Doing dips is a great exercise routine for improving your upper body strength. Now, if you are ready to up your dip game to further work your muscles you might be thinking about adding some weight to your dips. But you might not have access to a dip belt. So, the question is, how to add weight to dips without belt?
There are various ways you can add extra weight to your dips without a dip belt. Wearing a weighted vest or a backpack filled with weight would work just fine. You can also do your dips by holding a dumbbell between your ankles.
In the rest of the article, I will talk more extensively on the various methods you can use to add weight to your dips. I will also explain the benefits of adding weight, when to do it and more. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
How Can You Add Weight to Dips Without a Belt?
While anyone would agree that dip belts are the best way to add weight to your dips, it’s certainly not the only way. Many people find it a hassle to load up a weight belt. You may also be reluctant to buy the cheap dip belts as it can be a bit risky.
Well, you’re in luck as here I will be describing 3 methods that you can use to add weight to your dips without using a dip belt.
- Weighted Vests
Weighted vests are the best variation for dip belts. Weighted vests are wearable weights that you can put on when you’re doing exercises. The vest gives you enhanced resistance and cardio conditioning that will let you challenge yourself more efficiently. The vest lets you add extra bars or plates for added weight to notch up the resistance.
You can do weighted dips easily just by putting on the weighted vest and doing your regular dips. Weighted vests are quite versatile so you can use them for any other exercise you want. Since it has an even weight distribution, it’s a lot more comfortable to use than dip belts. It also comes with the required weights so you won’t need additional equipment when you work out.
However, there are a few drawbacks. The weighted vests are very expensive and have an upper limit for weight. So you will eventually have to use additional equipment when you reach the upper limit.
- Loaded Backpack
For this method, you will need a sturdy bag to hold all the weight. It’s best to put a towel inside so that the weight can be distributed evenly. Then just put the weights in and put it on. Now you are ready to do your weighted dips.
The few drawbacks you may experience are that the large backpacks move around a lot. So it can get a bit uncomfortable when you’re doing your dips. The bag may also rip under too heavyweight. But as you start needing more weight, you may want to change. Overall it’s the cheapest and best way when you start.
You can easily use dumbbells to do weighted dips. To do this, you will want to hold a dumbbell between your ankles. It might be helpful to have the ankles crossed and hold the dumbbell right above the knee.
If you are having trouble picking the dumbbell up, do not worry as it is common. You can simply have someone place it once you’re in the position on the dip bar. Or you can place it on the ground and pick it with your feet once you jump up to the bars.
Benefits of Doing Weighted Dips
Among all other exercises, weighted dips are considered the best in terms of strengthening the muscles in your triceps, chest, and shoulders. But can you get big doing dips? You might be wondering that.
A weighted dip is an advanced form of regular dips. Doing weighted dips properly, with perfect form and technique lets you achieve the perfect physically fit body you desire. The benefits of this exercise include:
- Doing weighted dips with a proper form will give you a body mass boost. It lets you build huge pecs and an overall bigger upper body.
- Much better than push-ups in improving your muscle stability, flexibility, and wrist strength.
- Your bench press total will get a massive boost.
- Weighted dips will0 build your chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles.
- This exercise is extremely customizable. You can make it higher or lower, easier or harder all according to your preferences.
- It’s a compound exercise that is more efficient in building strength, muscle, and burning calories.
- You can easily add extra weight when you want more challenges.
- You don’t exclusively need a gym to do this exercise.
As you can see there are plenty of benefits to doing weighted dips. And if you have what it takes, then start adding weights to your dips. But make sure that you are ready for it before attempting such an extreme workout. So, how do you know you are ready? Well, that's what I’ll explain in the next section of this article.
Below we also get feedback from real weightlifters as to what the options are to get the most out of dips.
When Should You Start Adding Weight to Your Dips?
Body dips are a compound bodyweight exercise that targets your upper body muscles very efficiently. So when should I add weight to dips- you could be wondering. The answer is that you add weights when you can easily do 15 reps of body dips.
Body dip is a bodyweight exercise. So, it is restricted to use your body weight as resistance. With time the effort taken to perform this will get easier while the load remains the same. So the exercise will have limitations in the path of progression to achieve maximum strength and greater muscle mass.
Adding reps will be only beneficial until a certain point of diminishing returns. After that, increasing reps won’t do much. It’s good to note that the right rep range for enhancing your muscle mass is about eight to twelve reps for a set. For building strength, the rep range stands at three to six reps each set.
In case you find yourself comfortably exceeding the mentioned rep range with your dips, you have reached a point when you can handle the exercise without a hitch. After this point, to gain strength and add muscle, the resistance will need to be increased. The best way to do this would be by adding weight to your dips.
How Much Weight Should You Add to Your Dips?
Adding weight to your dips will stress your muscles enough to stimulate your body into growing more muscle. If you have just started, you may be wondering “How much weight do you add to dips?”
At the first stage, you can add about five kilograms or eleven lbs. If it’s difficult for you to finish five reps with this weight, you can reduce the weight. Your goal should be to reach 30 to 50 reps in a set of 3.
When you get comfortable doing the reps with the current weight, you should gradually increase the weight. It’s best to increase the weight by five kilograms each time as you may injure yourself otherwise.
Alternatives To Dip Belts According To Weightlifters
We didn't want you to only take our word for it on this matter. So we scoured the internet to find actual weightlifters who have had this same issue. We curated this information from forums, websites, and sub reddits meaning nothing has been changed except any spelling or grammar where needed.
1. Vhalros “Dumbbell” – For < 25 pounds or so, it is pretty easy to just hold a dumbbell in the crook of your knee, or by pinching it between your feet. After a certain weight this becomes very awkward though.
2. Gameishardgg “Dumbbell” – I hold like 65 pound dumbbells with my feet. Judt put the dumbbell over one foot and cross it with the other. then nudge the dumbbell up so it sits brtwren/above the intersection you just made. It kind of makes dips hard to keep form but no trouble on chins
3. Yelper321 “Hardware Store” –
Purchase a belt (around $20 is min on amazon)
hardware store, purchase a length of chain and some S-hooks, either put the chain around your neck / shoulders and hang the weight or rig it up to their belt
dumbbell between your feet / knees
4. WeightoGreco17 “Chain” – I made a jury rigged dip belt, I just took a 5-6 foot length of chain, wrap it around my waist, and secure it with a carabiner, then loop the loose end through a plate and get that on the carabiner as well. It does get uncomfortable with heavier weights, I'll sometimes wrap the chain in a towel, or the guide I originally found said to run it through some foam pipe insulation. If you're talking about adding weights to a lifting belt, I wouldn't recommend it. I used mine to pull a tire with, clipped a chain to the buckle, and destroyed it in about 45 seconds.
5. InternetGuy “Backpack” – I put plates in a sturdy backpack. For > 20kg I hang the bag on a rack just below standing height, load it up, strap myself in and then pick it up off the rack.
6. MizterUltimaman “Weight between knees” – Try holding them between your knees. It would be harder to do this with your feet though, b/c leverage.
7. GetCashquickFast “Dog leashes” – I went to the dollar store and bought two dog leeshes rated for 75lbs each. Tied them together and there you go, $4 spent.
8. Kxx22 “Seatbelt” – I salvaged six feet of a seatbelt from a junked car. Thread one end through some barbell plates and then tie it to the other end. $0 spent.
9. Yoz8ik “Rock climbing loop” – I have rock climbing loop and carabiner. I went up to 40 kg with them but it was a bit uncomfortable. It is lighter then chain and seems better when you carry it to your gym.
10. Fullthrottlejazzhand “Dumbbell” – I actually prefer holding a dumbbell between my feet when doing weighted dips and pull ups. Grab a dumbbell, set it on the ground right below your dip or pull-up handles. I normally start at 20lbs and top out with a 55 lbs weight.
Weighted belts seem to put a lot of stress on my lower back and I don't like having a chain running between my legs that close to my Johnson. It's also a lot quicker switching weight than changing out weights on a belt.
Results – 80% of the results suggest using a dumbbell between your knees or holding in your feet. Other ideas were very unique and great like the seatbelt and dog leashes.
Among all other compound exercises, dips come with many appealing benefits for those starting to exercise. You can even add weight to kick up the level of your strength and muscle mass to another level.
For anyone wondering “How to add weight to dips without belt?” I hope this article has given you enough pointers on how you can do it. Best of luck with your fitness goals and thank you for reading.