Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell Review

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable dumbbell is the upgraded design to the SelectTech 552’s, with a heavier total weight limit, and slightly larger dimensions.

This product article takes a look at the dumbbell in more detail, including its design features, a comparison with how it measures up to the 552’s, and a summary of the pros and cons to be mentioned in the customer reviews.

Design features

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell

Whether you are starting a new fitness program, looking to supplement your gym workouts, or even move away from commercial gyms altogether, dumbbells are a crucial part of any home gym setup.

It’s their versatility and availability in such a wide range of sizes that makes them ideal for both upper and lower body exercises.

The problem with fixed weight dumbbells is that you need to have quite a range of weights to be able to perform the different exercises.

Even dumbbells that allow you to change the plates will take time to adjust whenever you want to change the weight, reducing the time you get to rest between sets.

It’s for this reason that the Bowflex SelectTech 1090’s were created, to offer resistance from 10 pounds all the way up to 90 pounds using a system that’s quick to adjust.

On either end of the dumbbell there is a dial mechanism with clearly marked numbers relating to how much weight will be loaded on the dumbbell at each setting.

As you turn the dial, the handle latches onto more or less weight plates, depending on if you are increasing or decreasing the weight.

You can then lift the handle free of the plates, leaving behind any that aren’t needed to create the resistance you selected.

This saves you having to buy many separate sets of dumbbells, and makes them much easier to store if you are short on space.

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 – Features Summary

  • Adjustable dumbbell that does the work of multiple dumbbells in one
  • Weight adjusts from 10 pounds up to 90 pounds in 5-pound increments with the twist of a dial
  • Suitable for basic toning, strength, and heavy leg lift exercises
  • Durable moulding surrounds the metal plates to create smooth, quiet liftoff
  • Includes “Secrets of the 4-Step Rep” DVD with more than 30 exercises

Comparison with the SelectTech 552’s

Weight range*
Weight settings
Training video

SelectTech 552
5 lb to 52.5 lb
15.75 in / 40cm
8 in / 20cm
9 in / 23cm
SelectTech 1090
10 lb to 90 lb
17.5 in / 44cm
10 in / 25cm
10 in / 25cm

Due to the increased maximum weight from 52.5 lbs to 90 lbs, there is a small increase in size for the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 compared to the 552.

Despite the extra length, the dumbbells can still be brought together during pressing exercises such as bench press and shoulder press, with no limitation on the range of motion you need to perform the exercise effectively.

Exercises you are able to perform

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell

With the Bowflex SelectTech 1090’s being so easily adjustable and providing such a wide range of weights, even without a weights bench you can still put together effective upper and lower body workouts.

Of course, if you were to combine the 1090’s with a high quality adjustable weights bench then the range of exercises would be much more impressive. This also allows you to target the muscles from a wider range of angles, and provides better support for your lower back when you start to shoulder press heavier weights.

Listed below are a few of the more popular exercise options that are possible when combined with a weights bench.

  • Chest – Incline dumbbell press, flat dumbbell fly
  • Back – Bent over rows, dumbbell rows, pullovers, shrugs
  • Biceps – Bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls, preacher curls (with bench)
  • Triceps – Overhead dumbbell extensions, kickbacks, lying tricep extensions
  • Shoulders – Standing shoulder press, side lateral raises, rear delt flys
  • Legs – Lunges, stiff-legged deadlifts, dumbbell squats

Customer reviews

Bowflex SelectTech is currently the most popular and highly rated range of dumbbells available for use in home gyms.

The great thing about their popularity is that there’s plenty of customer reviews to read through to help find out all the pros and cons of owning a set.

In terms of how the reviews are rated, the percentage of 4 and 5 star reviews is surprisingly similar to the SelectTech 552’s.

Although reading through these reviews is recommended, with hundreds currently posted on Amazon alone this can take some time.

This is why we’ve collected the pros and cons that were mentioned most often throughout these reviews and listed them below.

5 star review of the Bowflex SelectTech 1090 dumbbellThese are great, efficient, and space saving. Love the multiple weight settings, and the wide range of exercises that you can do. – Phil Brickner, Amazon Verified Purchase


  • Bowflex brand name, been around a LONG time selling quality home workout gear
  • Easy to adjust the weight
  • Small enough size to still perform standing curls
  • Takes up hardly any space compared to having separate sets of dumbbells in the equivalent weights
  • High maximum weight
  • Weight can be adjusted in small 5 lb increments (2.5 lb if don’t mind the dumbbell not being balanced)
  • Well worth the money to replace a total set of dumbbells
  • Works perfectly with the P90X


  • When lifting with lighter weight, they are a little bigger than the equivalent standard dumbbells
  • Handle is a little rough on the hands if using the heavier weight settings

Although there are a handful of reviews rated below 3 stars on Amazon, these have usually either been provided by people who haven’t even purchased the dumbbell, or by people who bought the dumbbell thinking it is a set.

It’s important to clarify that what you get when ordering through Amazon is just the one dumbbell. You will need to add 2 to your basket to be able to perform the majority of exercises, including flys and presses.

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

The Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell provides an impressive 90 lb of resistance when fully loaded, with an equally impressive 17 possible settings.

Finding an adjustable dumbbell that has such a high maximum weight is extremely difficult, with companies such as Bayou Fitness and PowerBlock only producing sets where the dumbbell goes to 50 lbs.

If you aren't sure how it will feel to use the 1090's in terms of their length, it might be worth finding a couple of short sections of bar or even dowel from a hardware store and cutting them to 17.5" in length.

You can then get a better feel for how easy it is to curl a weight of that length before you buy, as well as seeing if it restricts your range of motion at all in any of the pressing exercises.

Special Bonus FREE Bowflex® SelectTech® workout DVD - "Secrets of the 4 Step Rep" - with every purchase. Get the most out of your workout - work smarter, not harder. Over 30 exercises with over 80 variations.

Dumbbells provided: 1 Maximum weight: 90 lbs