Dumbbell Buying Guide

Dumbbell Buying Guide

Choosing the best dumbbells for you

Working out with dumbbells is a simple yet effective way to keep your training sessions varied and engaging.

This buying guide will walk you through the key considerations and provide tips for incorporating dumbbells into your home workouts effectively.

What are the different types of dumbbell?

Dumbbells come in various types to suit different preferences and workout needs.

  • Traditional fixed-weight dumbbells consist of a solid metal weight attached to a handle, providing durability and stability but requiring multiple pairs for varying weights.
  • Adjustable dumbbells feature a mechanism that allows users to change the weight by adding or removing plates, offering versatility and space-saving benefits.
  • Selectorised dumbbells, similar to adjustable ones, utilise a dial or pin system to adjust the weight, making transitions between exercises quick and convenient.
  • Neoprene or vinyl-coated dumbbells provide a softer grip and are ideal for aerobic workouts, while hexagonal dumbbells prevent rolling and offer stability during floor exercises.
  • Specialty options like kettlebell-style dumbbells or water-filled dumbbells offer unique challenges for specific exercises and training methods. Each type caters to different preferences, workout styles, and space constraints, allowing users to find the perfect fit for their gym setup.

Invest in quality equipment

  • Look for dumbbells from reputable sports equipment providers to ensure high quality.
  • Consider purchasing matching weight sets for balance and familiarity as you progress.
  • Choose adjustable dumbbells for flexibility in weight selection as your strength increases.

Start small

  • Begin with light weights to focus on form and prevent injury.
  • Gradually increase weight as your strength and confidence grows.
  • Adjustable dumbbells allow for small increments in weight, aiding in progression.

How to use dumbbells

BLK BOX Adjustable Dumbbell (2-32kg) (Sold Individually)

Now you have the best dumbbells for your workouts at your disposal, there’s no need to do anything fancy or complicated when you start your training. 

Most effective routines begin with at least 12 reps for each exercise with 3-5 sets – although this is dependent on your chosen weight increment and your current levels of fitness. While we’ve discussed the dangers of overloading yourself in the early stages of your training, remember to challenge yourself, you should feel your muscles working to complete the exercise, break a sweat and those last few reps should burn!  

If you prefer to keep things light, you can always increase the number of reps or sets you’re completing for each exercise. Consider these home gym dumbbell exercises to get you started.

Floor Press

This exercise helps to open up the chest. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Press the weights together, straight above you and then lower them slowly, until your elbows (almost) touch the floor.

How to Incorporate Dumbbells into WorkoutsHow to Incorporate Dumbbells into Workouts


This exercise targets the traps and shoulders with minimal, low-impact movements. Take a dumbbell in each hand and keep them by your sides. Then gripping the dumbbells tightly, simply raise your shoulders, keeping your arms straight. Do this slowly, pausing at the top of the exercise.

How to incorporate dumbbells into workoutsHow to incorporate dumbbells into workouts

Overhead press

Complete this exercise either sitting down on a bench or standing. Take your dumbbells in each hand and hold them at shoulder height, with your elbows extended at the sides at 90°, push the weights overhead slowly and bring them back down into the starting position.

How to incorporate dumbbells into workoutsHow to incorporate dumbbells into workouts


Taking a dumbbell in each hand, and keeping your arms straight. Take a long step forward with one leg and lower your body down until your knee is at a 90° angle. Then return to the starting position.

How to incorporate dumbbells into workouts

Bicep curl

A bicep curl is one of the simplest home gym dumbbell exercises you can complete. Holding your dumbbells in each hand, your palms facing outward, slowly bring the dumbbells up to chest height, bending your elbow. Remember to keep your movements slow and controlled to gain maximum benefit from the exercise.

How to incorporate dumbbells into workoutsHow to incorporate dumbbells into workouts

Final thoughts…

Focusing on your health through exercise is one of the best ways to preserve your body and mind. Follow these tips to successfully incorporate dumbbells into your home workouts today.