A Quick and Easy Guide to Adjustable Dumbbells

A Quick and Easy Guide to Adjustable Dumbbells

Adjustable dumbbells started getting popular when people realised that having dozens of different dumbbells took up a lot of space. The more increments, the more space needed. And thus, people started innovating new ways to make a dumbbell change the resistance and weight.

Early iterations included spring grips, globe dumbbells, and eventually chrome plates and so on. Adjustable dumbbells have been refined constantly over time, optimised for home-use, and are now one of the best additions – or maybe starting points – for your home-gym.

There are three main things you should look out for when picking and choosing your adjustable dumbbells:

  • Increments
  • Lowest and highest weights
  • Quality


The incrementation is important, as it changes what kinds of exercises you can do. In building stamina and endurance, you want to do more reps at lower weights, whilst with strength training, you need higher weights. However, you also need to evaluate your ability and what you’re comfortable with.

If a dumbbell does not have the right weights or doesn’t increment to match your level, then it might not be the right one for you. Remember to check beforehand, so you can make the most of it!

When it comes to an adjustable dumbbell’s incrementation, most of them will add up linearly. For instance, our compact adjustable dumbbells increment up either by 2kg or 4kg. This would be:

For the 2kg incremental: 2kg (as the base weight) > 4kg > 6kg > 8kg > 10kg > 12kg > 14kg> 16kg > 18kg > 20kg > 22kg > 24kg > 26kg > 28kg > 30kg > 32kg.

For the 4kg incremental: 2kg (as the base weight) > 4kg > 8kg > 12kg > 16kg > 20kg > 24kg > 28kg > 32kg.  

Meanwhile, the common 24kg adjustable dumbbell has a unique method:

2.5kg (handle only) > 3.5kg > 4.5kg > 5.5kg > 6.5kg > 8kg > 9kg > 10kg > 11.5kg > 13.5kg > 16kg > 18kg > 20.5kg > 22.5kg > 24kg.

Note that these are only two examples, and other adjustable dumbbells may also have their own methods.

Another thing to keep an eye on is how they increment. For some, it is twist of the dial, and for others it is a twist of the handle. Others may even have you screwing plates on.


Naturally, you will also want to know how heavy or light the dumbbell can get. For some, you may never need to use the highest weight. Indeed, most people won’t need to be lifting 64kg or 80kg worth of dumbbells every day.

However, if a dumbbell needs to gather 30 to 40kgs of weight each, then it will require some space. Some adjustable dumbbells also come with their own stands. While these stands and supports are necessary to keep your dumbbells safe and secure when not in use, they will consume more space in your limited home-gym.

For instance, the 20kg compact adjustable dumbbell is 85mm shorter (lengthwise) than the 32kg compact adjustable dumbbell - each. Meanwhile, the stand will also bulk it up.

Overall, an adjustable dumbbell is defined by how much it can carry and lose. This information is usually readily available but remember to check each variation that you are considering. Some may come with accessories or require other parts to ensure that it works correctly.


If there’s one takeaway from this article, it’s to make sure that you have quality adjustable dumbbells. Unlike fixed weight dumbbells, adjustable dumbbells have a lot of moving parts. There’s mechanics to change weights, which are often fine and cannot be jolted too heavily.

Don’t slam your adjustable dumbbells on the floor!

If the quality is poor, you might also experience issues including jams or broken parts which can cause injuries. You don’t want to be holding a heavy dumbbell that suddenly breaks, dropping the weight on your foot. While these kinds of issues can be found with any adjustable dumbbell, quality or not, the better quality, the less likely it will happen.

However, you also will need to balance your budget. Adjustable can get expensive, both depending on the quality, and the highest/lowest weight, so make sure to do your due diligence before buying.

A good start is warranty and reviews.  You can also visit your local gym and see if they have any.


Thanks for reading! If you any questions or thoughts, leave them in the comments below or email us at support@rugrigfitness.com.au.

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