Searching for the best adjustable dumbbells in the UK?
It's definintely not a bad idea, especially since they're a great solution to having limited space when building a home gym, and the fact that they're incredibly cost-effective in comparison to buying a complete rack of dumbbells.
Let's jump into a quick explanation of how adjustable dumbbells can enhance your workout routine, and then get straight to the products themselves!
OR, if you're interested in turning your passion for weight training into an exciting new career, go check out OriGym's Online Personal Trainer course or download our latest prospectus before you carry on reading.
Also, feel free to download our FREE 16 Week Home Strength Training Programme before jumping in.
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How do adjustable dumbbells work and what are they?
With the recent surge of interest in home workouts due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a heightened demand for weights that can be used at home. If you want to discover some workouts that you can do with adjustable dumbbells or alongside them, feel free to check out our home workouts suggestions!
The truth is that many individuals may find it tough to see much noticeable progress if they stick to doing bodyweight exercises only.
Even if you do not have the time or money to construct a complete a home gym, the adjustable dumbbell can help you to get results fast alongside the bodyweight workouts that you're already completing.
Compared to the traditional dumbbell that has a shorter bar with a set amount of weight at either end, the adjustable dumbbell will allow you to customise how heavy the weight will be by using different mechanisms like a dial, pin, or even a lever (depending on the design).
This will allow you to swap between different plates that can be attached to the handle, which come in different weight increments. The majority of adjustable dumbbells will be the size of two large dumbbells, and are made out of several removable plates or blocks.
Using these weights will allow you to have more space in whichever room that you wish to store them in, which also means that they'll be less of a hazard during workouts. If you have multiple dumbbells out at once in a small space, you're bound to run into trouble.
If you have a set of adjustables, along with a kettlebell or two, then you can get a well-rounded workout without having a cluttered house. If you want to add kettlebells to your home gym (as they're great for building explosive power as well as strength), check out our list of the best kettlebells on the market!
Depending on the brand and the design of the dumbbell, the weight can be distributed differently. Therefore it’s important to make sure that you get the technique correct before working out with your specific set of adjustables to prevent any injuries from occurring.
The only awkward thing that can arise is that if you’re doing drop sets with adjutable dumbbells, you will have to factor in a bit of time to adjust the weights inbetween reps, which can disrupt the flow of the workout.
Don’t let this put you off though, as all you need to do is to take a bit of extra time to adjust them, and you'll soon adapt to the process. We feel that the benefits of using adjustable dumbbells far outweight this negative, which leads us into...
Adjustable Dumbbell Benefits
#1 - Support Muscle Growth
When you buy a dumbbell rack, there’s always the prospect of having to purchase more weights further on down the line as you progress in your fitness journey.
However, when you buy adjustable dumbbells, the majority of the weights that you will need to pack on muscle mass for the foreeable future will be included in a one-time purchase. They will help you to push yourself to the next level, especially when used alongside other pieces of strength training equipment.
If you want to target your chest as well as your arms and shoulders during your home workout routine, take a look at our top push up bars for home use; they're great for an improved grip and less strain on the wrists.
When people use traditional dumbbells, they will usually stick to the same weight level for far too long. However, with dumbbells which are adjustable, you would be able to try out heavier weight levels much faster without having to purchase a new dumbbell every few weeks.
Dumbbells are one of the most effective ways of maximising muscular development, especially since they are classed as 'free weights'. This is because they are less stable than machine weights, and you are using more muscles (otherwise known as stabiliser muscles) during each exercise.
If you compare using dumbbells for a chest press in comparison to using a barbell, you will find that it is much harder to press dumbbells. This is a great piece of evidence to suggest that they're better for developing muscle mass due to being more 'unstable' than a barbell (as they're two separate free weights as opposed to one).
#2 - Cost-effective
Weight machines are extortionately priced, costing thousands of pounds for a single machine. Not only this, but some gym memberships are incredbily expensive, meaning that a one-time purchase of a much cheaper piece of equipment could be a better investment.
You can purchase adjustable dumbbells for a reasonable price from a range of places, including online retailers or sports stores.
When you buy a set of adjustable dumbbells, depending on the quality of the brand and the weight range that they come with, they will cost upwards of £80. If you purchase a high-quality set and you take good care of them, then there are no continuous fees as they will likely last a lifetime!
A one-time purchase of adjustables will prove much cheaper than regularly updating your traditional dumbbell set.
Before committing to a purchase (and to ensure that you're getting the most out of it), it’s important to research where you can purchase the adjustable dumbbells. If you compare prices between each site and pay attention to delivery prices (which can be a hidden cost due to how heavy these products are), you will be able to get the best deal possible.
Luckily we've done this for you lower down in the article, by listing the best products that we've found on the market in terms of quality and price!
#3 - Convenient
Adjustable dumbbells are convenient in a number of ways! The first way is that dumbbells have all of your favourite weight machines loaded into one piece of equipment. All you need to do is to move from one exercise to another with ease, as opposed to switching machines in the gym and waiting for other users to complete their sets.
Not only this, but adjustables will conveniently provide you with a full-body workout. As we mentioned earlier, there shouldn’t be any real reason for you to miss out on the exercises that you complete at the gym if you’ve got the correct equipment at home.
Also, adjustable dumbbells sit on a singular stand that can be tucked away in the corner of the room as opposed to a rack full of traditional dumbbells, which takes up far more space. This will leave even more space for a larger piece of fitness equipment such as a treadmill or a bike should you wish to purchase those too!
#4 - Allow a Range of Exercises
One of the most useful benefits of using adjustable dumbbells is the wide range of exercises that can be completed using them.
They can be used to target a number of muscles in the body, especially if you have two dumbbells in one set. You could, for example, perform bicep curls that lead straight into the tricep kick back for a good arm workout.
You could even turn it to a shoulder workout or target your lower-body; the possibilites really are endless. Learn more about how to do a dumbbell clean and press with your new dumbbells in our full guide!
When you use weight machines to complete a strength training workout, they can become quite monotonous. The same motion going back and forth will, of course, make you lose interest pretty quickly. With adjustable dumbbells, you can change up your workouts so effortlessly by completing a range of progressions and variations that they never become boring to work with.
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of adjustable dumbbells, let's jump into the product types that are available on the market...
Types of adjustable dumbbells
We’ll be honest with you, adjustable dumbbells have been around for years. They may seem like a new and revolutionary invention, but this is not the case. Of course, as time has progressed the design and quality of these dumbbells has improved, but the concept is the same!
All that you really need to know before making your purchase, however, is that there are two types of adjustable dumbbells: traditional adjustable dumbbells and selectorised adjustable dumbbells.
Traditional adjustable dumbbells
They can be both cheap and expensive, depending on the weight range that you wish to purchase. In theory, the greater the number of plates and/or the heavier the plates are, the more the product will cost.
Traditional adjustable dumbbells are made out of cast iron stainless steel. The normal kit package usually includes 2 handlebar sets, weight plates, and a pair of spinlocks to secure the plates from falling when you are using the dumbbells.
We’ll discuss all the best adjustable dumbbells out there later on in the article, but let's take a look at...
Selectorised adjustable dumbbells
Selectorised adjustable dumbbells do cost a lot more in comparison to their traditional counterparts. However, you will be able to rest-assured that you've made a long-term investment that is worth the price.
They are normally made from a mixture of chrome, plastic, and cast iron. Some selectorised dumbbells are made out of plastic, so you should be careful if you are considering purchasing a plastic-coated product. Even though it’s cheaper (and therefore tempting), it does decrease the fluid motion, which cast iron and stainless steel dumbbells always carry through.
One of the issues that selectorised adjustable dumbbells sets can bring is that they are difficult to use, due to the fact that there are so many different brands on the market that use various kinds of selector systems, meaning that you will have to learn how to use the product individually.
Another issue which may arise with this type of product is that it can be fragile compared to traditional adjustable dumbbells, meaning that if it was dropped it could be permanently damaged. However, as long as you take good care of the equipment, it could last just as long.
If you want to take your workout to the next level and gain core strength, find the best pull up bars on the market!
Most people actually prefer selectorised adjustable dumbbells because they are more space-efficient and even if you have the smallest workout area, you will be able to store them alongside other smaller pieces of equipment.
Adjustable Dumbbells vs Fixed Dumbbells
In an ideal world, it would be great to have everyone purchase fixed dumbbells due to the fact they they are technically more durable, and can be switched around quicker during workouts. However, not everyone has the money or the space to invest in them.
Below are the pros and cons of each dumbbell type to help you to make your own decision...
When you're considering purchasing a set of dumbbells, you will have to decide if the space you have at home is enough to accomodate them, along with any other pieces of home workout equipment that you may need. If you are struggling for ideas then take some inspiration from our article on building a home gym.
If you already have a small area for your home gym then you should really avoid a fixed dumbbell set and instead, go for the fitness adjustable dumbbells. This is because a dumbbell rack would take up a significant amount of space.
If you’re already limited on space, every part of space counts and you can make the most of what you have by investing in adjustable dumbbells.
You can use the rest of the space to perform workouts, or you could install different pieces of equipment that will allow you to incorporate a greater variety of exercises if you're prone to boredom.
How solid are adjustable dumbbells vs fixed dumbbells?
Fixed dumbbells are going to cost you considerably more than any adjustable dumbbell set. If you are new to weight lifting but want to see rapid progress, then go for a set of standard adjustable dumbbells. Even though you are paying a lot for the initial set of dumbbells, it’s definitely a more affordable option.
Whereas if you decided to go for fixed dumbbells, the majority of the time they don't actually come in a bundle, so you would have to purchase more of them as you progressively work your way up. When investing in fixed dumbbells, you will also need to purchase a storage rack to store them safely, which is yet another expense.
Your progression may halt if you do not invest in more weights quickly, however if you are in a financial position that enables you to invest in a rack of fixed dumbbells then they would be making a purchase of excellent value.
In terms of how solid adjustable dumbbells are, they can be damaged quite easily if you do not take care of them as mentioned earlier. If you do take care of the weighted plates however, then they can still last just as long as a set of fixed bells.
Preferences for fixed or adjustable dumbbells
Below are reasons or scenarios that you will need to take into consideration when making your purchase.
If you are a mobile personal trainer who often travels to clients, it’s unlikely you will want to bring a full rack of dumbbells. Therefore, purchasing adjustable dumbbells may be a better solution if you are a fitness professional.
You can also find more essential pieces of personal trainer equipment here that will help you to train your clients.
However, if you often workout at home with a partner or more than one person uses your home gym at a time, then going for fixed bells may be the ideal option. If multiple people are performing dumbbell exercises at the same time, then adjustable bells could become a problem.
If you’re looking to invest in adjustable bells as a pair and want to do drop sets or supersets, it will be a little more difficult to have a constant flow during your workout.
Also, if you are buying dumbbells for commercial use, it’s more than likely you will want to invest in equipment that is built to last. Therefore we would recommend you to invest in some fixed dumbbells, as any of the various parts of the adjustable set could get lost or damaged when it's used for more than one person.
Adjustable dumbbells could be used in a commercial gym setting as we mentioned earlier, if you are the personal trainer and are training clients who you know and trust that will treat your equipment with care and put them back where they belong.
With that covered, it’s down to you whether or not you want to invest in fixed or adjustable bells. You are of course here to find out about adjustable bells, so let’s discuss how to choose adjustable dumbbells that are right for you!
How to choose adjustable dumbbells
Before we get into the products below, we want to give you some advice so that you can make an informed decision! Here’s what you need to know about making the right decision on which adjustable dumbbells are best for you.
#1 - Plates should be easy to switch out
Whether you go for the cheapest adjustable dumbbells or a selectorised adjustable dumbbell set, you will want to be able to change the weights with ease if you are performing supersets or drop sets.
Once you find a set of adjustable bells that you're interested in, have a look at the following lock types to assess which one is most suitable for your needs:
This weight would help you dial a desired amount of weight. Once you dial your preferred weight, the chosen weights attach to the bars, leaving the rest on a secured holder. This type of dumbbell would be ideal for fast-paced workout sessions like HIIT or circuit training. If you are an already Level 2 qualified and you want to increase your knowledge in circuit training, then take a look at our circuit training CPD course!
If you’re wondering what the best set of adjustable bells would be, they are usually the more expensive of the prodcuts advertised online. However, price doesn’t always mean that they're the best in terms of your personal preference, so do keep this in mind.
If you don’t mind twisting and turning the lock to reduce the weight or add more plates to the dumbbell then this type of adjustable bell will be suitable for you. Not only are they cheap, but they're a good choice.
They are great to use if you’re into simple exercises which don’t require any fast transitions inbetween sets. A traditional set will allow you to manually place the desired weight on each end of the pole and secure them by twisting a metal lock until it’s tight.
Selector Pin Dumbbells
These are more expensive than the traditional dumbbell but cheaper than the dial-a-weight type of set. The selector pin dumbbell requires moving a pin to choose your weight which will leave the rest on the holder
#2 - Read reviews of each product
If you’re wondering; where can I buy adjustable dumbbells?, it’s vital that you read any reviews that you can find on the product, no matter the brand or how popular the seller is.
Check out things like the quality and durability of the product, weight increments, warranty, and even storage capabilities. You can also look up details on the retailer's delivery service, because you don't want to recieve damaged weights on arrival before you even start working out.
Reading customer feedback will help you get into a routine of purchasing products online, especially when it comes to purchasing more expensive pieces of fitness equipment.
#3 - The best adjustable dumbbells will be comfortable
When you buy adjustable dumbbells, they need to have excellent grip (and should definintely not slip from your hands).
Quality adjustable bells would feature thermoplastic rubber handles that are comfortable to hold aswell as being sweat absorbant. This should prevent any rashes or inflammation of your hands, which is common with free weights that come without handles.
#4 - Check the weight variety of adjustable dumbbells
As we mentioned earlier, if you purchase dumbbells that are adjustable, you will need to think about the weight that you require for the entirety of your workouts. Calculate a range of the maximum and minimum weights that you need, and remember that as you advance through your workouts your strength and ability to resist weights will improve.
Another thing to consider if you’re buying adjustable weights is the rate at which you would like the increments to increase. This will all depend on the type of workout that you want to do, and we do have a guide to planning a home workout routine if you want to find out more!
There are some models on the market which will allow you to increase the weight by 2.5kg each time, which would be an ideal way to progress if you're new to weight training. That being said, if there was a big jump between each weight then you may find it difficult to progress.
It's best to enlist the help of a fitness professional to identify the minimum and maximum weights that you should be lifting, as well as the weight increments that would be most suitable for your workouts.
#5 - Choosing adjustable dumbbells that will last
Dumbbells are one of the most used pieces of fitness equipment across different exercise settings, be it commercial or a home gym. With heavy usage, chances are that the dumbbells you choose could get damaged if you don't choose them carefully.
You should always consider the quality and durability of the dumbbells. Chrome-plated dumbbells are definitely one of the best on the market!
If your dumbbells do get damaged, then check the manufacturer's long-term warranty to see if you can replace them. There are some companies on our list that provide a lifetime warranty on their products.
If you decide to choose a high-quality set, it's more likely that you and your family members will have a lifetime supply of high-quality workouts.
Since we’ve explained how to choose the best adjustable dumbbells for you (as well as covering the different types and how they work), let’s jump right into the products!
You can enjoy the versatility of free weights in the comfort of your own home with the Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells. These dumbbells range between 2-24kg, and deliver the same effective results as 15 sets of weights. This is ideal for space-saving in a home gym.
These dumbbells have a dial-a-weight system which will automatically change the resistance across 15 settings up to a maximum of 24kg per dumbbell. The flexibility of usage with these dumbbells will help anyone on their strength training programme.
It’s great to have a wider range of exercises so you can perform both heavy and light exercises which will help you get the full-body workout that you want.
What makes these dumbbells different from the others is the durable moulding around the metal plates, as the dumbbells are not just hard-wearing but provide smooth flow when you use them.
The last thing you want is to hear the sound of metal clashing with another hard surface. With moulded metal plates, this problem is completely resolved, and you will be able to enjoy a more peaceful training session in which you can focus solely on your workout.
This product also comes with an app that features over 30 different exercises (with 80 variations), so you will not get bored of working out at home any time soon!
Due to the recent increase in demand for home workout equipment, it is sold out at the moment (as of April 2020), but it will be coming back into stock soon.
Overall, this is a cheap adjustable dumbbells set in comparison to some of the other products on this list, and is a great choice for beginners.
This product from BodyMax has been designed and manufactured to help customers achieve their goals, whatever their fitness level. They are one of the market leaders in the home fitness industry, and one glance at their product will tell you why; the quality is flawless.
The weights range between 2kg - 36kg and come in a choice of 18 variations depending on your preference. With just a quick adjustment from the safety locks attached to the dumbbell, the internal mechanism engages the desired weight with ease.
If you have minimal space in your home gym, it's great to know that you don't need to get 18 different sets of dumbbells when you can purchase them together in just one set.
The shaped handle is very comfortable and provides fantastic grip during exercise, the locking system is also reinforced with nylon and fibreglass components which makes it very resilient.
The weight system on the dumbbell is one of the reasons why they are amongst the market leaders in home fitness. It has a simple button that when pressed, releases the locking mechanism which helps you look inside this complex machine.
Even if you are a complete novice to weight training looking to invest in your first piece of equipment or an experienced athlete looking to expand their equipment, these bells are sleek and adaptable to help reach your fitness goals.
You can use these adjustable dumbbells as a pair to increase muscle strength, improve definition and add size to any muscle group!
Once you have chosen your weights you can even include it in your circuit or HIIT training workouts to challenge yourself further. There’s the option of either buying the dumbbell singularly or as a pair, so you have total control on how you want to use this equipment in your training programme.
These are one of the cheapest adjustable dumbbells on the market, yet they're still an ideal piece of training equipment for home usage and will help you to feel strong at home!
This product is made out of iron and the weight discs are strong and robust which have been designed to give the similar look you would get at the gym. The handles are also non-slip which will provide a firm grip and extra comfort during your exercise routines.
The weighted discs can be securely fastened to the handles with star cap locks, which in turn prevent any loosening of the plates during exercise. The rods come in the standard diameter where you can combine other weighted discs if needed. These are one of the best adjustable dumbbells for women as well.
The weights also come with removable silicone covers which protect the floor from any damage, and also protect the weight discs from any damage or scratches themselves. The set comes with two weight bars, a connecting tube, and a set of weighted plates which is ideal for people of all fitness levels!
One great thing to note about this product is that you can change it from two separate dumbbells to one barbell. This is great for space-saving and makes it one of the best cheap adjustable dumbbells to purchase!
The Powerblock Pro 50 is one of the best products on the market, as it's even suitable for commercial use and comes with a commercial warranty which is ideal for all training environments. This product would be very useful for mobile personal trainers!
The weights are adjusted by using a weight selector pin to engage or disengage the weights. It’s great to note that the steel plates are coated in urethane which provides a smooth and quiet performance.
The handles can open to maximise the full range of motion and also comfort is in the companies mind by the contoured rubber grips.
The auto-lock lever is useful to make micro-adjustments to the weighted plates and are always secure so you know this product is safe to use.
This produce from Core Home Fitness is very easy to use! The adjustable dumbbells can change from 5lbs to 50lbs with ease. This is all done by a compact and adjustable design, and you can increase each weight by 5lbs which would be useful to achieve your fitness goals.
The dumbbell handle ends feature a dual weight selection window for the weight you want to use. The handles are also contoured, textured and soft to touch which provides secure grip control.
A great thing to note about this product is that it comes with aluminium weight cradles to provide easy access and secure storage. It also comes with an exercise guide, which is a nice bonus. It's great for all fitness levels and provides a wide variety of exercise options to use these dumbbells with!
If you want to invest in a stand, you can do as it’s compatible with the Core Fitness Dumbbell Stand. This is sold separately, but can be considered as one of the best adjustable dumbbells for women as well as men, due to its gradual weight increments.
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If you are looking for a set of cheap adjustable dumbbells, the BodyMax Deluxe Hammertone Set has been designed with fitness enthusiasts in mind despite being one of the cheapest products on the market. The weights have even been designed with a rubber handle to ensure a secure and comfortable grip, which is rare to see for a product of this price!
It's clear that care has been taken in the design of this product, as the numbers are highly visible so that they won’t wear down easily. What’s great about this product is that it comes with a free exercise wall chart that will help you target specific muscles and help increase variety in your workout routine.
The secure spin lock collars will allow you to adjust the weight with ease, making it an ideal product for those with limited space who don't want to invest in an entire rack of bells.
This dumbbell is ideal for those who want to take their training to the next level! Weight can easily be added or removed, making it suitable for all ranges of exercises.
This product can work a range of muscles in your upper body, including those in your arms, back and shoulders. The dumbbell will be able to provide great isolation exercises as it comes with only one set.
It comes with clearly labelled weights so that you know how much you are lifting at any given time, and it is certain to last long-term thanks to its quality design.
It also comes with a handy stand so that you can easily store it away safely, and although you only get one dumbbell with the package, you can still get an excellent workout. This makes it a rather affordable option in terms of selectorised adjustable dumbbells, and also means that it will take up even less space.
If you are wondering; what are the best adjustable dumbbells?, then you have definitely come to the right place. This pair of dumbbells can easily go from 2.2 kg - 34 kg (5lbs to 75lbs).
One great thing to note about Ironmaster in particular is that you can purchase add on kits should you max out the weights that you originally try. If you do progress up to 34kg pretty quickly and you require more weights, you can go up to 54 kg or even 75 kg per dumbbell...
There’s also great vertical storage unit which has been designed specifically for individuals who have even the smallest home gyms in mind. Even though they are not necessarily cheap adjustable dumbbells, it's clear that they have been built to last.
The dumbbells are fitted with a quick-lock design that ensures that workouts are not halted, and you can even increase the weight by 2.5lbs at a time (which is great since 5lbs can be too much of a challenge for most people).
The dumbbells and weights are made out of steel and iron, and the handles are chrome plated. These bells are definitely not just your standard adjustable dumbbells, as they even exceed the weight range of products used in some commercial gyms.
The heavy-duty stand is compact and takes much less space than an entire dumbbell rack which will help with keeping your home gym nice and tidy. With the handy add on kit, if you progress further on your strength journey, those extra weights can be stored there as well.
This product does have a lifetime guarantee which will ensure that with this one purchase you will get a lifetime worth of exercise. Even though this product is sold out at the moment due to the current rise in demand, Ironmaster is taking pre-orders from the 01/05/2020 so you don’t have to miss out on this great product!
If you’re looking for one of the cheapest adjustable dumbbell sets online then this product from Opti is definitely something that you want to invest in.
If you are looking to strengthen and tone your body then these dumbbells will certainly help you on your way. The spinlock grips makes it easy for you to add and remove weights as you progress.
The weight selection can go up as little as 1.25kg at a time, which will ensure that the strength goal can be achieved sustainably.
You can get a truly effective full-body workout with this set of dumbbells. The vinyl plates are matched with a rubber grip for a smooth and comfortable workout, and the plates can also be stacked nicely when you have finished with the dumbbells.
For the price of £24.99 it’s definitely a cheap yet versatile set to invest in, especially since it goes up to 20kg.
We hope that you found our adjustable dumbbell article useful!
If you use adjustable bells in your workouts you will not only save space, but you'll save money in the long run as buying individual bells can get incredibly expensive, especially when you need to purchase a dumbbell rack to store them safely.
All of the high-quality adjustable dumbbells listed in our article will help you to get a full-body workout without the need of going to the gym, which is great to know if you're currently in isolation!
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