With the best dumbbells, dedicated discipline, and a little self-love, you can tone your not-so-cool arms into drool-worthy Instagram content.
Are you questioning that?
Besides the kind-hearted act of helping a hurt man during a Black Lives Matter protest in London in June 2020, onlookers ogled at Patrick Hutchinson’s bulging arms. Ripped, describes this accidental hero better.
Those bulging muscles and the strength to lift another full-grown man do not default structures but are the result of a dedicated workout. That is where the best dumbbells come in.
The good news is, you can own a set for your home gym and begin the Hutchinson Challenge.
Here you go!
Top 12 Best Dumbbells for Strength and Muscle Building
Yes4All Adjustable Dumbbells
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
The complete product is a 52.5-pound dumbbell that is adjustable to give you a variety of weights.
You have a 16 inches long handle with 1.15 inches in diameter, eight 5-pound plates, two 2.5-pound plates, two 1.25-pound plates, two star-lock collars with loose resistant rubber trims, and screws for easy weight change and guaranteed safety.
The weight plates are made of double cast iron with a black paint coating to prevent rusting. They fit the 1.15-inch standard bar. The smooth rounded plates can roll away on uneven ground, so watch out.
You are also treated to a 14 inches long high-quality texture diamond knurled chrome handle to provide for a firm grip, secured from slipping no matter how much you sweat.
That is your connector to help you alternate between dumbbell and barbell workouts.
That is the beginning of your journey to building total-body strength.
The dumbbell is easy to assemble and dismantle and saves you lots of storage space. So go on and venture into all the wild muscle toning exercises you can imagine; one-arm side lateral, one-arm dumbbell row, dumbbell shrug, lateral curl, and bicep curl.
This Yes4All dumbbell is adjustable, completing the weights section of your home gym in a flash!
AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell
Overall Rating: 5/5
Are you a newbie in the muscle-building arena?
The 20-pound AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell vows to develop the admirable bulge in your arms. Consider it an upgrade tool in your gym every beginner should own.
It is made of a solid cast-iron core for durability. No chance of breaking in case it drops. Its hexagon-shaped heads are enclosed with rubber preventing them from rolling off the shelf or floor.
The 1-year warranty spells that assurance better. Get a good grip on the textured chrome handle saving your hands from possible fatigue.
The dumbbell is sold solo for focused and dedicated repetitions on one hand. You need a second one for a coordinated workout; building muscle, strength, burning calories, boosting energy levels, and good bone health.
Spend a few minutes doing single-hand bicep curls with the AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell to swing your mood back to happy.
BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Finally, someone listened; beautiful muscles can be developed using beautiful dumbbells.
BalanceFrom GoFit All-Purpose Dumbbells come in mood-lifting colors and safe shape. Their hexagon heads keep them from rolling away when off the rack.
They are made with cast iron coated with neoprene, sturdy plastic, and have a contoured handle giving an almost suede-ish feel. A secure grip is guaranteed.
The good news, they come in twos for coordinated workouts. So you will have two 3-pound, 5-pound, and 8-pound dumbbells with their stand coming through. Your 32-pound set awaits.
The weight stand is easy to assemble and the tools come together with it.
They are praised by both male and female users for resistance training both indoors and outdoors. They cost below $100 and come with a 2-year warranty. Enjoy the muscle control workouts now.
CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbell
Overall Rating: 4/5
Weighing 35 pounds, the CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbell is best for isolated workouts targeting specific muscle groups, full-body, and HIIT exercises.
Its hexagon-shaped heads are made from ASTM A48 Class 20 grey iron coated in 90 shore hardness PVC. The two heads are joined with a 5.04-inch long solid 1018 cold rolled handle that has medium depth knurling.
The ergonomic handle is 1.25-inch thick and no matter how hard you sweat, your grip is secure. The overall length of the dumbbell is 13.23 inches.
Whether you choose to use it indoors or while taking your morning walk in your neighborhood, this dumbbell’s handle will not produce a bad smell as is common in others. That allows you to push your workouts for longer. And it is easy to clean after use.
The CAP Barbell Coated Hex Dumbbell costs about $220, a considerable cost bearing the weight. It is sold as an individual piece.
Cap Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Whether performing renegade rows or curls, Cap Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell ensures proper training of the muscle. It is a darling for newbies.
The 10-pound dumbbell is built with ASTM A48 grade 20 grey solid iron core dipped in 3mm Neoprene to give a durable coating. Its hexagon-shaped heads keep it from rolling in case your floor has some kind of steep.
The Neoprene coat on the 4.81-inch long handle protects your hands from getting callused enabling you to exercise without interruption. The overall length of the dumbbell is 9.65 inches.
Though the Cap Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell comes as an individual piece, it serves well while toning specific muscle groups, HIIT training, and is a great walk accompaniment.
It is praised for various arm, chest, back, abs, legs, and core workouts.
For a price below $50, this is a must-have weight in your home gym.
PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
This great innovative set of dumbbells allows up to 50 pounds of weight per hand. They have a smart design and are made with tough material to ensure they survive through intense abuse.
As far as spending is concerned, you need a deep pocket, somewhere in the range of $650 for the set.
The PowerBlock Elite Dumbbells are expandable to 70 or 90 pounds. The weight changing process is easy with a secure magnetic polypropylene pin that given a chance can help expand the dumbbells to 500 pounds.
This design has been around since 1991 so the 10-warranty attached to them is an absolute truth.
While shipping, you may end up with 3 boxes instead of the expected 2. That is understandable bearing the size of each dumbbell; 12 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 6 inches high.
Chances of adding another type of dumbbell after purchasing these are low unless you outgrow its size and expansions. It is a keeper.
Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbell
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are yet another innovation in the dumbbells arena coming in with a unique dial system so you can switch from one exercise to the next.
The dumbbells come with several weight plates of different sizes. You can adjust the overall weight of each dumbbell from 11 to 71.5 pounds.
You are looking at 5.5 pounds increments per adjustment meaning up to 12 different levels. And it comes with a fitted base for safe storage.
No matter the weight you choose, the anti-skid handle ensures a secure grip and saves your hands from possible blisters.
This is a complete set ending the need for further weights in your home gym. Expect the entire order to arrive in multiple packages upon purchase.
Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbells are made with strong athletes in mind while still including gym newbies. So spending over $700 is an investment you will be glad you made.
Enjoy the 2-year worldwide warranty!
Trademark Innovations Aquatic Exercise Dumbbells
Overall Rating: 5/5
Strengthening your arms in water gets exciting with the Trademark Innovations Aquatic Exercise Dumbbells. They may not seem much until you lower them into the water and try keeping your hands down there. They fight back!
While weighing a mere 0.66 pounds, these aquatic exercise dumbbells have a 3-pound resistance. And since they come in a set of 2, each hand experiences this force.
They have great buoyancy and have a low water absorption rate. Keep them in a tray where any absorbed water can drain off during storage.
They are built with EVA foam and measure 11 inches long and 6 inches wide. The temptation to play float with them is high. Resist it. In the water aerobics arena, these dumbbells are winners. Expect to pay about $20 to own them.
Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Fascinating is the best word to describe the Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells; thanks to their interior rod locking system, they shrink in size as you reduce their weight!
This is how they work
At full capacity, each dumbbell weighs a solid 50 pounds. And since that is quite an amount, you can adjust in 5-pound levels to the least weight of 5 pounds.
The dumbbells are fitted with an easy to maneuver Twist Lock Technology to adjust the weight with ease. You can do that with one hand.
They come with a contoured, soft-grip handle for the comfort of your hands and measure 14.5 inches long at full weight. Note the 7.9 inches width and 7.2 inches in height.
The Core Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells come as a set of two, each with its durable aluminum cradle for easy storage. Being round-headed, they can roll away if not well handled.
They are made with sturdy material, but you should avoid dropping or banging them onto each other. The manufacturer is kind enough to allow a 2-year part warranty in case anything unplanned happens.
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell
Overall Rating: 4/5
While other adjustable dumbbell manufacturers struggle to balance both ends of the equipment, ATIVAFIT employs a unique dial system to ensure accuracy.
The simple adjustment system allows an effortless combination of the dumbbell’s 17 sets into a complete system. At the minimum, it weighs 11 pounds but with 5.5-pound increments, you end up with a massive 16.34-inch long dumbbell weighing 71.5 pounds!
Take note of the rubber grip handle. It is suitable for both male and female users.
All adjustments should be done while the system sits on the high-strength plastic pedestal for your safety and that of the double cast plates.
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell uses a safe lock groove to prevent the dumbbell piece from falling out of position during a workout.
The individual dumbbell costs about $300 considering its high quality and convenience while assembling and dismantling. Owning it is doing your muscles a huge favor.
Yaheetech 66 LB Weight Dumbbells
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
yaheetech insists that you cannot get extra weight plates unless you buy a new set. That hurts bearing in mind you will fall in love with them from the word go and want to expand.
Here is why.
First, the weight plates are built with sturdy plastic material. Then there is the 18.5-inch long chrome finish iron bar allowing 5.4 inches for the handgrip with an anti-skid design in each dumbbell.
The weights are adjustable so you receive four pieces of 5.5-pound plates, four of 4.4 pounds, four of 3.3 pounds, and the last four of 2.8 pounds. The heavier the plate, the larger the size. You have your pair of 66-pound dumbbells.
The end of each headlock with a PE collar with enough thread to make a 4-time spin preventing the weight plates from wobbling as you lift.
yaheetech 66 LB Weight Dumbbells are the kind you want to keep piling weight on so you will not need to buy heavier dumbbells. But the manufacturer does not want to sell parts alone.
They have worked hard to balance the equation on how much their bar can carry. That says a lot about the quality of the dumbbells. It is noticeable from the word go.
They are affordable and safe to use; no chance of harming your floor should they fall.
Ironmaster 75 lb Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System with Stand
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
When looking for the best-built weights in the dumbbells arena, settle for these square-headed Ironmaster Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbells.
They are built with super heavy-duty material with welded steel chrome-plated handles. The manufacturer ensures that the starting weight is 5 pounds. And that is before you install any plate.
This is how they defend their actions.
You have a 14.5-inch handle weighing 5 pounds and two 2.5-pound locking screws for each dumbbell. That knocks off your first 10 pounds. Then you have twelve 5-pound plates and two 2.5-pound plates for each set adding 65 pounds to the piece.
That explains their claim of adjusting each dumbbell from 5 pounds to 75 if you begin with the handle alone. How you grow the incremental weights is your baby.
Ironmaster 75-pound Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System comes with a stand that demands 2-square feet of space for safekeeping of your gym equipment. Just ensure you lock the dumbbells before storage to save your toes from the plates.
Unlike other dumbbells, Ironmaster has the plates marked in both pounds and kilograms in readiness for users all over the world. They are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty. That explains the steep price. But they are worthy of your muscles.
Which dumbbells are best; rubber or steel?
If the floor of your gym room is earthen or you do not care about having dents on it, go for the steel dumbbells. You see, these are made of hard metal with zero coatings.
So they clang like hell whether you are working out in the middle of the night or otherwise. And that nerve-racking sound defines its ability to injure your tiled or concrete floor in the same magnitude.
Should they land on your toe or finger, you will have several muscles built and a broken bone to show.
But when it comes to producing bad odor, steel dumbbells are a keeper. Not to mention they are easy to clean.
Rubber dumbbells on the other hand come with a pile of advantages. First, they are not rubber all the way but metal dumbbells coated with a thick layer of rubber.
This could be synthetic or made from tree sap. There is a temptation to imagine some scrap plastic could do the job too.
The rubber finishing protects the dumbbells so they do not chip or crack when they fall or dent your floor.
And if you are the type that lacks sleep over your looks, rubber dumbbells keep your secret safe; no clanging like their steel counterparts. That makes them safer to use.
Do not let the rubber fool you though; the pain you feel when a YAHEETECH 66 LB Weight Dumbbell falls on your pinky toe is real. So handle them with care.
Past care and cost, the best dumbbells are those with weight-adjustment capability. They give you a chance to build your muscles as you grow through the weights.
Can I build muscle with only dumbbells?
The good news, this is a big yes.
But there is a catch. You need to learn various workouts to build different muscle groups. Dumbbells build more than just biceps in your body. When used right in different exercises, you could work on your quads, calves, abs, and arms. Heck, you could even get a more rounded bum with dumbbells.
Among the exercises, you should consider are goblet squats for your glute activation, bent over rows to build muscles in your upper body, and cross-body hammer curl for your arms.
Go for the Arnold press to build your triceps and the front of your shoulders to give you the Arnold Schwarzenegger look.
If you want bigger muscles on your quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, use your dumbbells to perform the lunge exercise. It is a unilateral lower body exercise working on one leg at a time. A weighted glute bridge also works well here.
Any dumbbell-related exercise requires that you perform about 3 sets of up to 15 repetitions with 1-minute rest in between.
You will not only build muscles this way but also improve your muscular endurance.
Have a program on what exercises to target every day and then change your diet to one that encourages muscle formation. Think more proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and wholemeal carbs.
Why are dumbbells so expensive?
If you are targeting adjustable dumbbells with options running beyond 60 pounds, expect to drop the buck big time.
That does not mean there are no cheaper options. The truth is, the more versatile a dumbbell system is, the higher the price.
The cost is pinned on the many options you get like in Merax Deluxe 71.5 Pounds Adjustable Dial Dumbbells or Ironmaster 75-pound Quick-Lock Adjustable Dumbbell System. You cannot compare that to the AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell which is restricted to 20 pounds, can you?
So before you curse on the price of the dumbbells in question, find out what it brings to the table. In the dumbbells arena, the price stretches out to cover everyone; from the budget beginner to the diehard certified trainer running your favorite bodybuilding YouTube channel.
The limit is tied to your wallet.
Which dumbbell is best for beginners?
If you are a beginner, consider initiating yourself into the muscle-building cult with the 10-pound Cap Barbell Neoprene Coated Dumbbell. It is both affordable and fair to your virgin muscles.
That does not mean it is innocent.
Chances are it will break your muscle virginity with a bit of pain only felt the day after performing three sets of 15 cross-body hammer curls.
Remember that your muscles are shy and any small stimulus will cause them to complain. But in a few weeks of pumping these dumbbells, you will love what you see in the mirror.
In a month or so, you can graduate to the 20-pound AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell if your pocket does not allow you to buy an adjustable one that will take you 10 pounds higher.
Remember, you are only a virgin once. After that, you have to grow and get ripped. So pay a decent price and graduate with grace.
Can dumbbells lose arm fat?
Of course, but you will not know that until you begin.
When you are ready to lose those flabby arms, go for the beginner dumbbells mentioned above and begin working out.
Start with a series of overhead shoulder presses with those dumbbells. Follow that with rows, floor presses, and Arnold presses.
If you can crunch those dumbbells back and forth as if you are hugging a friend over and over, those flabby arms will obey.
One killer exercise as you graduate from a 10-pound dumbbell to 20 is the triceps kickback. As you kick back with your arms while leaning forward without moving your elbows, your arm muscles tighten.
Remember to do sets of 15 per workout and your arms will be ready for a day out on the beach next summer.
The joy of owning your set of dumbbells comes down to one thing, your commitment to make your investment count.
Your Patrick Hutchinson package awaits you on the other side of pumping your choice of the best dumbbells from the list above. That is the magic of becoming a hero!