When I first started with exercises such as dips and pull-ups, being able to do two consecutive pull-ups seemed like a distant dream I was unlikely to ever achieve. But with a focus on correct technique, I soon found that these bodyweight exercises became simple.
Now, usually, when we are looking to increase the intensity of our weight exercises in order to continue to make gains, we add weights. But depending on the exercise that you are doing, that can be challenging.
While for squats you can add a barbell or free weights, how do you safely hang onto these when doing exercises like pull-ups or dips?
The answer is, of course, with a dipping belt!
A dipping belt is a wide belt that you wear around your waist that has a chain attached to which you can add weights, to increase intensity while doing certain exercises. The belt should evenly distribute the weight so that you are adding intensity in the safest and most effective way possible.
If you are ready to up the ante on your dipping and pull-up training, we have pulled together a list of the five best dipping belts that you can buy today. We have also put together a complete buying guide taking you through everything to consider when choosing the right dipping belt for you.
But before we get started, let’s take a closer look at why it is so important to add weight to your workout when performing pulling exercises such as chin-ups.
The Importance of Pulling
First, let’s just be clear, pulling is just as important as pushing when it comes to muscle training. You will quickly find yourself off-balance if you are pushing heavy weights, for example on your bench press, but only pulling your body weight, for example on your pull up.
This is because pushing and pulling use different muscle groups.
Pushing uses stabilizing muscles such as the glutes, quadriceps, calves, pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. Whereas pulling activities use the posterior chain muscles such as the hamstrings, latissimus dorsi, trapezius biceps, forearms, obliques, and abdominals.
The muscles used when pulling are predominantly comprised of tendons and ligaments along the back of the body. These are the muscles that feel the greatest negative effect of sitting for long periods, as is common in modern life.
So, if you are pushing heavy and pulling comparatively light, you can quickly find your body out of balance that can lead to serious aches and pains.
5 Best Dip Belts
DMoose Dip Belt with Chain
DMoose offers one of the best standard-size dip belts on the market. It is versatile and will work for most people, so is a great choice if you are looking for shared equipment.
Six inches wide and 33 inches around, the belt is made from moisture-wicking neoprene with superior saddle stitching for durability.
It also has a durable D-ring and an extra-long, adjustable 36-inch chain, which means that taller users won’t feel uncomfortable. It can also take more than 200 kilograms in weight, so has enough strength for even the strongest muscle men.
If you are looking for something distinctive, there are also five different styles to choose from including sleek classic black, grey camo, and even American stars and stripes.
The belt also comes with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. They will replace the belt if it gets damaged, and provide a refund if you aren’t happy in any way.
- 6 inches wide
- 33 inches long
- 36-inch chain
- 200+ kilogram capacity
- Lifetime guarantee
RDX Dipping Belt for Weight Lifting
If you are looking for a budget option, this affordable dip belt from RDX doesn’t compromise on quality.
It is a standard size belt six inches wide to give optimum back support. The belt is durable, made from polypropylene with moisture-wicking webbing. It also has EVA padding around the lumbar region for additional support. This also ensures that the belt won’t slip down, compromising the safety of the exercise.
It features a standard 24-inch HG steel chain for holding the weights. They provide a guide for the maximum weight that the belt should hold depending on your waist size and height.
This is a well-respected brand endorsed by many big names such as the UFC’s Tony Ferguson, bodybuilder Martyn Ford, and boxing champ Zelfa Barett.
- 6 inches wide
- 24-inch chain
- Weight guide based on height
- EVA comfort padding
- Celebrity endorsements
Fire Team Fit Weight Dipping Belt
If you are on the smaller side and find standard belts uncomfortable, then check out the Fire Fit Team range, which has a variety of sizes, including small options for waists smaller than 40 inches.
This belt is made from soft neoprene lined with moisture-wicking material and just enough padding for comfort It is all held together by durable double stitching that can handle the weight.
It comes with a generous 33-inch stainless steel chain attached with reinforced double D-rings and carabiners. The belt can comfortably hold up around 300 pounds.
Choose from four different stylish colours, all featuring the Fire Team Fit logo.
- Small options for waists less than 40 inches
- 33-inch chain
- 300-pound capacity
- Moisture-wicking neoprene
- Four colours
FitPact Dipping Belt
This is another one-size, six-inch-wide dipping belt that will work for most bodybuilders and strength trainers. It is made from heavy-duty neoprene that is designed to be both comfortable and durable.
It has a generous 30-inch stainless steel chain with reinforced D-rings that can take heavy weights up to around 100 kilograms.
Available in three colour options, and with a 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the product in any way.
Farabi Dip Belt
If you worry about your back while carrying heavy loads, get peace of mind with this ergonomically designed belt
This top-quality belt is made from durable synthetic Nylon that is reinforced with WZX core padding for the best possible lumbar and spine support.
The fit is designed to be extra snug for maximum comfort, and also includes an FRG backrest which gives you the ability to change the stiffness of the belt as you like.
It comes with a long 36-inch chain, which is also adjustable to suit shorter pullers. The tri-needled fleece pic thread means that this belt can manage extreme heavy weights. Choose between black and red style options.
- Synthetic Nylon
- Additional back support
- 36-inch chain
Weighted Dipping Belt Buying Guide
We’ve shared our recommendations for the best dipping belts, but if you want to make your own assessment of other options, these are the primary elements that we suggest that you pay attention to.
Most dipping belts come one size fits all. The average belt is six inches wide, with a 25-inch chain for hanging weights, which should fit most body types with a varying amount of open space at the front of the belt.
But if you are on the petite side (especially women), or you are very large, you might find that these belts are uncomfortable and don’t distribute the weight across your mid-section in the right way.
So, if you are smaller, you might want to look for slightly narrower belts with a shorter chain, so that you don’t have to worry about the weights hitting the ground. If you are bigger, you might want a wider belt with a longer chain so that the weights aren’t uncomfortably close to your body.
As well as considering chain length, you can also choose between a chain and a leather strap. A strap means that the overall belt is a bit lighter, which can be a benefit when it comes to transport, but you won’t be able to attach weights as heavy as if you choose a chain option.
Whatever belt you choose, it is going to be made from a durable material such as leather or neoprene. Which is more comfortable will depend on you.
They will have various levels of padding, which is designed to make the pull of the weight around your mid-section more comfortable. How much padding you need will depend on how sensitive you are around the waist.
It is a good idea to look for a moisture-wicking material that pulls sweat away from your body, especially if you sweat a lot when working out. Something that is easy to wash to get rid of the musky workout smell is also a good choice.
Belts will have a maximum weight that they can safely hold, and you will need to consider if this is enough for you both today, and as your training progresses.
Most belts are safety checked to hold up to 200 pounds. But if you are very strong, you might want to look for a heavy-duty belt capable of holding a bit more.
Are you looking to build big muscles? You might also be interested in our complete guide to protein and using protein powders.
Dipping Belt Exercises
So, which exercises should you actually be using a dip belt for?
Chest and Tricep Dips
Dipping belts were designed specifically to add weights to dipping exercises – hence the name. Not only is the dipping belt the best way to add weights to the exercise, which would otherwise be impossible to hold, but the positioning of the weights with the belt brings your hips back and your shoulders forward, which is the perfect position for the exercise.
Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups
When you are working with a pull-up bar, again, a dipping belt can be one of the few possible ways to add weight. Though you do need to be conscious of what the hanging weight does to your body position during the exercise, and only add weight while you can maintain good form.
Belt squats are performed with each of your feet on a raised surface and the weight for your squat added around your waist and hanging between your legs. This is an ideal exercise if you struggle to hold heavy weights on your shoulders due to spinal problems. It also means that all of the weight is loaded onto your posterior chain, which should also increase the intensity of your exercise.
You can also increase the effectiveness and intensity of push-ups by performing them on a raised surface with weights attached using a dipping belt. This will seriously engage your core as you work to keep your body rigid, as well as working your chest, arms and shoulders. It is better to grip a barbell while performing this exercise rather than place your hand directly onto a raised surface as this can put a considerable strain on your wrists.
If you don’t have a sled harness, use your dipping belt turned around backward to perform sled pulls which basically just involves moving forward while pulling considerable weight.
Are you doing your strength work at home? Read our complete guide on building strength and muscle at home.
Are dip belts worth it?
Yes, it is worth incorporating dip belts into your weighted exercise program. This is because in order to build even muscle strength you need to work both your pushing and pulling muscles. While it is easy to add weight to pushing exercises (such as a bench press) it can be challenging to add them to pulling exercises (such as a pull-up). This can lead to muscle imbalance that can actually cause you pain. Dip belts are a key tool for addressing that imbalance.
How much weight can a dip belt hold?
How much weight a dip belt can hold depends on the make of the belt, but it is normal to expect them to hold between 200 and 300 lbs. However, you may be advised to use a lower maximum weight depending on your height. This is a safety precaution linked to how the weight is distributed across your lower back.
Do gyms have dip belts?
Your gym may or not include a dip belt among the equipment that they offer. It depends on their setup. Most gyms will not have a problem with you bringing your own dip belt if it is not something that they provide, or if you need a special size belt.
A dipping belt is a great way to add intensity to many pulling exercises, which are essential for muscle balance but are often neglected. It is much harder to load weight to the body while doing a pull-up than while doing a bench press.
A dipping belt is a safe and effective way to add weight to a variety of pulling exercises such as dips, pull-ups, belt-squats, and sled pulls.
A dipping belt is a simple piece of kit, so it is not hard to find one that works. But finding one that is durable enough to last despite the heavyweights it is called on to pull is more challenging. If you are on the petite side, or quite tall, finding one that is the right fit can be a bit more challenging, but certainly not impossible.
- Pull Your Weight: The Importance of Pulling Exercises – FIX
- You Need A Dip Belt – Here’s Why – GYMREAPERS
- The Benefits of Using a Dipping Belt – MyProtein US
- 4 Ways You Can Use a Dip Belt to Build Massive Muscles – Men’s Health
Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API