularly those in the body building community, who take their lifting and training progression very seriously.
The Powerblock Elite EXP Series Dumbbells are also a sought after choice for athletes who want an adjustable dumbbell pair with a big weight range; if you purchase the add-ons, the Powerblock Elite EXP Series can give you up to 90lbs of resistance in a single dumbbell.
Finally, the Powerblock Elite EXP Series are known for their durability. By using welded steel construction, Powerblock ensures that this adjustable dumbbell set will hold up during your most intense sweat sessions.
I bought my Powerblock Elite EXP Series dumbbells from roguefitness.com. Depending on how much weight range you want from your Powerblocks, the price ranges from $319 to $597.
#5. NÜOBELL -
The Best Fast Changing Adjustable Dumbbells
NÜOBELL is an adjustable dumbbell set created by the Swedish company SMRTFT that is relatively new to the market, but manufactured to feature all the top design choices that make adjustable dumbbells great.
NÜOBELL dumbbells use dial technology to adjust their weight, and this dial is controlled by sampling and twisting each dumbbell’s handle when the weight is rested in its portable rack.
This allows you to change weights in less than a second, making the NÜOBELL dumbbell set my top choice for people who are looking for fast acting adjustability to move between supersets and dropsets with ease.
Also, the NÜOBELL adjustable dumbbells come with an impressive weight range. In just one set of NÜOBELL dumbbells, you can maneuver from a light 5lbs set to heavy 80lbs resistance.
This ensures that you can challenge all muscle groups with your NÜOBELL weights, and that these adjustable dumbbells continue to be an effective training tool even as you get progressively stronger.
I also appreciate the NÜOBELL’s unique handle grip, which features the classic knurled texture you will find on standard barbells.
Combine their knurled grip with the fact that the NÜOBELL dumbbells use iron plates to give them the same feel and function as commercial fixed dumbbells, and you have a home workout experience that gives you the same effectiveness as training at the gym.
I purchased my NÜOBELL dumbbell set from Rogue Fitness for $745 and am to this day impressed with how sleek and functional these adjustable dumbbells are.
#6. BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbell -
My Top Choice for Loading Dumbbells
I like the BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbell for its old school design; similarly to how you would load plates onto a barbell, the BESPORTBLE Dumbbell is adjustable by adding smaller weight plates onto this existing dumbbell bar.
These BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbells come with a series of accessories to make maneuvering between weights simple.
Use the 18.5 inch bar with textured anti-slip grip for warm ups and as your starting point. Then, build on this bar by adding dumbbell plates (the BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbell comes with 16 plates at different weights) that total to a pair of 66lb or 30kg dumbbells.
The weight plates are held onto the BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbell using two secure nuts that twist on to either side of the dumbbell bar. The nuts and bar feature a deep screw thread design to ensure that the plates safety lock on to the dumbbell during use.
When in use, the BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbells feel like classic commercial dumbbells. This means that when you are working out at home, you don’t need to adjust your exercise routine or form to suit your new equipment.
The BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbell performs well in a variety of dumbbell exercises, keeping your weight training consistent and effective.
You can purchase this BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbell set from your local Walmart, or online on Walmart’s website. The BESPORTBLE Adjustable Dumbbells are also an affordable choice, coming in at only $79.90 for the pair. They are also available at Amazon.
#7. Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbell -
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Full Body Training
The Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are another adjustable dumbbell set that uses dial control to change between weight settings fast, in order to keep your heart rate up during your workout and thus maximizing the amount of calories each of your training sessions burns.
The Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells come with weight trays to prevent them from rolling around and becoming a tripping hazard in your workout space, and also makes them easy to store.
When the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are resting in these trays, you just need to turn the dial on the outer end of each of these dumbbells to immediately change their resistance level.
The Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are designed for all levels of training; these dumbbells have a wide weigh range starting at a light 5kg or 11lbs and going up to a heavy 32.5kg or 71.5lbs, making them an ideal dumbell set to be shared between couples living together, or workout buddies.
A unique feature of the Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells is that included in the price, this adjustable dumbbell set comes with a standing rack. This helps to securely store your weights at waist level, preventing you from needing to bend over again and again every time you need to pick them up or do a weight adjustment.
You can buy yourself a pair of Merax Deluxe Adjustable Dial Dumbbells from Amazon. Check online for current pricing in your area.
#8. Nice C Adjustable Dumbbell -
The Best Adjustable Dumbbells for Light Weights
Maybe you are a smaller person who needs a lighter weight, or you are looking for an adjustable dumbbell to add resistance to your cardio or HIIT training, rather than to lift big league weights and get bulky.
In those cases, the Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells are the best choice for you.
The Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells are a lot smaller and lighter than the other best adjustable dumbbells on this list.
When you purchase the Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells, you get to decide between weights that go up to 4.5lbs each or 11.5lbs each. And, at their heaviest weight, the Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells are never bigger than 11.8 inches x 3.5 inches, making them the perfect size to fit in the palm of your hand during workouts.
In my mind, this small adjustable dumbbell design is not only well suited for a small workout space, like an apartment or condo, but would also perform well during workouts that require less bulky equipment, like incorporating weights into your daily hike, yoga, pilates, tabata, or HIIT training routines.
The process to adjust these Nice C Dumbbells is also very easy: they each contain 16 small and two large weight bars, so all you need to do is screw off the end of one of the dumbbells and remove or add weight bars to adjust your resistance.
You can purchase these Nice C Adjustable Dumbbells from Amazon. The 4.5lb pair are $49.99 and the 11.5lb pair are $99.99, both fair pricing for such easy to use and versatile dumbbells.