Bowflex Dumbbell Reviews: Adjustable 552 & 1090 Models Compared

Adjustable dumbbells may look rather complicated, but they are actually far more practical than your typical weights.

Occupying the space of just two large dumbells, you have the flexibility to customize the weight to meet your needs. For that reason, these space-saving devices have quickly become firm favorites for home workout fanatics.

If you're looking for portable addition to your home gym, Bowflex is a great place to start.

Why Choose the Bowflex Brand of Dumbbells?

Adjustable & Flexible Weight Range

Bowflex adjustable dumbbells have between 15-17 weight settings, which you can change quickly with its user-friendly dial system. They're also incredibly useful if you intend to share a set of dumbells with your partner or room-mate, who may be lifting in a different weight class.

Space Efficient, Storage Friendly

Bowflex eliminates the need for countless bulky dumbbells, so you don't have to worry about storage space. They also have a neat and compact design so that you can keep them in your closet or underneath your bed.

Durability, Flexibility & Versatility

Its various weight settings give rise to 30+ different possible workout combinations. This means versatility is not an issue with the Bowflex 90-lb adjustable dumbbells. They're also made with incredibly durable metal plates, making the dumbells sturdy enough for constant use for many years.

Bowflex SelectTech App

With the SelectTech app (iOs or Android), it's as if you have your very own personal trainer in the comfort of your own home. You can follow instructor-led workouts or make your very own customized workout plan. You can even use the app to document your exercises to keep track of your progress!

Bluetooth

The Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set works well with your favorite app, with its integrated Bluetooth feature. With this neat little feature, you can sync and record your weight, reps, and sets directly to your favorite workout app.

Locking Mechanism Safety Feature

Are Bowflex dumbbells safe? With the built-in locking mechanism, they sure are! The product fastens in the selected weight, so you don't have to worry about it falling off and causing injury.

Trusted Brand

Bowflex has been providing durable home gym solutions for over 30 years. Its versatile and intelligent designs have received several citations from reputable bodies such as the International Design Awards, the German Design Awards, and Reddot Design Awards, to name a few.


3 Best Bowflex Dumbbells Reviewed

1. Bowflex SelectTech 552

On Sale Today
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Version 2 | Two...
  • Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds;...
  • Lets you rapidly switch from one exercise to...
  • Combines 15 sets of weights into one, using a...
  • Eliminates the need for multiple dumbbells...

Bowflex SelectTech 552 – for Lighter Weight

Number of Settings

15

Weight Range

5 - 52.5 lbs per Dumbbell (2.5 Increments up to 25 lbs)

Dimensions

L:15.75" W:8" H:9"

Possible Exercises

30+

Shipping Weight

52.5 pounds / 23.8 kg each

If you're a beginner to the world of weight training, then the Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells are perfect for you. The weights start at 5 pounds, which you can adjust with 2.5-lb increments for the first 25 pounds.

It also comes with an outstanding locking feature, a feature praised by many fans of the Bowflex 552 range. In fact, it prevents you from lifting the dumbells until the plates are fully locked in position.

This nifty feature means you don't need to worry about injuries as well, which can happen very quickly if you don't take the right precautions. However, do be careful as the mechanism could be damaged if dropped badly. For that reason, we always recommend investing in a heavy-duty gym mat to protect your weights and your floor!

In comparison to the 1090, the Bowflex Selecttech 552 adjustable dumbbells have much better grips. They feel 'more rubberized,' which means your hands won't lose traction when lifting, enabling you to push yourself to the limit. Still, if grip is an issue, you can always pick up some wrist wraps to assist.

While the Bowflex adjustable dumbbells reviews are a top choice for home workouts, there are some minor drawbacks. For one, they have plastic locking tabs, which are less durable compared to the metal tables in the 1090 model. As such, you will need to be very careful when using your dumbbells.

They are also a touch wide, which can be an issue when making chest presses.

Our Rating: 4.7 Star Rating 4.7 / 5

2. Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Weights

On Sale Today
Bowflex SelectTech 1090 Adjustable Dumbbell...
  • Use the Bowflex SelectTech App to journal...
  • Space efficient - say goodbye to 17 sets of...
  • Select the weight you want with a turn of a...
  • Each dumbbell adjusts from 10 poundsto 90...

Bowflex SelectTech 1090 - for Heavier Weight

Number of Settings

17

Weight Range

10- 90 lbs per Dumbbell

Dimensions

L:17.5" W:10" H:10"

Possible Exercises

30+

Shipping Weight

90 lbs / 40.8 kg each

If you're a pro in weightlifting but don't have the money (or the storage space) to keep a barrage of dumbbells, then the 1090 range is for you. Adjust the dial to increase the weight from 10 to a whopping 90 pounds. At this weight class, you can really get your sweat on at home, and work on building strength and muscle mass. Who needs the gym?

If you're tempted to pick up the 1090s, we advise purchasing alongside a Bowflex dumbbell stand. While it adds a bit to the total cost, it eases the act of sliding the plates into place. It makes lowering the dumbbells to the tray far more comfortable, too.

While the Bowflex Selecttech 1090 adjustable dumbbells reviews are incredible value for money, they are not without their faults.

For one, we found them a little longer than the standard dumbbells, and as such, could be challenging to use when making incline bicep curls.

Compared to the 560, the 1090's grip is more on the rougher side. While sore hands can be remedied by wearing gloves, it may be a bit of a pain for those who dislike using them.

Our Rating: 4.5 Star Rating 4.5 / 5

3. Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbell (Pair)

Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbell (Pair)
  • Durable molding around metal plates provides...
  • Product dimensions – 15.8" L x 9.3" W x...
  • Use the Bowflex SelectTech App to journal...
  • Integrated Bluetooth connectivity syncs and...

Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbell (Pair) - Built-In Tech Features

Number of Settings

16

Weight Range

10- 60 lbs per Dumbbell

Dimensions

L:15.8" W:9.3" H:8.6"

Possible Exercises

30+

Shipping Weight

60 lbs / 28.1 kg each

If you're looking for a high-tech Bowflex adjustable dumbbell set, then the 560 is your best bet. It's the only model to have built-in tech features, which can really increase the efficiency of your Bowflex workout plan. Its most useful feature is its Bluetooth integration, which allows you to record your weights, sets, and reps, and sync it to your favorite apps.

If that wasn't good enough, the dumbbells come complete with a 3DT (three-dimensional trainer). This distinguishing feature sets the Bowflex 560 dumbbells apart from the competition. Essentially, it offers step-by-step video coaching as if you have a personal trainer working with you every step of the way.

With its ergonomic grip, it's easy to do any one of the 30+ possible exercises with the Bowflex 560. They also fit incredibly well into the hand, which makes for excellent and effortless dumbbell handling.

Aesthetically, the 560 has a squared design, compared to the 552's rounded features. This makes storage a little easier, where other workout gear could be stacked on top of your dumbbells far easier than if they were a round design. And while the shape doesn't have much impact on your workout, in our opinion, it gives the 560 a unique and premium appearance.

With its many high-tech features, the SelectTech 560 is a hands-down crowd favorite. It's a notable industry winner too, having been named Product of the Year by the ISPO Awards and the "Best of the Best" in the Reddot Design Awards.

Simply put, these are a no-brainer if you have a little extra cash in your pocket!

Our Rating: 3.8 Star Rating 3.8 / 5

Pros & Cons of Bowflex Dumbbells

Pros

  • High-quality, making them very durable even with constant use.
  • Weights can be changed very quickly and easily.
  • Excellent range of weights (up to 90 lbs)
  • 2 to 3-year limited warranty for parts
  • Some models can be integrated with fitness apps and wearables.

Cons

  • Can be more expensive than other brands – but it's worth every penny.
  • Some users find the Bowflex's shape and length awkward for some exercises.

All About Bowflex Home Fitness Equipment

Bowflex was launched in 1986 with the mission of bringing the gym experience into your home. Since then, the company has been at the forefront of developing new trends for the home gym industry – with cardio and strength products as their primary focus.

Guided by the motto "be fit for life," the company specializes in home gyms, ellipticals, treadmills, and of course, the innovative Bowflex adjustable dumbbell sets.


Comparing Bowflex with Similar Dumbbell Brands

Bowflex vs. Powerblock

Compared to Powerblock, the Bowflex dumbbell allows for faster adjustments. You just need to scroll the dial on the side of the dumbbell, and you're good to go. In our testing, Powerblock was a touch slower when it comes to adding more weight.

Read our review of the Powerblock

Bowflex vs. NordicTrack Speed Weights

The Bowflex adjustable dumbbell is far more superior to the NordicTrack, as it comes with Bluetooth and sensor connectivity. Bowflex is also perfect for beginners, as its minimum weight is 5 pounds – compared to NordicTrack's 10.

Read our review of NordicTrack dumbbells

Bowflex vs. Weider

While the Weider adjustable dumbbell is best for beginners with its minimum weight of 2.5 pounds, it's not as durable as Bowflex. Its plastic material can break easily, while users complain that the rubber grip can become loose.

Read about the Weider dumbbells here

If you're not yet decided whether Bowflex is the brand for you, we've written a full and comprehensive guide on the best-selling adjustable dumbbells to help make your decision easier.


Bowflex Dumbbell Exercises & Workout Routines

Chest Exercises

Thankfully, the Bowflex dumbbells come complete with a book of easy exercises.

For the chest, you could try a flat or incline chest press. Bend your elbows back, keeping your arms 60 to 90 degrees from your sides. Keep your elbows in line with the shoulder. Your arms should be over your wrists and elbows, and in line with the dumbbell.

As you raise your chest, keep your shoulder blades together while you maintain a comfortable back arch. Move the dumbbells upward and forward, bring them together to the center of your chest. Keep the tension throughout the movement before you return to the starting position and repeat the action.

Arm Exercises

Hold the dumbbells with your hands facing forward and the upper arms by your side. Curl the dumbbells forward, upward, and towards your shoulders. Your elbows and arms should be completely still. Lower the dumbbell back to starting position and repeat.

Back Exercises

Lean forward at the hip, keeping your spine in a stable position. Rotate your shoulder so that the palms face you. Allow your arms to bend, moving your elbows outward and backward.

Make sure to maintain a 70-90 degree between your torso and upper arms. Move your elbows until they are behind your shoulders before reversing the action slowly.

Shoulder Exercises

For a lateral raise, grab the dumbbells with your palms facing each other. Stand your feet complete and keep your spine aligned as you lift your chest and tighten your abs. This should give a slight back curve.

For the action, raise your arms outward then upward to shoulder height. Lift the hand and elbow at the same speed, turning or rotating your arms as you do so. Make sure that the arms and elbows are facing out/up throughout the action.


Bowflex Dumbbells Troubleshooting Guide

A common issue some customers face is the insertion of the handle into the base. If the handle doesn't insert into the base and there are no plates selected, check if the adjustment knobs are set to 5.

If the same thing happens and there are plates selected, check if there are different weights on each side. Remember to make sure that the unselected plates are in their correct configurations.

If your Bowflex dumbbells are stuck and the adjustment knob won't turn, ensure that the dumbbell handle is fully depressed. Also, check if the weight plates have been put on backward, or if anything is blocking the dumbbell base.

If the plates keep on dropping out, see to it that the Bowflex dumbells are locked and facing away from the grip.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How Should One Maintain A Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbell?

If you're working hard, chances are your Bowflex dumbbell will get a bit grubby. Not to worry, as you can easily keep them clean with a cloth moistened with warm water and soap. Avoid using harsh detergents, bleach, or any other chemicals.

There is no need to lubricate the dumbbells, but if you feel the need to do so (to ease the plate mechanism), make use of a food-grade silicone lubricant.

How Do Bowflex Dumbbells Work?

The Bowflex changeable dumbbells are super easy to use. All you need to do is rotate the dial to your desired weight when the handle is set into the base.

Are Bowflex Dumbbells Safe?

Yes. Bowflex dumbbells come with a safety feature that makes it impossible to lift if the dial/weight is not locked in.

Are The Bowflex Dumbbells Worth It?

Yes, Bowflex dumbbells are incredibly durably and hardwearing. They're also very versatile. You can use them as a complete beginner, adding more weight as you become stronger and more experienced.

Where Can I Find Bowflex Dumbbell Replacement Parts?

Replacement parts are available at the official website. They are also available through the Bowflex Dumbbells Amazon store.

Do Bowflex Dumbbells Come With A Warranty?

Yes, all sets come with a limited 2- to 3-year warranties for Bowflex dumbbell parts (base assembly, weight plates, and handle assembly).

Where Are The Best Places To Buy Bowflex Dumbbells?

The best places to buy Bowflex products are the official website, the Bowflex Dumbbells Amazon store, or Walmart shops. Although you can often find some bargains on Craigslist or eBay, shipping is often quite expensive for dumbbells due to the heavy weight.


Conclusion

Bowflex adjustable dumbbells make for excellent fitness investments. After all, each model has easily-changeable weights, durable engineering, ergonomic design, and some even feature Bluetooth connectivity.

While the Bowflex dumbbell's cost is a little on the higher side, in our opinion, they are great value for the money with a lost list of outstanding features and benefits.