The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

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As more people continue to exercise at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, at-home exercise equipment like adjustable dumbbells continues to be a hot commodity.

Be aware that prices may be unsettlingly high on some sets that are available—price gouging by third-party sellers seems to be alive and well. (In response to recent stock shortages, PowerBlock added a notification to its website reading, in part, “Please be careful of unauthorized resellers dealing PowerBlocks online.”) Our advice: Be patient and vigilant. In the meantime, know that you can improvise with items you may already have on hand.

Our pick

Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set

Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set

The best adjustable dumbbells

The Core Home Fitness weights, with their speedy adjustments and ergonomic design, are easier to use and more comfortable to hold than the competition.

Buying Options

$350* from Core Home Fitness

*At the time of publishing, the price was $280.

Each dumbbell in the Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbell Set can go from 5 to 50 pounds per dumbbell in a matter of seconds with just a twist of the handles. Even better, at 14½ inches long, the weights are a manageable length when fully loaded, and they get shorter, and therefore more ergonomic to handle, as you reduce the load. Our runner-up dumbbells remain 15¾ inches long no matter how you load them, so they’re potentially unwieldy for smaller-framed folks.

Our complaints about the Core Home Fitness dumbbells are minor: The weight increments on each are 5 pounds (rather than the 2½ pounds of others), which can make an increase feel significant, particularly at lower loads (say, going from 10 to 15 pounds, or from 15 to 20). And like most adjustable dumbbells we tested, these weights require careful alignment for you to re-rack them, and the racks get hung up when you pick up the weights fully loaded. (While reviews on Amazon remain largely positive, we’ve noticed a recent uptick in complaints of faulty parts and frustratingly unresponsive customer service.) Of the 10 sets of adjustable dumbbells we’ve tested over the past three years, the Core Home Fitness model offers the best experience in its price range, making it a great choice for most home gyms.



Bowflex SelectTech 552

Bowflex SelectTech 552

Smaller weight increments

These sturdy dumbbells allow subtler load adjustments and are well-made and easy to use, but they’re not as sleek or quick to adjust as our top pick.

Buying Options

$350* from Bowflex

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $400.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells adjust smoothly from 5 to 52½ pounds when you turn dials at either end of each weight. With 2½-pound increments for the first 25 pounds (and 5 pounds thereafter), the Bowflex weights allow for more nuance in training progressions than our top pick, whose increments are 5 pounds. Still, the Bowflex weights have two dials to adjust per dumbbell (lest you accidentally create an uneven load), so they aren’t as quick or elegant to load and unload as our top pick. Also, the 15¾-inch-long bars don’t get shorter as you change the weight, making this set a bit harder to handle, especially for smaller-framed people. If our pick is unavailable, or if the ability to adjust the total weight per dumbbell in smaller increments matters to you, these dumbbells are a solid choice for lifting at home.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: The Best Adjustable Dumbbells

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