Chin-ups, pull-ups, and dips can be a great way to strengthen the muscles in your upper body, but once you reach a certain strength level, these exercises don’t offer much in the way of gains.
That’s what a dip belt is for — it allows you to add extra weight to your pull-ups and chin-ups while keeping that weight centered. There are easily dozens of different dip belts available on the market, so to help you get started we’ve found a few of the best.
What Is A Dip Belt Used For?
Dip belts are a tool that is used to add additional weight during bodyweight exercises like chin-ups, pull-ups, dips, and squats.
It is a belt, similar to a traditional weightlifting belt, with a chain attached to the front. The chain lets weights hang between your legs while you’re working on arms and chest muscles.
It can be used for squats too if you stand on boxes or athletic steps that are shoulder width apart.
Traditionally, dip belts are designed to be used with barbell plates but if you don’t have any barbell plates, you can attach anything with a handle to the chain.
You can use anything from bags of rocks to jugs of water, as long as they can be safely secured to the chain via a carabiner. If you’re not familiar with the term, a carabiner is a clip used to secure ropes for rock climbing.
How Does A Dip Belt Stay On?
Dip belts use the weight of the barbell plates or other items that you have attached to stay in place, spreading the load across your hips.
Most don’t wrap completely around your waist like traditional weightlifting belts but instead are designed with wide swaths of leather or other material to provide additional support and spread the weight out more evenly.
Thin dip belts may slip off more easily. They will also be more uncomfortable, depending on the amount of weight that you’re lifting, because there isn’t enough material to spread out the weight across your hips and lower back.
If you’ve got small hips or are worried about your belt slipping off during your workout, look for a model that wraps completely around your waist and buckles.
How Can I Adjust My Dip Belt?
If your weights are hanging too low, most dip belts can be easily adjusted by shortening the chain that holds your weights.
If your chain has a clip at one end, wrapping it around your weight more than once can help to shorten it so your weights hang properly. If that fails, you can run the chain through the clip point on the belt and clip it to itself.
Some dip belt models might have an adjustable waist strap, but you would have to look for that in the belts specifications.
Other options include belts that have multiple clip points for the chain.
Low hanging weights can make arm exercises more difficult because it throws off your center of balance, so it’s important to make sure that the weights hang correctly to prevent injury during your workout.
How Much Weight Can A Dip Belt Hold?
The weight limit of a dip belt will depend on the materials used in its construction, as well as the type of stitching. Some professional dip belts have an upper weight limit of 1000 pounds or more.
You would think that leather belts would be the strongest. You’d be right in some cases, but a lot of budget leather dip belts are on the market — great if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a dip belt, but they won’t hold a ton of weight.
Some nylon belts, on the other hand, have weight ratings of over 30,000 pounds! While you won’t be hanging that many weights on your dip belt when you start working out, it’s useful if you decide to hook your belt up to a small car!
How To Choose A Dip Belt
There are a few things you should look for when you’re choosing a dip belt for yourself, including:
- Maximum weight — How much weight can your dip belt hold, and how much weight are you planning to lift? If you’re just starting to work with a dip belt, you can start with a belt that has a low maximum weight, but if you’re planning to do some serious heavy lifting, invest in a belt with a higher maximum weight limit.
- Material — Most dip belts are made of leather, nylon, or vinyl, though you might find a few made of materials like neoprene. Some materials are more comfortable than others. Leather belts, especially the heavy duty ones, can be stiff and uncomfortable until they’ve been used for a while.
- Size — The majority of dip belts are going to be considered one size fits all, they may not fit individuals with small waists or hips. Check out the belt length to see if it is dramatically longer than your waist size — if so, you might want to look for an adjustable belt or one that has an overall shorter length.
- Chain Length and Attachments — Most dip belt chains will run around 30 inches in length. Depending on where you prefer your weights to hang, a longer or shorter chain might accommodate you better. Adjustable chains will eliminate this problem as well.
Most of the information that you need to choose the perfect dip belt for you is available on the product listing, but if you’ve still got questions or concerns, reaching out to the seller or heading to your local fitness product store is also an option.
Ask questions and get all your answers before you order. If you’re still not sure how to use a dip belt even after you’ve had your questions answered, there are plenty of videos online that will teach you how to use your new dip belt.
Harbinger Polypropylene Dip Belt
The Harbinger Polypropylene Dip Belt is a great budget option if you’re just getting started with dip weight lifting.
Constructed of thick leather reinforced with heavy duty steel grommets, this dip belt is adjustable and designed to be one size fits all.
A 30-inch steel chain is paired with a heavy-duty carabiner to make it easy to add or remove weights, and it’s more than long enough to hold multiple weights. The leather might be stiff to use at first, but it will soften up with use and fit snugly to your back or hips.
- Adjustable one size fits all belt
- Single piece leather and reinforced steel grommets
- 30-inch chain is adjustable for different heights
- Thick material provides good back support
- No way to secure belt in front for hip squats or other exercises
- Will likely slip off users with smaller waists
Dip Belt by Rip Toned
If you need something a little softer than a leather belt, then the Dip Belt by Rip Toned is a good option. This heavy duty dip belt is made of heavy duty nylon, reinforced with stitching. The 34-inch chain will easily accommodate any barbell plates, kettle bells, or other weights you choose to use.
The belt itself is fully adjustable, making it easier to use for people with smaller waists or hips. For dips, weighted squats pull ups, or chin ups, this belt is an ideal choice.
- Nylon construction provides high-quality strength
- Belt can be hand-washed if necessary
- 34-inch chain is longer than most other belts on the market
- Fully adjustable belt perfect for users of all size
- Belt has only been tested up to 200lbs, may fail under higher weights.
- Chain might be too long for shorter users
Advanced Dip Belt for Lifting
A nylon lifting belt is a great tool for anyone who wants a heavy duty weight belt without the stiffness of leather, then the Advance Dip Belt for Lifting, should be on your list. This belt is 100% nylon with reinforced stitching and can be used for dips, squats, lifting, and anything in between.
Instead of resting on your hips, this belt secures around the waist with Velcro straps. It also utilizes a nylon band to hold your weights rather than a chain.
This can be a pro or a con, depending on how you’re choosing to use the belt. If you prefer a chain, it the strap could easily be switched out with a one and a couple of strong carabiners. Plus, instead of having just two clip points, the Advanced Dip Belt has 3, making it infinitely adjustable.
- Versatile — can be used for more than just dip workouts because it secures around the waist.
- High quality 100% nylon with strong, reinforced stitching
- Adjustable nylon sling for weights which can be replaced with a chain if preferred.
- Nylon sling will not hold up to heavy use.
- Sizing can be tricky — May need to order a size larger to get the best experience.
Grizzly Leather Dipping Belt
If you’re looking for a classic leather dip belt, the Grizzly Leather Dipping Belt is one of the best on the market. This belt utilizes multi-layer leather construction paired with reinforced stitching to create a strong belt that will stand up to 100lbs consistently with no problems.
While it has a large reinforced section that rests in the small of your back, the smaller bands that connect to the chain might dig into your hips if you load it up with higher amounts of weight.
- Solid leather construction and reinforced stitching
- Solid steel chain and snap closure are perfect for weights or dumbbells.
- One size fits all design
- Smaller side straps may dig into your hips with higher weight
- Half-circle metal ring that connects chain to leather doesn’t always hold
Spud Inc Belt Yellow 1 Strap
A lightweight but strong dip belt is sometimes all you need, so a soft belt made from strong webbing might just fit that bill. The Spud Inc Dip Belt is made of webbing, though there is no information available on the actual construction material.
It has a 10’’ x 6’’ back pad and two thinner straps that lead to two feet of chain attached by two carabiners. If the chain is too short, it can be easily replaced with a longer piece of chain. The actual belt is black, contrary to the items name because yellow stains too easily.
- Lightweight webbing material is strong but doesn’t add tons of extra weight
- 35” overall length, with 2 feet of adjustable chain that can be easily replaced
- Soft material is comfortable to wear
- Reinforced stitching increases overall item strength
- Thin straps might cut uncomfortably into hips or legs of smaller users
- Chain might be too short for some users (comes with 2 feet of chain)
Wrapping It Up
If you’re looking for a dip belt, hopefully, we’ve answered your questions and helped you decide which belt is best for your needs. If you need to add additional resistance to your bodyweight exercises, a dip belt is the best way to do that.
So, who’s the winner of our dip belt roundup?
Overall, the Advanced Dip Belt for Lifting is the best overall dip belt of the ones that we’ve reviewed thus far. It’s reinforced nylon stitching can hold up to hundreds of pounds of weight and can be adjusted to fit nearly any waist.
As an added bonus, it can be used as a traditional lifting belt, in addition, to dip exercises, making it more versatile than traditional dip belts.
The three chain attachment points make it much more adaptable than a lot of the other dip belts on the market. When you put all that together, the Advanced Dip Belt is the clear winner and the best option for anyone looking to add additional resistance to their workouts.