Selecting the best dumbbell weight for you depends primarily on your goals and your previous experience with dumbbells. You want to make sure you're lifting heavy enough weights, so you feel "the burn." 

According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, you need to lift weights heavy enough to fatigue your muscles to see results. So, how exactly do you do that?

Assessing what dumbbell weight you need 

To get an idea of your ideal dumbbell weight, start off with a weight you can lift and hold or lift consecutively for a full 30 seconds. The last 10 seconds should be a bit of a challenge. 

The amount of weight you can lift for those 30 seconds is going to depend on your starting and ending positions, aka the muscle group(s) you're using. Large muscles will require more weight and smaller muscles will need less weight. For example, if you start with your elbows bent, palms facing each other, and lift the dumbbells overhead in a press movement, you'll probably need a heavier weight than if you start with your arms in a 90 degree angle, palms facing each other, and then extend the dumbbells directly behind you.

Helpful Tips

Make sure your technique is correct before adding weight to the movement. That means tightening your core and engaging the necessary muscles before starting a movement. Within the Sworkit app, we have instructional cues available to help you feel confident in your technique.

Please note: these are general recommendations. For more personalized guidance, reach out to our certified personal fitness trainers via the "Ask a Trainer" link in your Sworkit app's Help Center.


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