Using a weighted dip belt can really help increase the intensity and challenge of your workouts, making them more fun and engaging.
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What is a Dip Belt?
A dip belt, also referred to as a hip belt in many instances, refers to large leather or fabric belts that go around your hip area with dangling chains to which you can attach weights to. Dip belts are commonly used for exercises like dips or pull-ups as a form of bodyweight exercising. They focus on strengthening your chest, triceps, and front shoulder muscles.
Choosing a Weighted Dip Belt: Features to Look For
When you’re shopping for a weighted dip belt, there are a couple of aspects to pay attention to pick the right one for your workout routines. In this section, I’ll go over all the main ones. Don’t worry; most of the available dip belts on the market are super well-constructed since they’re used in gyms, so the chances of you going wrong with a choice are very slim.
When it comes to materials, you’ll typically find three variants: leather, neoprene, and nylon. Leather belts are superior in terms of rigidity and support, but neoprene and nylon provide you with more comfort thanks to their flexible design and padding. If you want durability, go for neoprene.
If you’re very serious about your weighted dip belts, you should opt for leather belts as they usually have a higher capacity for added weights. With a leather belt, you’ll be able to add 4-6 weights of the Olympic size, which makes them the ideal option for bodybuilders.
Length and Type of Chain
A chain that’s 34 inches or longer should be suitable for an average-sized person. Still, it depends on how many weights you want to add, but going for more than 44 inches is going overboard.
As for the type, steel chains are known for their superior weight capacities and are more durable than their nylon counterparts. However, they might feel uncomfortable for people who aren’t yet well-versed in using dip belts.
While some belts are strap models and don’t come with a chain, they’re a lot less durable than chain ones. However, they’re superior in terms of portability, so they suit coaches that move from one gym to another during their day.
Yes, the dip belt on its own is far from heavy, but not when you’re carrying a bunch of other gym equipment along with it, including gym shoes, clothes, water, and so on.
While most dip belts come in one size to fit all, some brands offer 2 or 3 different sizes to choose from. In this case, you pick the one that suits both your waist size and height. As a general rule, the bigger your waist and the taller your height, the longer the chain, belt, or strap, needs to be.
Also, most dip belts come with a buckle, and some use velcro. If you’re looking for precise sizing, you should opt for velcro as it gives you more room to fit the belt as you please, unlike buckles that are spaced out in a fixed manner.
200 to 300 pounds is the average weight capacity a dip belt can handle. In this case, more isn’t always the merrier as it depends on how much weights you’re planning to work out with. You can save some money by refraining from higher weight capacities that you’re not going to use.
You’ll want to make sure your pull up bar can accommodate the amount of weight required.
How to Wear a Dip Belt
There are two ways to wear a dip belt: threaded and unthreaded.
This applies to belts that come with a ring. First, before threading the chain through the weight, make sure to thread it on the other side of the belt. Then, attach the chain to the belt. You don’t have to worry about the belt sliding down your hips as the weight pulls the chain, in turn, tightening the belt around your waist.
This method is really secure and enables you to leave the belt on when you’re taking a break between one session and the next. However, it’s more likely to ruin your clothes as it pinches them or might even pull a hole in them.
Also, you can’t go too high with the weights as they begin pulling too tightly around your waist, and you would probably have to unclip the weights during your breaks.
Some belts come with no ring, in which case you’ll have to follow the unthreaded method. This is where you thread the chain through the weight before you attach it to the opposite side of the belt. Once you get into the dipping position, the belt doesn’t slip down, thanks to the friction between it and your behind.
Though it’s a little questionable before you try it, your body’s natural position during dips is slightly diagonal, which creates sufficient friction to keep the belt from slipping down.
This method is a lot better for people who want to add a lot of weights. The more you add, the more the belt becomes secure during dips. However, in a standing position, it’s likely to slip. But that’s also why it’s super easy to take the belt off in-between sessions.
Also, the unthreaded method uses less of the chain length compared to the threaded counterpart and poses less risk on your clothes. However, you may need to put your knees into action to stop the weights from swinging during training.
How to Use a Dip Belt
While they have “dip” in their names, dip belts are actually useful for more than just this one exercise. You can use them for pull-ups, chin-ups, and as a surprise for some, squats. Since they’re wrapped around your waist, they’re good for a myriad of workouts, and it depends on how creative you can get.
Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups
Dip belts are most commonly used for pull-ups and chin-ups. By adding dip pelts to these exercises, you’re better able to target your biceps and back. Especially with chin-ups, you work more on the biceps. If you’re aiming for an attractive upper body, use dip belts for pull-ups and chin-ups!
This is the obvious one! Dip belts are also used for dips, which serve the same functions for the upper body that squats serve for the lower body. If you’re currently working out to enhance and strengthen your triceps, chest, and front delts, dip belts will come in handy!
Just be careful; your wrist and shoulder joints need to be super fit to avoid getting injured. The dip belt’s added weight will add pressure to your wrists, so you need to be up to it. Start off light, and gradually add more weights.
On the note of squats, dip belts will help you achieve tremendous results for your lower body when accompanied by squats! It’ll empower you to de-load your line while managing to squat heavy at the same time, so dip belts are a game-changer here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are Weighted Dip Belts Worth It?
As a home gym enthusiast, I say yes with all the conviction in the world. When it comes to building strength and muscle mass, weighted dip belts are a fantastic way to quicken the process as well as make it more enjoyable and appropriately challenging.
Why buy a Weighted Dip Belt?
Weighted dip belts are pretty useful and motivating, but there are two main reasons everyone that works out eventually needs a weighted dip belt:
Making Your Workouts More Intense
Bodyweight alone is a good way to exercise but to actually build muscles, you have to challenge yourself beyond the comfort of your body weight, and a weighted dip belt is one of the best ways you can do so.
Generally, if you can go beyond 10 to 12 reps without your muscles giving out, it’s time to add more weight to keep moving on with your progress.
Keeping Your Back Safe
Back injuries are quite common nowadays, especially with all of us sitting on our computers all day long and usually not in the best posture. Weighted dip belts allow even people with herniated disks to do workouts like squats with hefty weights.
This is because dip belts take the weight that usually sits on your back and hangs it on your waist, preventing pressure from straining your spine. Consequently, your glutes, hamstring, and quads will handle all the weight instead of your back.
The Best Weighted Dip Belts
Now, let’s discuss the details of my top weighted dip belts so that you can make a more well-informed decision when choosing the one for you.
Best Overall: Harbinger
The one-size-fits-all, chain-style Harbinger dip belt is 30 inches long with a maximum weight capacity of 260 pounds. You can equip it with 1 to 4 Olympic 45 plates.
The steel chain and the carabiner mechanism make it easy to add weights and attach discs to perform dips and chin-ups. Despite their fragile look, the carabiners are strong in the face of the 260-pound limit.
Polypropylene makes it durable, and with the heavy-duty steel grommets that secure the chain to the belt, you’re in good hands.
People with back problems, rejoice! The Harbinger belt’s contoured design provides your back with support and fits well during vigorous workouts.
Lastly, the belt comes with material to prevent the belt from pinching or pulling holes in your clothes.
- 260 maximum weight capacity
- Contoured design to fit tightly around any waist
- Doesn’t pinch or pull holes in your clothes
Most Versatile: DMoose Fitness Dip Belt
Whether you’re looking for a belt for CrossFit, weightlifting, pull-ups, bodybuilding, or more, the 36-inch, heavy-duty DMoose belt is an excellent choice, handling up to 225 pounds.
With this one, you can easily enhance your stability and strength while staying safe and supported. I liked how wide the belt is and that it’s contoured, making it very comfortable.
Moreover, it’s double stitched and made of heavy-duty yet breathable neoprene, making it absolutely durable. Also, it doesn’t contain any PVCs or lead, preventing it from absorbing any odors.
The DMoose comes in 5 colors, including black, gray, gray camo, blue, and the stunning American pride color.
Finally, the belt comes with a lifetime guarantee for replacement or a full refund.
- Comes in five colors, including American pride
- Environmentally-friendly, PVC- and lead-free construction
- Heavy-duty steel chain
- Durable neoprene fabric that doesn’t absorb odors
Best Value: Dark Iron Fitness Dip Belt
The Dark Iron dip belt is the most durable on our list, made from 100% genuine reinforced leather. Say goodbye to breaking, tearing, or wearing out!
Although it’s the longest at 40 inches and has the highest weight capacity of 270 pounds, the belt doesn’t dig into your hips. It’s very well-padded, providing you with maximum support and no pain.
It’s also not bulky and is pretty lightweight, enabling you to load up to 6 Olympic plates seamlessly.
Also, the heavy-duty metal buckle combined with the adjustment strap work on fitting the belt tightly on your waist, so there’s no room for falling down.
Lastly, this belt boasts a black and red combination that gives you an edge while working out.
- 100% genuine reinforced leather construction
- Lifetime warranty
- Comfortable pillow-like padding
- Equipped with two quick-release spring clips
Now that we’re done with the reviews and buying guide, I hope you’ve understood all the tips and tricks of choosing a weighted dip belt. If you’re still not sure, here’s a quick recap.
If you’re looking for the best weighted dip belt, the Harbinger is definitely the one you should opt for. It comes with a suitable maximum weight capacity, length, and durability.
The DMoose is the most flexible option, which makes it versatile enough to cover plenty of training options and, consequently, makes it the best option if you’re looking to target various muscle groups.
Finally, if you’re looking for a bang for your buck, you should opt for the Dark Iron belt. Though it comes at the same price, it comes with the highest weight capacity, longest design, amazing padding, and is made of genuine, reinforced leather, making it super durable.
Whichever option you go for, remember to take it slow and don’t take on more than you can handle!