The best women's dumbbells & how to choose the right size for any exercise

Forget what they say about diamonds, dumbbells really are a girls' best friend! Inexpensive, compact, easy to use and usually pretty cute to boot, picking your favourite pair of dumbbells from our selection is going to be a breeze. If you'd rather work out at home than hit the gym or just like to lift on those lazy mornings where you can't face running, then dumbbells are the ultimate workout equipment. We get to grips with which size you should be using for any exercise and take you through our top choices, so you're sure to find the perfect dumbbells, whether it's bicep curls or lateral raises you're doing.

Dumbbell confusion

Yeah, we know, choosing the right weight can be confusing, given that there are so many options out there. If you're new to strength training or getting into lifting, it's crucial to start with lighter weights and gradually increase as your muscles get stronger. One size doesn't necessarily fit all exercises either, since you'll need to lift a heavier weight for bicep curls than for tricep curls (because the biceps are stronger muscles!) Luckily, we've come up with this quick cheat sheet that will help you choose a starting weight for any exercise - check it out. Remember, you can gradually increase the weights you're using as you get stronger.

Exercise What part of the body is worked? Recommended weight for beginners
Bicep curls Biceps: inside of upper arms Five to eight pounds (2-3.5kg) in each hand
Lateral raises Deltoids and trapezius: shoulders and upper back Two to five pounds (1-2.5kg) in each hand
Bent-over rows Deltoids, trapezius, and triceps: shoulders, upper back, and outside of upper arms Two to five pounds in each hand
Upright rows Deltoids, trapezius, and biceps: shoulders, upper back, and inside of upper arms Two to five pounds in each hand
Triceps kickbacks Triceps: outside of upper arms Two to five pounds in each hand
Chest presses Pectoralis: chest 12 to 45 pounds (body bar)
Overhead shoulder presses Deltoids, trapezius, and pectoralis: shoulders, upper back, and upper chest Two to five pounds in each hand
Overhead triceps extensions Deltoids and triceps: shoulders and outside of upper arms Two to five pounds in each hand
Squats Deltoids and triceps: shoulders and outside of upper arms Zero (just your own body weight) to 45 pounds

Our top 10

We've come up with a list of our top 10 dumbbells which offer great value for money - check them out!

Fitness-Mad Neo Dumbbell Pair

Ranging in price from £5.99 to £40 on Amazon, these brightly coloured Neoprene dumbbells won't slip out of sweaty hands, and they're available from 0.5kg to 5kg weights, perfect for any kind of exercise. They even have flat bottoms, so they won't roll away.

Palm Springs Dumbbell Set

If you're looking for a handy set of dumbbells with a stand, look no further! This set contains 2 x 1kg, 2 x 2kg and 2 x 3kg neoprene coated dumbbells in a handy stand, so you can create your own home gym (or just stash them behind the sofa or in your wardrobe! The non-slip coating makes these easy to use and you can gradually increase the weight as your muscles get stronger. Pick these up on Amazon for just £24.99.

USA Pro Hand Weight

If you're looking for something a little different to traditional neoprene dumbbells, these hand weights from USA Pro are perfect. Ranging from 1kg to 2.5kg, they're ideal for lateral raises, tricep kickbacks and squats, and they cost just £3.99 (sold individually, rather than in pairs!) You can pick these up over at Sports Direct.

USA Pro Weight Set

If you're starting out with strength workouts, this set of 1kg and 1.5kg weights is perfect. Made from the same PVC coating as the single USA Pro hand weights, this set will cost you just £10.50 right now over at Sports Direct - great if you're on a budget!

Body Sculpture Vinyl Dumbbells

These 2kg dumbbells are perfect for home use and a great weight for a range of exercises, even if you're a fitness beginner! Costing just £6 for two, pick up a pair today and enjoy toned arms and stronger shoulders in no time!

York Fitness Fitbell

York's workout gear is top-notch and this 2.5kg red fitbell has a non-slip grip and vinyl coating, so it's easy to use; it even has a flat head design, so it won't roll away! Perfect for those overhead shoulder presses that can strengthen your shoulders and help to prevent injury, pick up a couple of these today!

Davina 12kg Dumbbell Tree

With a 1kg, 2kg and 3kg pair of dumbbells, this stylish tree looks great, so you'll be happy to leave it out on display in your home. Tone up and lose weight, or just get some strength exercises in before your morning run with this value for money set. We love the bright colours and ergonomic shape of these weights and the set is just £29.99 at Argos!


READ THIS NEXT: 10 reasons women should start lifting weights today

Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 8th Jun 2015 at 11:31
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