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How to Do Chest Dips at Home | 6 Unique Ways to Do Dips

Apr 16, 2018

So, you’re wondering how to do chest dips at home, huh?

One of the most difficult challenges of working out at home is trying to find techniques and tricks that will allow you to mimic all of the same movements that you normally do at the gym.

If your goal is to get a muscular chest and arms, then read on to explore the various options for how to do chest dips at home.

best dip belt in 2018If you are creative and think outside of the box, you will see that it is possible to target your pecs, triceps, as well as your core, when doing chest dips in the comfort of your own home.

But, before we talk about how to do chest dips at home, I must recommend checking out our weighted dip belt.

Made with genuine leather, a strap that can hold 6+ Olympic plates, and has an adjustable strap — this will take your dips to another level.

Now, let’s get back to discussing how to do chest dips at home, and get into the 6 unique approaches.


Why Should You Do Chest Dips?

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - wide chest dips for dips at homeYou don’t need dumbbells or barbells to get a strong, chiseled chest.

One of the best way to boost your upper-body strength, while developing a more muscular chest and arms, can be done with just your bodyweight.

Chest dips can be very challenging for beginners, but the benefits are obvious.

They stimulate both the pectoralis major and minor, and the triceps, like no other exercise.

Dips allow you to work a wider range of your chest musculature.

When you perform dips, you hit the outer area of your pectoral muscles much easier than you could with the bench press or even pushups.

When you do dips less of the deltoid muscle of your shoulder are activated.

Your pecs are forced to work harder to push you back up.

When performing dips you are also engaging your core—your abs, glutes, and back—so that you maintain the correct posture as you raise and lower yourself back to the starting position.

Now you might say to yourself, “Dips sound like a great addition to my chest workout but if they’re hard to do at home then maybe I should just forget about them.”

But wait—there are quite a few ways you can do chest dips at home.

Related: How Effective Are Chest Dips?


A Dip Station for Your Home?

How To Do Chest Dips At Home - Dip Station

Dip stations are versatile and a good investment for a home gym.

A dip station with an attached pull-up bar can run anywhere from $75 to $200.

A more economical option can be a basic dip bar, which would be much cheaper.

However, if you are going all out on your home gym, why not splurge on a versatile piece of equipment?

Power towers are often one of the best ways to perform dips and get the best leverage for dips.

If you want a big chest and the ability to control your body weight in a safe way, one of these machines could be right for you.

Related: The Top 5 Best Pull-Up Stations of 2018


What to Do if You Don’t Have a Dip Station?

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - No Money for EquipmentMaybe you don’t have the room for a dip station or are having trouble finding one that fits your budget.

Perhaps the person you live with or your family will not accept having such large workout equipment in the home.

Don’t worry, there are ways to get around this.

You truly don’t need to invest a lot of money to do chest dips outside of the gym.

Sure, these may not all be how to do chest dips at home, per se.

But, these are 6 ways to do chest dips in a unique way without access to a gym.


1. Playground

How To Do Chest Dips At Home - Chest dips with parallel bars

If you live near an apartment complex, or a school with a playground, go check it out.

Instead of wondering how to do chest dips at home, why not do your chest dips outside?!

If the park or playground has a pair of parallel bars or monkey bars that are spaced shoulder-width apart, you can do dips with no problem.

In other words, get creative and see if you can make do with a dip station that wasn’t meant to be a dip station.


2. Chairs/Bar Stools

How To Do Chest Dips At Home - Chest dips with chairs

If you have a few sturdy chairs at home that are the same height then dips are possible.

Of course, the taller the chair the easier it will be.


You can also use the backrest of two chairs.

Use a wide grip by placing the chairs farther apart, and flair your elbows out to your sides as you lean your torso forward.

This style of grip will give you a much better workout.

Keep in mind that this method might take some time to get used to and you will need good core strength, especially since you will have to tuck your legs up.

Exercising your lower abs regularly will help you hold this position and maintain strict form and a full range of motion for your dips.

So, the next time you want to know how to do chest dips at home, just do them between two chairs.


3. Your Kitchen Counter

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Kitchen Counter DipsWhen you start looking around you will find that you can do dips almost anywhere.

The V-shaped corner of your kitchen counter can work.

You can fit your body into the empty space where the counter meets in a corner.

Place one hand on each side of the counter and hoist yourself up and down with your knees bent.

Be careful that the countertop isn’t too slippery on your hands, as this could cause problems.

But, regardless, this is a great way to perform dips.

The next time you ask yourself how to do chest dips at home — look to your kitchen.

They say muscle is built in the kitchen, right? :)


4. The Back of a Straight Couch

Stand behind a couch with a straight edge and you can do front dips there.

Place your hands on the edge as you lower down with your chest angled towards the front and lift back up again.

This may be one of the more unconventional ways to do your chest dips, but it does work.

And, as far as how to do chest dips at home, this is one of the easiest to simulate.

Almost everyone has a couch they can use to do this style of dips.

Instead of being a couch potato, be a couch professional.


5. A Pair of Saw Horses

How To Do Chest Dips At Home - Sawhorse Dip StationYou can get a decent set for under $50 and they can even be folded away when not in use.

These won’t take up any room when space is at a premium.

Furthermore, if you can’t store them away, put a board of wood across them and use it as a table.

This is such a great way for how to do chest dips at home.

The versatility of the exercise reflected in the versatility of saw horses.

Always be sure your saw horses are stable and well built, though.

Don’t try this on a pair that is cheaply made and doesn’t withstand your weight!

Related: Doing Chest Dips at Home


6. Random Object Parallel Dips

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Parallel Railing BarsLook around your house for two objects that are parallel to each other and the same height.

This could be the footboard of your bed and the dresser that is right across from it.

Simple, right?

You can literally find any identical items that are parallel or can be made parallel and you now have a dip platform.

Don’t ask how to do chest dips at home when you can simply make it possible with what you have in your house.

You may have to start on your knees because the furniture could be too low to the ground, but you can push your body up and down with your knees bent behind you.

See what you find around the house and see what you can come up with!


Two Different Dip Exercises

There are two methods for performing dips — each one will target the chest and tricep muscles differently.

  • When dips are done with an upright torso, they will target more of your triceps.
  • When you lean your torso forward during dips the movement will target your chest.

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Chest Dips vs Tricep Dips

Here’s how to do dips correctly:

  1. Start at the top with your arms straight. Actively push down with your shoulders and continue to do so throughout the exercise. This will activate your lats, which are important for keeping your shoulders safe.
  2. To start the dip, inhale and puff out your chest. To activate the right muscles imagine you are trying to pull yourself down, but an invisible force is actively resisting you.  Descend slowly and without pausing at the bottom, push with your arms and shoulders simultaneously and return to the starting position.
  3. Your forearms should be vertical, from the front and from the side. You should be using bars that are approximately shoulder-width apart.
  4. Keep your head in a neutral position. Don’t raise your chin up when the reps get harder or you could end up with neck pain.
  5. The shoulders should be pressed down at the top. As you go down, they will naturally raise up and back a little. Don’t consciously try to do this: just know that it happens and that it is OK.


The Most Important Thing to Remember When Doing Dips

The first priority when doing dips is to not let your shoulders roll forward.

How To Do Chest Dips At Home - Dark Iron Fitness Dip Guide

When you’re able to perform 10 to 12 reps of dips in one set with only your bodyweight, you’ll be ready to add resistance with a weight belt or weight vest.

Start slowly with weighted dips, adding only 10 pounds at first, and perform three sets of six to eight reps with the added weight.

And if you work out at home, grab a backpack and put some heavy books inside.

This will give you an awesome simulation of being weighed down, which adds natural resistance to your dips.

However, if you really want to know how to do chest dips at home with more resistance, then I suggest looking into a dip belt.

Our 5 star-rated Dark Iron Fitness leather weightlifting dip belt meets all the requirements to get you even more results from those dips.

Related: Buyers’ Guide: The 5 Best Weighted Dip Belts For 2018


Dips are a Great Assistance Movement

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Chest Dips MusclesLet’s face it, dips are one of the best assistance exercises you could possibly do.

Dips will help improve your bench and overhead presses since they strengthen all the pressing muscles you need for those two lifts.

Simply by adding more weight to your dips, you will eventually progress with these two presses.

This is another justification for doing dips, adding more weight and resistance, and practicing them outside of the gym.

Basically, you should know how to do chest dips at home because you’ve been progressively overloading at the gym, so now it’s time to take dips everywhere with you.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Do Dips at Home


Dips are Challenging

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Challenging Chest DipsDips are not an exercise that most beginners will be able to perform right away.

You need significant strength not only to push your entire body weight up but you need strong stabilizer muscles in your shoulders, upper back, and core to maintain the right positioning.

A rule of thumb is that you should be able to do at least 10 push-ups before starting dips.

This will ensure that you have the necessary strength for the movement.

The push-up is a very similar exercise to the dip, just with less of your own weight being utilized, and therefore easier.

Related: Dips vs Push-Ups


Options For Beginners

You can start off by doing negative dips at home:

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Doing Negative DipsNegative dips are excellent for beginners and allow you to develop the necessary strength to take on the more challenging exercises.

They also allow you to get a feel for the exercise and assess the strength of your chairs.

  • Start by placing two sturdy chairs a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • From here place your palms on the chairs and lift yourself up off the ground by extending your arms. Bend your knees up to 90 degrees and engage your core. This is your starting position.
  • Once you are off the ground, slowly lower your body down by bending at the elbows until you’re the bottom part of your chest aligns with the top of the chairs.
  • Now place your feet back on the ground and use your legs to help your arms raise you back to the starting position – this is one rep.
  • Progress when you can do 3 sets of 10 negative dips with 60 seconds of rest between each set.

Related: How to Do Dips at Home Without Equipment


Final Thoughts on How to Do Chest Dips at Home

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Dips at Home with Table and StoolThe number one benefit of being able to do your workout right in your home, whenever you want, is convenience.

The ease and accessibility of being able to do chest dips from home will help you stick to a fitness routine.

You won’t be able to use many of those popular excuses, such as, “It takes too much time to drive there,” or “I don’t want people staring at me and watching what I do.”

Now you can just exercise whenever you want and wherever in your home.

Say goodbye to adjusting your gym schedule.

No more waiting for group workouts.

And of course, no more waiting on the dip station to be free.

Remember, if you become a pro doing at-home chest dips, then you should invest in our genuine leather dip belt as a way to up the ante!

How to Do Chest Dips at Home - Dark Iron Fitness Dip Belt

Keep it safe, though, and be careful you don’t break anything in your house.

If you ruin some furniture, chairs, countertops or couches — you may have to dip out of your home before you get blamed.

Hey, I’m just giving you the tips, you need to implement them correctly.