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.
Dipping belts are most often used for these exercises and their variations:
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.
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.
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.
There are few things to consider when looking for the best belt for yourself: