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How to Use a Dip Belt

guy doing dips on bar

Do you want to improve your strength training without barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells? If so, try a dip belt for a creative and effective technique to gain muscle and strength. Dip belts improve workouts in several ways. They add intensity to your workouts, boosting muscular engagement and growth. If you've ever wanted to learn how to use a dip belt, we've got you covered in this article. Let's get started!

What is a Dip Belt?

Dip belts are used to help with dips, a bodyweight exercise where you support your body between two bars with your arms, primarily targeting your arm muscles. While challenging at first, they become easier with practice. To add resistance and continue challenging your muscles, you canwear a dip belt, which looks like a weightlifting belt with a chain or strap for adding weight. This simple addition can help increase muscle activation and take your workout up a notch.

Related: Our Favorite Lifting Belts

Two Types of Dip Belts

When it comes todip belts, there are generally two main types and each type has its advantages and is suited to different preferences and workout needs:

1. Fabric Dip Belts

Fabric dip belts offer a more flexible alternative to leather belts, providing a comfortable, customized fit for lifters. Typically crafted from a blend of cotton, nylon, and neoprene, these belts are particularly suitable for beginners or those lifting under 95 lbs. However, even if you plan to lift heavier weights, a fabric dip belt can still be a viable option since you won't be wearing it daily, unlike a regular training belt. This limited usage means that the wear and tear on the belt material will be minimal.

2. Leather Dip Belts

Leather dip belts, while less common, offer superior durability compared to their nylon counterparts. Although they may not be as comfortable to wear as nylon lifting belts, leather's strength ensures they can withstand heavier loads and frequent use without excessive wear and tear.

Benefits of Using a Dip Belt

Dip belts often go unnoticed in the shadow of other gym accessories, but they offer unique benefits that can enhance your workout routine.

1. Helpful for Bodyweight Exercises

Dip belts are used to add weight to bodyweight exercises like dips and pull-ups, making them more challenging and effective for building muscle strength and mass. With a dip belt, you can increase resistance during dips, engaging muscles in the chest, triceps, and shoulders more intensely. Similarly, using a dip belt for pull-ups adds resistance, making the exercise tougher and targeting muscles in the back, biceps, and forearms. This extra challenge leads to greater muscle growth and overall strength in these areas.

2. Weight Customization

The dip belt is designed for quick and easy loading of weights, catering to a wide range of users from beginners to advanced lifters. Beginners can start with lighter weights like 1, 2, 5, or 10 pounds, gradually increasing as they progress. Advanced lifters have the flexibility to load heavier weights, such as 45, 60, or even 95+ pounds. This ease of loading makes it convenient for training partners to adjust weights quickly between sets, ensuring a seamless workout experience.

3. Increase Your Muscle Engagement

Dip belts are a popular choice for enhancing muscle engagement during bodyweight exercises like dips and pull-ups. By adding extra weight, dip belts increase resistance, intensifying the workout and targeting specific muscle groups. During dips, the added weight challenges muscles in the chest, triceps, and shoulders, leading toincreased strength and muscle mass in these areas. Similarly, using a dip belt for pull-ups increases resistance, engaging muscles in the back, biceps, and forearms more intensely, promoting muscle growth and enhancing overall strength. Incorporating dip belts into your routine can help you achieve greater results in your upper-body workouts.

4. Build Muscle Mass

Using a dip belt is a great way to target and efficiently build muscle mass. By adding weight to your body with a dip belt, your muscles are required to work harder to lift the additional load. This increased resistance stimulates muscle fibers to grow and adapt, leading to increased muscle mass over time. Moreover, using a dip belt can help you maintain proper form during dips, reducing strain on your joints and allowing you to effectively target your chest, triceps, and shoulders. By progressively increasing the weight on your dip belt, you can continuously challenge your muscles, promoting ongoing growth and strength gains. Incorporating a dip belt into your training routine can therefore be an effective way to build lean muscle mass and reach your fitness goals.

5. Boost your Upper Body Exercises

Dip belts are a transformative tool for upper body exercises, offering increased muscle engagement, mass building, and workout intensity. By adding resistance to exercises like dips, pull-ups, and chin-ups, dip belts push your muscles to work harder, leading to greater gains in strength and size. This constant challenge forces your muscles to adapt and grow, making dip belts beneficial for both beginners and experienced individuals looking to enhance their upper body training. Incorporating a dip belt into your routine can elevate your workouts and help you achieve new levels of fitness.

6. Increase Balance and Stability

Dip belts offer more than just a way to add weight to your exercises; they can also enhance your balance and stability. When you add resistance to dips and pull-ups, your body must adapt and stabilize against the added weight. This engagement of your core and other stabilizing muscles improves your balance and stability over time. Additionally, the added weight presents a new challenge, encouraging you to work harder and achieve greater strength and stability. Consistently using a dip belt can help you handle heavier weights and perform exercises with increased control and precision.

7. Define Upper Body Primarily

Incorporating a dip belt into your upper body exercises provides additional resistance, which challenges your muscles to lift your body weight more effectively. This increased resistance specifically targets and activates muscles in your chest, shoulders, triceps, and back, leading to enhanced muscle definition and sculpting. Furthermore, the added resistance contributes to building strength and endurance in these muscle groups, enabling you to tackle more demanding exercises with increased proficiency.

The Right Way to Use a Dip Belt

Dip belts are useful tools that add resistance to bodyweight exercises like dips, pull-ups, and chin-ups, making them more challenging and effective for building strength. However, using a dip belt improperly can lead to discomfort or injury.To use a dip belt correctly, start by positioning it around your waist with the chain and loops in front, ensuring any padded area aligns with the middle of your back. Next, thread the chain through the loops, starting from the original loop to the one across your waist, and adjust the tightness of the belt by pulling the chain to your desired level

After positioning the belt, select your desired weight and loop the chain through any opening in the weight plate or weighted object. For bumper or kilo plates, loop through the center hole, while other plates with holes on the sides can be placed accordingly. Then, remove any slack from the chain to control the height of the weight, ensuring it does not touch the floor or hinder your movement. Finally, secure the carabiner back to the original loop and ensure it locks in place before starting your exercise. As you perform the exercise, be mindful of the weight to prevent it from swinging aggressively and causing harm to yourself or hitting the floor.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Belt for Dips

Your Chain is Too Long

If the chain is too long, the weight plates may drag on the floor during dips. This can reduce the effective load you're lifting and lead to an uneven workout. 

Not Clipping the Weight Chain 

Failing to securely clip the chain back to the belt can result in all the loaded weight falling to the floor. This not only interrupts your workout but can also pose a safety risk, potentially causing injury to your shins or ankles. Always ensure the chain is properly clipped to the belt before starting your dips to avoid these issues.

Not Doing the Same Dip Movement

When you first use a dip belt and add weight, your movement mechanics may vary. Weight may decrease your range of motion or demand more stabilizing muscles to balance. If you see these changes, start with lighter weights for a few weeks. This lets you practice the movement with the extra load before gradually adding weight.

Wearing The Belt Too High or Low

The belt will automatically lower on your body as you load it. If you tighten the belt high on your torso, it may slip down during your workout, swinging the weights and prompting you to restore your balance. While wearing the belt below your hips may be comfortable, adding weight will drag it lower. The belt may slip off, forcing the plates to fall to the floor and prohibiting weighted dips.

Related:Is Using a Lifting Belt Cheating?

Dip Belt Exercises

Dip belts are fantastic tools for enhancing your workouts by adding resistance and weight to a variety of exercises. Whether your goal is to build strength, increase muscle mass, or improve athletic performance, dip belts can be used for exercises such as chin-ups/pull-ups, weighted squats, dips with added weight, and weighted walks. These exercises target different muscle groups and can help you achieve your fitness goals more effectively.

1. Chin-Ups, Pull-Ups and Calf Raises

Chin-ups and pull-ups are powerful exercises for building upper body strength. While they can be challenging for beginners, they can become too easy once you've mastered the technique. Adding weight with a dip belt is a great way to increase the difficulty and continue challenging your muscles, leading to faster muscle growth.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Grip the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing away from you.
  2. Wear a dip belt with the appropriate weight and either step off a box or platform, or lift your feet off the ground to hang from the bar.
  3. Engage your core and cross your legs behind you.
  4. Raise your chest towards the bar, focusing on engaging your lats.
  5. Keep your elbows and shoulders in line with the bar.
  6. Lift yourself as high as possible, leaning back slightly as your head approaches the bar to avoid touching it, aiming to bring your upper chest to the bottom of the bar.
  7. Maintain a neutral spine and avoid swinging your legs.
  8. Avoid rounding your upper back and shoulders.
  9. Lower yourself down in a controlled manner to return to the starting position.
  10. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

2. Dips With Weighted Squats

Squats are a fundamental exercise that can provide significant benefits for your lower body strength and muscle development. This compound movement engages various muscle groups, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abductors, and hip flexors. Incorporating a dip belt into your squat routine allows you to add resistance, which can further enhance muscle activation and stimulate growth. Not only is this exercise effective, but when performed correctly, it is also safe and can contribute to overall lower body strength and definition.

3. Squats with a Dip Belt and Barbell

Here's how to perform weighted squats with a dip belt:

  1. Securely brace yourself with the dip belt attached to the weight plates.
  2. Choose between using two boxes as a platform for dip belt squats or standing directly on the floor.
  3. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart and your arms hanging straight down by your sides.
  4. Engage your core and maintain a proud chest throughout the movement.
  5. Initiate the squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees as if you're lowering yourself into a chair.
  6. Ensure your knees stay in line with your toes and do not collapse inward.
  7. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor or slightly below.
  8. Push through your heels to return to the starting position, extending your hips and knees simultaneously.
  9. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.

4. Dips With a Weighted Belt

Dips are a crucial exercise for building upper body strength, particularly in the arms, back, and shoulders, leading to increased muscle mass and broad, strong shoulders. To further enhance muscle engagement, especially as your body becomes accustomed to bodyweight dips, incorporating a dip belt can be highly beneficial.

Here's how to perform weighted bodyweight dips with a dip belt:

  1. Begin by bracing yourself with a dip belt, allowing it to hang evenly between your legs. Ensure you are comfortable with the weight and the belt.
  2. Lower yourself down from an upright position until your elbows are bent, and your upper arms are parallel to the ground, forming a 90-degree angle.
  3. Push back up by straightening your arms to return to the starting position.

5. Weighted Walk

Walking is not usually thought of as a power exercise. Instead, it is a type of cardio exercise that builds on itself. You can smartly use your dip belt by walking while wearing it. The walk will work out your whole body and build muscles quickly.

Here's how to incorporate a dip belt into your walking routine:

  1. Add your desired weight to the dip belt and let it hang between your legs.
  2. Begin walking in a slightly exaggerated motion for 2 minutes.
  3. Take a one-minute break at the end of the first two minutes.
  4. Repeat the walk for another 2 minutes.


Dip belts are a cost-effective tool to add resistance to bodyweight exercises and build upper body strength and muscle. They improve muscle engagement, balance, and stability, and allow weight addition without using the hands. Comfort, durability, and adjustability are essential when choosing a dip belt. Tuffwrap's dip lifting belt is a favorite pick due to its high-quality materials and comfortable design that can be adjusted to fit a variety of body shapes. Dip belts can boost your strength training and help you attain your fitness goals faster.


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