Adjustable dumbbells take up less space than regular dumbbell sets and allow you to easily make strength progressions. They are an excellent option for anyone looking to build their home gym.
However, these dumbbells have several moving parts and are therefore more prone to damage than plate-loaded dumbbells. They can also break if dropped hard.
Adjustable dumbbells can be costly if you’re going to need to purchase extra extension kits to increase their weight capacity. These kits can cost between $125 and $170 per pair. They’re also not very durable and may get damaged quickly, which means you’ll need to replace them sooner than fixed dumbbells would.
Another disadvantage is that they’re not as convenient for users who prefer smaller weight increments. They require a little more effort to adjust between each set of exercises, and the plates are incased in plastic, which is more prone to damage.
Also, if you opt for a selectorized adjustable dumbbell design that uses a dial to adjust the weight, it’s important to consider the total length of the handle. This can be too long to comfortably perform curls and lateral raises, especially if you’re using the maximum capacity of the dumbbells. This is a common problem with most selectorized adjustable dumbbells. However, there are some models with shorter handles that offer a better solution to this problem.
In a weight room where space is at a premium, adjustable dumbbells offer a good solution. A conventional set with a single rack can take up to 32 square feet of floor space, while a pair of 82-pound adjustable dumbbells takes up just 12 square feet.
The main disadvantage of adjustable dumbbells is their complex mechanical parts, which can break if dropped. In particular, selectorized adjustable dumbbells that use a dial to change the weight have lots of extra small plastic parts that are susceptible to damage and breakage.
Another disadvantage is the bulkiness of adjustable dumbbells. Some personal trainers say they can be unwieldy for certain exercises, and they can interfere with proper form during exercises like front-loaded presses. In addition, the handles are often longer than those of traditional dumbbells, which can hinder some movements. However, a good set of adjustable dumbbells can be an excellent addition to your home gym. Regular dumbbells, on the other hand, can be difficult to lug around for out-of-town clients or if you are traveling.
While adjustable dumbbells offer the advantage of space saving over a rack of free weights, this convenience comes at a price in terms of safety. When not secured properly, weight plates can fall off during a workout and lead to injuries, says personal trainer Hallie Murphy.
Another potential problem with adjustable dumbbells is that the handles can have different lengths depending on what weight is selected. This can cause discomfort when performing certain exercises, such as curls and lateral raises, as the ends of the handle will bump into your sides.
Also, unlike traditional dumbbells, adjustable weight sets typically use a lot of plastic and features like pins that are more likely to break when dropped. These parts can damage floors and other equipment in a gym. This is especially true for higher-quality, top of the line adjustable dumbbells with a variety of settings. Some of these weights have a complicated system of dialing or turning a knob to select the desired weight, which can be confusing for beginners.
Adjustable dumbbells offer the versatility of multiple weight options in a single, compact set. They save space in your home gym and allow you to progress your strength training over time. They also tend to have a lower profile than traditional fixed dumbbells, which can make them more comfortable for certain exercises.
When shopping for a set, assess your current strength level and long-term fitness goals to determine the ideal weight range. You should also evaluate the mechanism that adjusts the weight. Some models use spin locks that require you to manually add and remove plates from the barbells, while others feature a dial system with partially threaded pins.
The dial systems are easier to use and require less maintenance, but they may be more prone to damage from drops because of their extra small parts. Also, look for a model that comes with a storage base or case. Lastly, check that the dumbbells have a warranty.