Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are Versatile and Space-Saving

Take your workout to the next level with these top-notch adjustable dumbbells

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4.9

Bowflex SelectTech 552

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

What We Like
  • Compact storage

  • Wide weight range

  • Adjusts quickly with the turn of a dial

  • Secure, comfortable grip with wet or dry hands

What We Don’t Like
  • Can feel a bit bulky for some exercises

  • Not as durable as some dumbbells

The Bottom Line

Compact and simple to use, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells offer a wide weight range, superior grip, and ease of adjustability with the simple turn of a dial.

4.9

Bowflex SelectTech 552

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

A versatile option for home gyms, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells can add some variety to your strength-training workouts. By simply turning a dial at the end of the dumbbell, you can change the weight to suit your exercise and fitness level. With the choice of 15 different weight increments, the dumbbells are a budget-friendlier way to expand your home gym without the tremendous cost and space allotment for a rack of dumbbells.

Since I love working out at home and try to vary my strength-training workouts, I was excited to test the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells. Over a period of nine months, I used them on a regular basis, performing a variety of different upper and lower body strengthening exercises with various loads. During my sessions, I evaluated the dumbbells’ quality, durability, and grip, while also paying attention to factors that are unique to adjustable dumbbells, such as the ease of adjustability.

Verywell Fit editors and testers also spent 16 hours testing this and other adjustable dumbbells in our Lab. After testing 15 of the most popular adjustable dumbbells, this one came out on top as our best overall pick.

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

Who It’s For

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are ideal for people who strength train at home and want easy and convenient access to dumbbells of various weights. They’re especially suitable for those who have limited space for exercise equipment or don’t want to purchase a large rack of dumbbells. Since the weights adjust from 5 to 52.5 pounds, the set works for beginner or experienced weightlifters, and will keep your workouts challenging as you make progress over time.

That being said, the set is pricey, and will run you a lot more than purchasing a couple of pairs of dumbbells. So it’s well-suited for those who are committed to a home workout routine and are confident they’ll use a wide range of weights.

Setup and Use: Convenient and hassle-free

The set comes fully assembled, so unboxing them was a cinch. Once I used the included Allen wrench to remove the safety strap that holds them in place, they were ready to go.

The dumbbells are a bit longer and slightly bulkier than regular dumbbells, even at the smaller weight increments, which is typically the case with adjustable dumbbells. However, I still found them relatively easy to maneuver. And, unlike some other adjustable dumbbells, they maintain the traditional dumbbell shape, even at the higher end of the weight capacity. As a result, I could perform traditional strength training moves, using various loads, without significantly altering my form.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

Adjustability: Quick and straightforward

Each dumbbell can be adjusted to weight increments of 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds. To change the weight, you simply turn the dial at the end of the dumbbell, which clicks the correct weight plates into place and leaves the unused ones in the storage tray when you pick up the dumbbell. Once you hear the satisfying click, you know the plates for that weight are locked into place and you’re good to go.

A cool feature is that the weights adjust in increments of 2.5 pounds up to 25 pounds, and 5 pounds from 25 to 50. What that means is that beginners can gradually increase the weight amount, rather than making a big jump and risking injuries, or plateauing at a certain weight for a long time.

When re-racking the dumbbells, you have to be careful to line them up properly, but that was also pretty simple. The quick adjustment process makes the transition between exercises very seamless. I like that I could quickly and easily change the weight at the end of a set so I didn’t waste time and energy fumbling with equipment. Overall, the 552s exceeded my expectations for ease of adjustability.

Grip: Comfortable and secure

When I first grasped the dumbbells, I was immediately impressed. The grips on the 552s are slightly cushioned, which feels more ergonomic and comfortable than regular steel dumbbells.

In many months of use, I’ve found the grip to always feel secure, even when my hands are sweaty or clammy. I haven’t noticed any slipping whatsoever, regardless of the exercise or load used.

Durability: Handle with care

The 552s have some plastic parts, such as the connector pieces, which seem like they might be vulnerable to cracking if dropped. The stand is also made of plastic and, while I haven’t noticed any wear and tear, I wonder how it will hold up over time.

We did assess the dumbbells’ durability in The Verywell Testing Lab by performing some drop tests. They weren’t damaged when dropped on gym flooring, but they did get a bit scratched from a drop on concrete. However, it didn’t affect the dumbbell’s use or performance.   

In general, it seems that these dumbbells weren’t made to be dropped or slammed, so if that’s your lifting style, you may want a more durable option.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

Portability and Storage: Compact and easy to store

One of the set’s most appealing benefits is its small footprint, which takes up significantly less space than a rack of the 15 pairs of dumbbells that it replaces. If your home gym size is very limited, they’re a compact option.

The plastic storage trays, although not the most attractive option, work well for storing the dumbbells when not in use. The trays also keep the metal plates from banging together, helping to minimize noise. With that said, it would be nice if the trays had rubber or silicone feet on the bottom to protect the floor. So far I haven’t noticed any marks on my hardwood floor, but I wonder if the trays could scuff them over time.

How We Tested

I used the dumbbells for about nine months in my home gym, performing a variety of dumbbell-based strength-training exercises with different resistance levels. Before I started my home workouts, I unboxed the dumbbells and took note of their appearance and portability, as well as ease of setup.

I typically do three to four strength training sessions per week and have used the dumbbells for numerous upper and lower body exercises, including lunges, deadlifts, squats, hip thrusts, chest press, chest flyes, tricep presses, tricep extensions, tricep kickbacks, rows, bicep curls, overhead press, Russian twists, and more.

During my sessions, I evaluated the dumbbell’s ease of use while performing each exercise, taking note of any modifications I had to make. I also assessed how easily and quickly I could change the weight increments in between exercises. Throughout my workouts, I paid attention to how each dumbbell felt in my hands and if the weight felt evenly distributed. Of course, my hands inevitably get sweaty during workouts, and I noted whether my grip felt secure when they were wet.

In The Verywell Testing Lab, our testing team also put the dumbbells through a drop test to evaluate their durability. We dropped the dumbbells from hip height once on foam gym flooring and once on concrete slabs to see how they would hold up.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

Price: Affordable and great value

Although the price ($429) may seem high, the set is definitely cheaper than buying 15 pairs of dumbbells and it’s actually priced very competitively for adjustable dumbbells. For people who have home gym space constraints and want to expand their workout options, they’re an excellent investment.

The Competition

While there are some less expensive adjustable dumbbells available, the 552s are an excellent value for their superior grip, ergonomics, and ease of use and they stack up nicely against the competition.   

Core Home Fitness Adjustable Dumbbells: These dumbbells have similar specs to the 552s, boasting a weight range of 5 to 50 pounds and easy, quick adjustability. However, they require some assembly and they adjust in 5-pound weight increments, so they may not work for beginners.

Powerblock Elite Dumbbells: For advanced weightlifters who want a higher weight range, this set, which maxes out at 70 pounds with the expansion kit, is a nice option. They’re quick to adjust and have a comfortable grip, but the unique square design may take a little getting used to.

FLYBIRD Adjustable Dumbbell: If you’re looking to spend less, this dumbbell is more affordable than the 552s and very similar in functionality and performance, although it does have a smaller weight range of 5 to 25 pounds. A good choice for beginners, it comes assembled and is easy to adjust.  

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells Review

Verywell Fit / Ashleigh Morley

Final Verdict

Yes, buy the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells if you want to invest in a well-made set that’s a great value and provides a lot of fitness options in a compact package.

If you like the versatility and space-saving benefit of adjustable dumbbells, the 552s are a solid choice. They’re easy to set up, straightforward to use, and an excellent value for your money, compared to what you’d spend on 15 pairs of dumbbells. And the quick adjustment process allows you to easily transition from one exercise to the next. With a wide range of weight options, the dumbbells work for beginners as well as experienced weightlifters, and can be used by multiple members of a household.

Specs

  • Product Name SelectTech 552
  • Product Brand Bowflex
  • Price $430.00
  • Weight 105 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 16.9 x 9 x 8.3 in.
  • Weight Per Dumbbell 5 to 52.5 pounds
  • Replaces 15 sets of weights
  • Sold As Pair
  • Storage Bases Included Yes
  • Warranty Two years
  • What’s included Two adjustable dumbbells (weight range of 5 to 52.5 pounds); storage trays