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Your home gym is your sanctuary. It’s a place to work out in peace, separated from the mayhem of the office place, the chaos of the kids’ zone (i.e., everywhere else in the house), and the stresses and pressures of the day. Whether you’re looking for a full system, like a treadmill and compact home gym machine, or you’ve got a collection of smaller pieces like yoga mats, medicine balls, and a TRX set, you’ve got to get just the right combination for your needs.

One of the best pieces for your personal workouts will be the right dumbbells set. Even with all of the other machines and equipment, this piece can make or break your home gym. And that means you’re looking for versatility. An adjustable dumbbell set is one of the best ways to get that versatility for your variety of needs.

How Do Adjustable Dumbbells Work?

Each set is a little different in the details, but the concept of the adjustable dumbbell is simple: multiple weight plates on one bar are removed or added to change the weight. Instead of having to have ten or fifteen pairs of dumbbells to meet all of your training needs, you just need this one set. Adjustable dumbbells usually range between the weight of five pounds to fifty pounds, with adjustments to everything in between. This means you can do the heavy lifting for building muscle mass, or the cardio-based weight training programs like you see on DVD sets with Jackie Warner or the Insanity Workouts from Beach Body.

What are the Benefits of Using Adjustable Dumbbells?

Adjustable dumbbell sets offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Quick weight change for fast-paced workouts
  • Space efficiency
  • Cost efficiency

What are the Best Adjustable Dumbbells?

Rated number one by many companies, including The Wire Cutter, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells set is the way to go. It offers all of the features mentioned above, as well as a super easy-to-change system for the weight plates. You put the dumbbell into its tray, adjust a dial, and the total weight you want on the bar is connected and ready for lifting.

What are some Dumbbell Exercises?

Perfect for using with your Bowflex weights, these exercises will get you going on the right track.

Dumbbell Exercises for Biceps

Standing Hammer Curls

Standing with your legs shoulder width apart, take a dumbbell in each hand, holding them as you would a hammer. Lower the dumbbells to your sides, with arms straight. Slowly raise both arms together, keeping elbows in towards the torso. Raise the dumbbells to waist level, and then hold for about a second before slowly lowering down again. This works both the biceps and the forearms together. Repeat in repetitions for your full set.

Zottman Curls

Standing with your legs shoulder width apart, take a dumbbell in each hand. As you hold them, your palms should be facing in towards your body. Keeping your elbows tucked into your torso, raise the dumbbells together, towards your shoulders. When you reach the peak of the motion, rotate your wrists so that the palms are now facing down as you lower the dumbbells back towards the floor. As you lower, gradually rotate the wrists to return to them to facing in towards your body. Repeat in repetitions for your full set.

Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps

Stability Ball Lying Triceps Extensions

Balancing yourself on a stability ball, facing upward, take one dumbbell in each hand, holding them so that the palms face each other. Hold your arms at a ninety degree angle, then lower them slightly over your head. Slowly raise the dumbbells together, straightening your arms fully. Hold at peak of motion for one second, and then slowly lower the dumbbells back down. Repeat for your completed set.

Standing Skullcrushers

Standing with your legs shoulder width apart, take one dumbbell in both hands and raise over your head. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbell behind your head for the starting position. Once you are in position, slowly raise the dumbbell above your head, until arms reach full extension. Hold dumbbell at full extension for just a moment, then slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat as desired for your full set of repetitions.

We could list dozens of other beneficial exercises that will increase your strength by adding dumbbells to them. Squats and lunges, for example, can be enhanced from their standard bodyweight form by adding dumbbells, and therefore ramping up the resistance and endurance qualities. The key is finding the right dumbbells for your home gym, and using them to your full potential. The highly recommended adjustable weights sets like the Bowflex 552 Dumbbells will enhance your workouts while taking up less space and time.

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