The best dumbbells you can buy for your home gym
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- It's truly amazing what you can do for your body with a good pair of dumbbells.
- The space-saving, intuitively-designed Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are our top pick because the weights can be adjusted to weigh as little as 5 pounds or as much as 52.5 pounds per dumbbell.
While undertaking the truly harrowing process of packing up an entire house prior to a cross-country move last year, a select few items in particular required special attention. These included delicate china and irreplaceable artwork, to be sure, but one group of decidedly less refined objects also presented a complication: my dumbbells. I had to figure out the best way to move more than 300 pounds of weight, distributed across dumbbells weighing as much as 50 pounds and as little as five, from LA to NY without adding too much extra cost to the process.
The solution was a to stash some of the weights in a car we were shipping, to bring a few dumbbells with me in the car I drove, and to distribute the remainder of the weights in boxes filled with bulky but lightweight items like comforters, pillows, and stuffed animals. An even better solution, though, would have been to opt for adjustable weight dumbbells in the first place, concentrating all of the pounds needed into just one pair of hand weights. Live and learn, folks.
Whichever pair or set you choose, dumbbells offer a superlative strength training workout because they engage so many muscles at once during use. A weight machine stabilizes the load for you, concentrating only on a few specific muscle groups at a time. Even a barbell limits the muscles used by distributing the effort across both arms (and/or shoulders, quads, pecs, and so forth).
When you have a dumbbell in your hand, you make use of myriad muscles both large and small as you work to safely and steadily complete those reps. The result is everything from enhanced grip strength to conditioning, as well as building up the targeted muscles, of course.
So while the next time I buy dumbbells I might opt for a modular system with adjustable weights, I'll never turn my back on this classic approach to strength training. Fitness machines are all fine and good, but a good old dumbbell workout is great.
Here are the best dumbbells you can buy:
- Best dumbbells overall: Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best adjustable dumbbells: Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
- Best basic dumbbells: CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbells
- Best affordable dumbbells: AmazonBasics Neoprene Dumbbell Set
- Best dumbbells for the pool: Trademark Innovations Aquatic Exercise Dumbbells
Updated on 01/02/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Updated prices and formatting.
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