If you want toned arms by summer, these are the expert-recommended dumbbells you need ASAP.
If your New Year's goals include prioritizing fitness, having some go-to workout gear on hand is a surefire way to make sure you never miss a workout—and one of the most important fitness tools you’ll need is a reliable pair of dumbbells.
It’s common knowledge that dumbbells are the first type of equipment you should reach for if you want to tone up your arms, but believe it or not, they’re also effective for a number of different workouts and can be used to target other muscle groups. Along with being super versatile, they also tend to be more lightweight and portable than other commonly-used gym equipment.
We set out to find the best options you can use at home by tapping some of the biggest names in fitness—including Kayla Itsines, Lacey Stone, the Tone It Up girls, and more—to hear their favorites. Below, you’ll find personal recommendations from seven top fitness influencers on the best dumbbells you can buy for toned arms. So the next time life gets in the way and you can’t get to the gym, you’ll still be able to squeeze in a quick sweat sesh no matter where you are.
Itsines likes rubber hex dumbbells for durability. “The heads on hex dumbbells have six sides, so they don’t roll, which is particularly beneficial when I’m doing by BBG workout program,” Itsines tells Health. Her current favorite brand, Hart, is only sold in Australia, but you can go with AmazonBasics’ Rubber Hex Dumbbells for a similar option.
Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn from Tone It Up
Scott and Dawn both recommend their very own Tone It Up dumbbells. Scott tells Health they both like to keep a pair of the three pound and five pound dumbbells in their homes. That way, they can always squeeze in a Studio Tone It Up workout or a barre and yoga sculpt routine (which lighter weights are ideal for). If you’re looking for the best dumbbells for beginners, these three pound weights are your best choice. “They come in beautiful colors and are perfect for that post-workout accountability selfie,” adds Scott.
Aly Teich from The Sweat Life + Morit Summers
Summers recommends the Bowflex SelectTech adjustable dumbbell. They’re one of the best dumbbell options for home gyms because, Summers tells Health, and they’re an effective—and more affordable—alternative to a full dumbbell rack at home. “They’re easy to use and work really well,” she adds.
Teich, founder of The Sweat Life NYC, is also a huge fan of Bowflex’s adjustable dumbbells for her workouts. Teich loves that the adjustable model saves space in her New York City apartment because it has 15 sets of weights in one. “I can’t have a ton of equipment in my apartment, and these cover so many bases for me,” she says. “They’re incredibly easy to use and have selection dials for adjusting the weight, allowing you to gradually increase your strength.”
Swan uses lots of Perform Better equipment in her workouts, including their dumbbells. She recommends starting out with lighter weights—think five pounds to eight pounds—and then moving up in weight “once it feels easy.” Perform Better’s dumbbells are available in one pound to 15 pound options, so you can choose the best one for your current fitness level.
Stone gets the majority of her fitness equipment, including dumbbells, from Power Systems. She tells Health that she specifically likes its Rubber Octagonal Dumbbells because “metal dumbbells are hard on the floor, and since these are octagonal, they don’t roll all over the place.”