Wednesday, 24 July 2024


Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell Review

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Adjusting from 5 through to 52.5 lbs, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells provide all the advantages of 15 sets of dumbbells, but with a lower priced and more convenient space saving design.

Design features

The quick change dials at either end of the dumbbells helps you make the most of your workout time

If you are thinking about investing in a new set of dumbbells, you will usually have 3 main types to choose from; adjustable, fixed weight, and the standard weight plate loaded version.

Although the Bowflex SelectTech 552 set does technically generate its resistance using weight plates, this particular design is classed as adjustable.

A simple dial at each end of the dumbbell lets you quickly adjust the amount of weight you want to use. This means that when you lift the dumbbell, only the weight plates that make up your selected weight will actually be attached to the bar.

When you finish your set, you can then simply slide the dumbbell back into place and make any adjustments you need. This is an excellent way of making your workouts more efficient, as well as making it easier to perform more advanced training techniques, such as drop sets.

Although they measure a bit longer than standard dumbbells when used at their lower weight setting, you can still comfortably perform a range of exercises without worrying about inhibiting your range of motion.

Another major benefit of the Bowflex SelectTech 552 set is the fact that you essentially have 15 sets of dumbbells in one.

This not only saves on space at home, but also makes it possible to take them with you in the car. A useful advantage if you are a personal trainer, or even if you travel a lot but still want to keep to your workouts.

One final feature worth mentioning is the design of the grip. While the larger SelectTech 1090 set provides more of a square and uncoated grip, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 set offers an easier to grip rounded design.

This has also been rubber coated to help cushion any pressure on your hands, as well as improving your grip without the need for straps or chalk.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 – Features Summary

  • Weight Settings in pounds: 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 17.5, 20, 22.5, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and 52.5 pounds
  • Lets you rapidly switch from one exercise to the next
  • Combines 15 sets of weights into one, using a unique dial system
  • Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells cluttering your workout space
  • Two year warranty on weight plates and parts
  • 30+ exercises available
  • 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.

Benefits of dumbbell workouts

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

Whether you are training for strength, size, endurance, or general fitness, most workouts will include 1 or more of the following types of equipment; barbell, cable machine, or dumbbells

While all 3 of these will be effective for certain exercises, in terms of the number of exercise options, freedom of movement, and ability to recruit stabilizer muscles, nothing comes close to a high quality set of dumbbells.

This is particularly true if you are looking to build bigger shoulders.

A recent study compared using a barbell to using a set of dumbbells for various shoulder and upper body exercises, from both a seated and standing position.

By measuring the electrical activity in the muscles (electromyography), the study found front delts were 15% more active during standing dumbbell presses compared to standing barbell press.

When seated and standing dumbbell exercises, the study also found that electrical activity in the biceps was 23% lower when seated compared to performing the same exercise standing.

Exercise options

With such a wide range of weight settings available, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells can be used for a variety of both upper and lower body exercises.

While you can put together an effective workout for almost every muscle group using the dumbbells alone, add in a multi-position weights bench and you can work the muscles from a much wider range of angles.

The following is a list of exercises that are possible when you combine the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells with a high quality weights bench:

  • Chest – Dumbbell press, pec flys
  • Back – Pullovers, dumbbell rows, shrugs
  • Shoulders – Overhead dumbbell press, upright row, side lateral raise
  • BicepsIncline dumbbell curls, hammer curls, concentration curls
  • Triceps – Overhead extensions, lying dumbbell extensions, kickbacks
  • Legs – Elevated lunges, lunges, squats
  • Abs – Weighted crunches
  • Calves – Seated calf raises

Customer reviews

Currently amongst the highest rated and most reviewed fitness products on Amazon, with 90% of the 1000+ reviews rated at 4 or 5 stars the Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells are a popular choice for home gyms around the world.

With so many reviews it can be difficult to find the time to read them all. This is why we put together a summary of the most frequently mentioned pros and cons, to help you decide if this is the set best suited to your own home workouts.


  • Quick and easy to adjust the weight
  • They work great for using with the P90X Home Fitness Workout Program
  • You can independently adjust the amount of weight at each end of the dumbbells
  • Competitively priced – much cheaper than buying 15 separate sets
  • Workout DVD provided with the set helps explain the wide range of possible exercises
  • More attractive to look at than standard dumbbells and other adjustable sets
  • Helps preserve space in your home gym for additional workout equipment
  • Custom made stand can be bought separately, which helps reduce any lower back strain when repeatedly picking up and putting down the dumbbells


  • At 16″ in length, some users reported this made a couple of exercises more awkward to perform
  • A few of the lower rated reviews were reporting the red plastic component that locks plates in place breaking, although in many cases this seemed to be after dropping the weights too hard

Review Overview

Overall Review Rating

4.5 / 5

With their effective and attractive design, the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells are a space saving solution that's ideally suited to home gyms.

Being able to adjust the weight at each end independently is a useful feature not seen on other adjustable dumbbells, such as the Powerblocks.

This allows you to isolate particular areas of a muscle, such as if you want to keep the weight focussed more at one end during tricep kickbacks or hammer curls.

With a high level of customer service, 2 year warranty on parts and plates, and over 1000 highly rated reviews, there's a good reason these dumbbells are a bestseller.

Dumbbell Dimensions (Each): 15.75" (L) x 8" (W) x 9" (H) Weight (Each): 52.5 pounds / 23.8 kg

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