How to Use a Dip Belt Correctly (3 Things You must Know)

By Walter Oconner | Fitness & Exercises

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Dipping belts are a very useful accessory that every (home) gym should own. They are really affordable but can upgrade your workouts tremendously, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t get and start using one in your training. A dip belt is a simple tool that converts some traditional bodyweight exercises into their weighted twins that will push your strength and physique to another level.

We like bodyweight exercises, don’t get us wrong, they have their place in every good workout plan, but if your primary goal is packing size and strength, you will need progressive overload, and dip belts are one of those tools that will make that possible.

Dip Belt Exercises

Dipping belts are most often used for these exercises and their variations:

  • Dips- as the name suggests, the exercise you will do most often while wearing a dipping belt are dips. This exercise targets your chest muscles primarily, but also your triceps, shoulders, and even bak. Bodyweight dips are hard, but adding weight to them will take this exercise to another dimension, supercharging your workout.
  • Pull-ups/chin-ups- pull-ups are one of the best back exercises that will put width to your back, primarily hitting your lats. There are many variations of this popular movement, and adding weight with a dip belt will make it even harder, helping you build even more muscle.
  • Squats- you can do the king of all leg exercises, squats, with a dipping belt, but you will need two steppers, boxes, or chairs in order to make it work. Stand with each leg on a separate box, letting the weight hang from your back, between the boxes. Make sure that your chain is short enough, so the weight does not touch the floor, not even in the bottom position of the squat. Dipping belt squats allow you to hammer your quads without the stress on your back that comes with the barbell version.

You can do weighted pull-ups and dips without the belt too, by keeping a dumbbell locked between your ankles, or by filling up a backpack with heavy books or weight plates. But those solutions are far from ideal since you will not be able to add weight continuously- your ankles can only handle lighter dumbbells, and you can’t put 50 books in a backpack…

You can perform a few other movements while wearing a dip belt such as calf raises, farmer’s walks, weighted hangs and similar. However most of the time you will use your dip belt to perform the three compound movements we have mentioned above. Trust us, it is still an excellent investment; it will significantly improve those fundamental exercises.


If you are strong enough and you can perform 10+ repetitions of bodyweight dips and pull-ups with proper form you should add weight to keep the exercise challenging even on lower reps, boosting strength and hypertrophy. But, many people find themselves stuck on a certain number of pull-ups/dips (usually 5 or 10) and can’t seem to go over that number.

Dipping belts are excellent for breaking those plateaus- by adding weight, you will make your usual rep range more challenging. That will increase your strength, and you will be able to do more repetitions without the weights, breaking your plateau.

How To Use A Dip Belt Correctly?

There are two types of dip belts- those with a chain ring, and those without it.

Dips with a steel chain ring fit more tightly, and will stay fixed even after you are done with the movement. If you decide to thread the chain through both rings before attaching the plate(s) to it, the dip belt will fit even more tightly, almost like a lifting belt. However, this can be quite uncomfortable, and can damage your clothes.

The other type of dipping belts (without rings) is much more comfortable to wear, and won’t damage anything, but it provides less stability, and it will simply slide-off after you complete the movement. That is not necessarily a bad thing- because of this, no-rings belts are much easier to put on and off.

You might think that these belts will slide off in the middle of your rep, but that just won’t happen. Your body is tilted while you perform the movement, your lower back is naturally arched inwards, while your but sticks out. Additionally, the weight pulls the belt in the opposite direction- it can slightly move, but it is impossible for it to slide off.

Depending on the belt type, and the method of use, you will need to consider the chain length. Remember, shorter chains provide better stability, the weight will not swing as much. So try to go as short as possible. Dipping belt with chain rings will require a longer chain, especially if you want to use the “threaded” method we described above.

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There are two methods you can use a dip belt- by putting the weights on the chain first and then putting on the belt; or putting on the belt first, and then attaching weight plates to the chain. You can also choose to pull the chain through the hole in the middle of the plate where the bar goes, or through one of the other holes that are used for carrying if your plates have them.

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How To Choose A Dipping Belt?

There are few things to consider when looking for the best belt for yourself:

  • Maximum weight- take both your current strength, but also future gains into consideration. Dip belts are durable and will last long, so make sure you pick a version that can scale with your growing strength.
  • Material- most belts are out of leather, but there are also some modern versions, made from synthetic materials. Leather belts are tougher, and more resistant to the gym wear and tear, while the synthetic ones tend to be more comfortable. However, if you ask us, going old-school is the best, so pick a sturdy leather dip belt with chain rings.
  • Size- this is something you don’t really have to care about since most of the dip belts follow the one size fits all rule. The gravity combined with the attached weight will do its magic, providing good grip and tight fit.
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    Chain- most dip belts come with a chain, but consider the length you need. On raised dip/pullup platforms, you can use a longer chain, but for squats and lower platforms, a shorter chain is better. Also, consider the carabinier clip quality- that is the part that breaks down first, so try not to go for the cheapest belt, if you don’t have to.

About the Author

Hi everyone, I am Walter, Main Editor of CareHappiness.com and a Fitness Trainer with over 4 years of experience. I’ve also been promoting clean eating, a healthy lifestyle, and Organic products.