If you live in a small space, you know that building a home gym can be a serious challenge, so searching for multifunctional equipment is key. The best adjustable dumbbells, then, are a natural addition. These dumbbells add more versatility to your workouts, and make a weightlifting routine easier. If you enjoy resistance training but aren’t sure about adding ’em into your home (or don’t even know what they are), keep reading and we might just convince you that they’re some of the best home gym equipment you can find.
What are the benefits of adjustable dumbbells?
A pair of adjustable dumbbells removes the need for a room full of traditional dumbbells. Though they can be bulky, some options replace up to 30 sets of weights, which would undoubtedly take up a lot of real estate. And if you find yourself gawking at the price tags, add up how much money each individual set of standard dumbbells would cost you, and we can almost guarantee that adjustable dumbbells are a much better value.
Beyond the practicality of these weights, they also allow for quick and (mostly) seamless weight changes as you switch from exercise to exercise. Like any dumbbell, they allow you to practice functional movements. “Weight machines usually are in a fixed position, only allowing you to recruit specific muscle groups,” Massy Arias, NASM-certified celebrity trainer and health coach, previously told SELF. “Free weights, like dumbbells, force an individual to recruit and engage their whole body to perform a specific movement.”
What makes the best adjustable dumbbells stand out from the rest?
Most adjustable dumbbells are made with steel, plastic, and/or cast iron. Since the majority of options utilize plates, they can rattle a little bit during use. This might seem like a sign of a cheaply constructed set, but it’s actually quite natural when the weights aren’t flush with each other. The most important thing to look at is the weight adjustment mechanism. The dumbbells we added to our list use dial adjustments, metal pins, or thick plastic discs. Plastic discs are fine, but they do wear out over time. Some folks actually make metal discs that are compatible with adjustable dumbbells, in case you want to swap out the plastic one.
Also, consider the weight range of each set. If your goal is muscular endurance or you know you don’t often lift heavy, opt for a set with lower weight or smaller weight increments. If you want to build muscle mass, look for a set with heavier weights or larger weight increments. In general, the most popular adjustable dumbbells have a weight range of around 5 to 50 pounds.
Ahead, we gathered 11 sets of the best adjustable dumbbells money can buy, from brands like Bowflex, Core Fitness, Amazon Basics, Rogue, and more. Each of these has hundreds—if not thousands—of five-star reviews or comes recommended by experts. They’re high-quality, built to last, and worth the investment. Your squats, lunges, curls, presses, and other weightlifting workouts are about to get a whole lot more efficient.
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