Compared with some muscles, the triceps aren’t that big but they are oh-so-important. They assist the upper body with several different movements including the bench press, therefore, training them is essential. And, as they make up about two thirds of the upper arm, they can make your arms look massive if you train them hard.
So, ask yourself — are you doing enough to train them?
Dips can help you build stronger triceps, and thus, stronger pecs.
However, there will come a point along your fitness journey where you will stop and say, “Hey, wait. That was TOO easy!” when performing tricep dips.
Don’t stall and stop here. Getting too comfortable will cause your body to plateau and you will need extra weight to put your body into high gear and pack on more muscle. A dip belt can help you add more weight, easily.
If weighted dips have you feeling stuck, read on. Learn about the benefits of doing weighted dips, and how to utilize this upper body exercise for optimum gains.
What is a Weighted Dip Belt?
In case you’re not familiar, a weighted dipping belt is a thick belt (usually made from thick fabric or leather) that sits around the hips. It’s adjustable, so you can fit it to your liking. It also has an attachment that can hold several weighted accessories such as kettlebells, dumbbells, or weighted plates.
The chain and weight will dangle in front of you, falling in between your legs, adding your desired amount of resistance when performing exercises. Bodybuilders will use a dip belt to increase the intensity of an exercise. The belt’s purpose is to help you build strength and muscle mass.
The Benefits of Doing Weighted Dips
First off, using a dip belt makes exercising more interesting! If an exercise is too easy, you’ll simply go through the motions. Your drive and excitement towards exercise can diminish. What sounds more exhilarating? Doing 100 body weighted squats? Or loading up the barbell and testing your PR with a higher weight? Obviously, the latter.
Furthermore, weighted dips can also help you build more strength in your back, biceps, triceps, and shoulders! A belt allows you to implement the rule of progressive overload, which is the fundamental law that keeps your muscles growing bigger and stronger.
Using a belt will also build your stamina! Imagine walking up a steep hill with an additional 25 kilos. Now imagine walking up the same hill with nothing but your bodyweight. One sounds substantially easier than the other. Your body will recognize the difference and adapt accordingly.
The dipping belt is also comfortable to wear, compact, and easy to fit into any gym bag.
Lastly, you can do several exercises with a weighted belt, not just dips. Although it’s called a dipping belt, you can definitely get creative with your workouts to get more bang for your buck!
Who Would Find It Beneficial to Use a Dip Belt?
Don’t run a marathon if you can’t walk yet. Learning the basics of an exercise is far more important than jumping into something too difficult for your body to handle! Weighted dips are for people who have already master the simplest form of the exercise — the unweighted dip. You can perform these with the assistance of a machine, which is aptly named the dip assistance machine. You can also train your way to using a weighted belt by performing dips on a bench.
The bottom line? Intermediate exercisers and bodybuilders should use this fitness accessory, as beginners may have a harder time adjusting to the additional weight.
If you’re new to exercise and want to give this accessory a try, opt for easier exercises, such as weighted squats.
Some Great Exercises That Use a Dip Belt
Building a new routine around your new dipping belt? Here are some of the best exercises you can use with this awesome fitness accessory.
Dips are the first exercise on our list, as it’s difficult to add resistance to this movement in the traditional sense. You can’t hold plates, barbells, or a kettlebell while performing this exercise, so opt for a belt, chains, plates, or dumbbells.
2. Pull ups
Pull ups are similar to dips, since they are typically done without any weights at all! Challenge yourself and add more weight using your dipping belt. You won’t be able to perform as many reps with added weight, but you will get stronger along the process! You can also try chin ups, which work your biceps.
You can also use a dipping belt for squats. Stand on an elevated surface so the dangling weights do not crash onto the floor. The additional height will also help you increase your range of motion while wearing this accessory.
Swap a traditional deadlift with a barbell for one with a weighted dipping belt. Again, you’ll need to stand on a bench or box to perform the exercise properly.
Walking is such an underrated exercise. It can help you burn more calories and stay active throughout the day. It’s also low-impact, making it an ideal exercise for many people who can’t fit traditional workouts into their day due to old age or injury.
If you want to burn more calories on your daily walk, consider wearing a weighted belt or vest. The resistance will make the walk more difficult, but as a result, you’ll likely burn more calories while carrying the extra load.
6. Hip Thrusts
The hip thrust has been hailed as one of the most useful exercises for the glutes! However, the set up is tricky. This exercise requires you to rest a barbell on your hips and thrust upwards while lying on a bench. This can feel uncomfortable for some individuals. However, swapping out the barbell for a dipping belt can prove to be more convenient and comfortable.
So, How Do You Use a Dip Belt?
To avoid injury, familiarize yourself with the proper, and thus safest, way to wear and use a belt.
Start by unclipping the chain on your belt, then secure it around your waist. It should NOT feel like it’s constricting you. However, it shouldn’t feel like it’s going to slide off your body either. Take the chain and drop it through the loop on your belt. Wrap the same end of the chain around any weight of your choice. Clip it to your belt.
If you opt for a dumbbell, you may need to wrap the chain around the handle several times before exercising to ensure it doesn’t tumble to the ground while working out!
Before purchasing, you also want to consider these next few factors. First, the materials and the chain. If you’re planning on doing some serious heavy lifting, opt for a metal chain for durability. Fabric is another option if you’re planning on using lighter loads when exercising.
Why Is Additional Resistance Important?
If there is anything we want to drive into your head, it’s that extra resistance can completely change the results of any given exercise. The variables of your workout routine affect your physique in the end — if you’re exercising in a higher rep range (more than 12 repetitions per set) you won’t make significant gains.
By doing too many reps with light weight, you fail to exercise in a way that promotes strength and size. Hypertrophy and strength training are achieved when you stay in a lower rep range. To add intensity, add more weight NOT more reps.
The goal is not to burn the body out, but to increase your strength levels by pushing your body through heavy lifting. You can also use a weighted vest, however, these have limits. Many only go as heavy as 30 or 40 kilos. There are entirely more possibilities with a belt.
The Difference Between a Weighted Dip Belt and a Weightlifting Belt
There are several fitness accessories out there that can improve your fitness game. As discussed, using a dip belt is a smart way to add a level of difficulty. However, there are two types of weightlifting belts, each different but useful depending on your goals.
To understand the difference, and which one is best for you, ask yourself this question.
Are you looking for intensity or support when weightlifting?
If you answered intensity, then a weighted belt is your best pick. As we’ve discussed, this adds a layer of difficulty to your workouts and allows you to follow hypertrophy-based workouts.
However, if you’re looking for more support while weightlifting, a standard belt is your best pick.
It supports your lower back when performing exercises like deadlifts and squats so that you can comfortably increase your range of motion — without feeling like your back will cave in!
There can be cause for confusion, as they are both used by weightlifters to optimize their performance in the gym.
Weighted dips are incredible, though difficult. Note, that you shouldn’t attempt this exercise until you get a standard tricep dip down perfectly. Learning how to perform this exercise should be your main concern before challenging yourself to this level. However, once it feels too easy, upgrade to a belt. This should serve as a reminder to never get too comfortable with where you’re at in your fitness journey — always find new ways to push yourself so you never stall.