Adjustable dumbbells are similar to standard dumbbells in a number of ways. These small weights are designed to be held in one hand. It's not uncommon for an exercise to call for one dumbbell or for two (one held in each hand). Typically, if you work out with dumbbells, they'll be set at a fixed weight. Thus, if you decide to change your workout or as you build up your strength, you'll need to substitute them out for other types of dumbbells. However, dumbbells that are adjustable bypass this step and make it much easier to do a variety of workouts with less equipment.
How Adjustable Dumbbells Work
Adjustable dumbbells work by having a single dumbbell apparatus that is free of any weights. There are separate weights that can be attached to the dumbbell, usually held in place with a set of small clips. Thus, you can add weight to the dumbbell or remove it as desired. This gives you a much wider range of different weights to work with, all with the same dumbbell.
Benefits of Adjustable Dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells have a number of benefits over standard dumbbells. First is the issue of price. If you're planning to work out at home, you'll have to pay a lot of money for a full dumbbell set. A single adjustable dumbbell set and the weights that are needed to expand those dumbbells to the same range of weight will be much cheaper. This also means that there are fewer dumbbells which might break through dropping or misuse, which can save you money over the lifetime of the product.
Additionally, adjustable dumbbells take up much less space than a full set of regular dumbbells. While this might not be a concern for you if you work out at a gym exclusively, if you wish to maintain your own at-home workout area, this can be a great way to save space and consolidate your workout.
Adjustable dumbbells can be used for an extraordinarily wide variety of exercises. Unlike a single exercise machine, which is designed typically for one or a small number of purposes, adjustable dumbbells can be put to use in workouts for all different parts of the body.
Downsides of Adjustable Dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells do have a few downsides. There is some concern about the weights on the dumbbells falling off. If they aren't properly secured, these weights can slip off of the sides of the dumbbell base as you work out, potentially causing injury. However, with proper care and attention this will not be a concern.
Additionally, if you lose or break a weight on the adjustable dumbbell, you may not be able to replace it easily and without purchasing another set of dumbbells. This is oftentimes considered to be another one of the downsides of using adjustable dumbbell sets.
Sets of adjustable dumbbells are available at most sporting goods stores and gym equipment centers.