Dumbbells are amongst the most versatile strength training tools around. Armed with nothing more than a set of dumbbells, you have everything you need to work every muscle in your body – both upper and lower. However, unless you’ve got a lot of space and plenty of money, a full rack of dumbbells is probably impractical. After all, you’ll probably need about ten different pairs.
You could use some dumbbell handles and interchangeable weights, but they are not ideal either.
In this Bowflex Dumbbell review, we’re going to explore an alternative option – the SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbell set. These dumbbells are cleverly designed to adjust from 5 to 52.5 pounds in 2.5-pound increments – all at the twist of a dial. While they aren’t as cheap as buying dumbbell handles and weight plates, they are much easier and more enjoyable to use and will take up much less space than a rack of dumbbells.
Bowflex Dumbbells Review
8 used from $411.84
- Includes 1-Year JRNY Membership (149 value; auto renews when trail ends unless cancelled 48 hours prior to trial end date)
- NEW. JRNY with Motion Tracking technology counts your reps and tracks your form in real-time simply by using your tablet’s camera. (JRNY membership required. Available on iOS and Android tablets only.)
- On-demand, full-body strength available on the JRNY app
- Adjusts from 5 - 52.5 lbs
- Replaces 15 sets of weights
Dumbbells are so-called because, back the 18th century, English bell ringers used to take the clacker out of their bells so they could practice in silence. These devices become known as dumb bells, which we now call dumbbells. Dumbbells went on to become a popular exercise tool, and, over the next 100 years or so, the design gradually changed until they become the work out tool we recognize today.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are the next step in dumbbell design, and have the following features:
- 15 weight settings
- Easy to use weight selection dial
- Contoured, knurled handle for a comfortable, secure grip
- 5” thick handles for less hand and finger stress
- Compatible with the free Bowflex SelectTech training App for iOS and Android
- Can be used with the Bowflex SelectTech Stand with Media Rack
How Do They Work
Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are very easy to use. With the dumbbell on the supplied stand, turn the dial to the weight you want, and lift it up. The weights you don’t need remain in place on the stand. Then, when you are finished or want to change weights, just set the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbell back down on the rack, dial up the next weight you want to use, and repeat.
Because of this intelligent design, you essentially have a set of 15 dumbbells in the same space as just one.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells offer the following weight options, adjusting in 2.5 increments: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 52.5 lbs. This will allow you to perform at least 30 different dumbbell strength training exercises, including:
- Wide squats
- Calf raises
- Stationary lunges
- Stiff-leg deadlift
- Reverse lunge
- Side lunge
- Single-arm rows
- Alternating rows
- Wide row
- Flat chest press
- Incline chest press
- Decline chest press
- Flat fly
- Incline fly
- Floor presses
- Standing shoulder press
- Seated overhead press
- Front raise
- Lateral raise
- Rear delt flyes
- Ab crunch
- Reverse crunch
- Lying trunk rotation
- Twisting side crunch
- Lying leg raise
- Side bends
- Standing curls
- Concentration curls
- Incline bench curls
- Preacher curls
- Hammer curls
- Overhead triceps extension
- Triceps kickback
- Lying triceps extension
Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are shipped fully assembled and ready to use. However, it’s important to note that, for safety reasons, they are shipped with the weight plates locked in place, so the weight selection dial will not work until the safety feature has been disabled. Full instructions on how to do this are included in the user manual.
Pros & Cons
Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are an excellent home strength training, with many pros and a few cons.
- Compact, space-saving design
- Very simple to use
- Quick and easy weight changes
- Suitable for a wide range of users, from beginners to more advanced
- Very versatile – can be used for lots of different exercises
- Makes progressive strength training very easy
- Made by Nautilus – a well-established American company
- Cost of purchase
- High shipping costs
- Dumbbells are quite long and may be hard to balance if you have small hands
- Not suitable for very rough use, i.e., throwing, dropping, or using as push-up bars
- May not be heavy enough for some users*
*52.5 pounds per dumbbell not enough for you? Good news! Using the same design, Bowflex SelectTech 1090 adjustable dumbbells go from 10 to 90 pounds in 17 five-pound increments, making them ideal for stronger users.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are a premium exercise product. While they aren’t cheap, they make working out with dumbbells much more enjoyable and convenient than the alternative options. The good news is that they are backed with a comprehensive warranty which means you can buy this innovative product with complete peace of mind.
The warranty details are:
- Five-year warranty on weight plates
- Two-year limited warranty on all parts
- One-year warranty on labor
This innovative product by Bowflex is the ideal solution for exercisers who want to strength train at home, but don’t have space for or want to buy a full rack of 15 pairs of dumbbells. With just a twist of an easy to read dial, you can select any weight from 5 to 52.5 pounds, making them suitable for beginner and intermediate exercisers. Armed with these dumbbells, you can work every muscle in your body. Combine them with an exercise bench, and you really have everything you need to build muscle, tone up, and get strong in the comfort of your home.
The main drawback of Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells is their cost – they’ll set you back upward of $1000. But, in return, you get a full rack’s worth of dumbbells which, if bought individually, would cost over twice as much and take up a whole lot more space.
Bowflex adjustable dumbbells can a little unwieldy when you select the lowest weights, as the smallest plates are on the outside of the handles. But this is a very small compromise and won’t negatively affect your workout. If anything, controlling the bars will increase muscle activation and improve your balance and stability.
All in all, if you want a full set of dumbbells but don’t want to have to buy 15 separate pairs, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells, which are designed specifically for home use, are a very viable option.
Adding the Bowflex adjustable dumbells to your home gym gives you countless workout options for everyone in the family.