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Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt

Aug 25, 2018

Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt - Dark Iron Fitness Dip BeltSo, you’re looking for unique ways to use your dip belt.

You’ve got a dip belt, right?

Well, I hope so!

Using just your body weight to train is great when you have little-to-no equipment or very little room to train.

But you know that if you want big powerful arms, shoulders, and an upper back, you’ll need to add major resistance.

Look no further than a dip belt.

Go beyond the usual exercises by finding out unique ways to use your dip belt.

You can get some serious overload training by using a dip belt to add resistance.

Dips are one of the best compound movements for building the chest and triceps.

Dips are the bigger, meaner brother to standard push-ups.

Check out Dark Iron Fitness’s Leather Dip Belt, that has almost a perfect rating of 4.7 stars

Pushups are one of the go-to upper body moves in any bodyweight-only training routine.

Dips are what you want to do when pushups aren’t enough anymore.

In addition to the usual chest dips and pull-ups, there are more unique ways in which to use your dip belt.

Related: Benefits of a Dip Belt

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Our Dip belt fits both men and women. It's made of top quality materials that never stretch, break, or tear. Thanks to the adjustable waist strap and buckle, it's comfortable to wear and won't slip or fall off.

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Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt: Change Your Grip for Pull-Ups

Changing your grip is an easy way to enhance your pull-ups when using a dip belt.

An overhand grip will train the upper back and lats.

An underhand grip will change the focus to the biceps and middle back.


Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt: Chest Dips vs. Triceps Dips

Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt - Tricep Dips with Dip BeltDid you know that you can easily change the focus of the dip exercise from your chest to your triceps by making a slight variation in your body position?

While in position on the dip stand, lean your upper body slightly forward and flare the elbows.

This will make your chest muscles work harder at moving the body.

Keeping the upper body upright with the elbows drawn inward will focus the resistance back onto the triceps.


A Dip Belt for Building the Lower Body

Believe it or not, you can also use a dip belt for building the lower body too.

Many people with lower back issues find it very difficult to do traditional barbell squats.

You can try heavy dumbbells, but then you have to worry about your grip strength.

Dip belts are a great option because you can load up your squats without worrying about hand strength or the risks that come with traditional barbell squats.

Related: Using a Dip Belt to Get Big


Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt: Hip Belt Squats

By wearing a dip belt around your waist when squatting, you unload the spine and put all of the stress on your legs.

This is great for people with back or upper-body injuries who still want to squat heavy.

Back-pain sufferers often struggle with the spinal compression and shear that comes from axial loading.

Hip belt squats are very helpful since the hips and legs take on a majority of the load.

It also works well for anyone with an upper extremity injury to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand.

They may find themselves struggling to support the bar during back squats, front squats, or Zercher squats.

It’s also easier for your body to recover from hip belt squats.

It’s similar to a leg press or hack squat machine, only even less stressful on the spine.

It still delivers all the functional stabilization and balance benefits of a free squat.

It’s a great accessory move after performing heavy barbell squats or deadlifts.

Related: Hip Belt Squats


How to Get a Full Range of Motion

Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt - Woman Doing Hip Belt SquatsYou may be thinking that you won’t have a full range of motion if you are using a dip belt for squats.

That is true if you were squatting with your feet on the ground.

A good solution to this problem is to stand with your feet on separate wooden boxes.

Or stand on a couple of stable steps to allow for full range of motion with the plates dangling between your legs.

Now you can break parallel and have a full range of motion in your dip belt squats.

Try doing 3 to 5 sets of 15 to 20 reps with only a minute rest between sets (or go one minute on, one minute off if you prefer a time-based protocol) as a great finisher on leg day.

You’ll get an insane quad pump and burn fat like crazy.


Hip Belt Squats are Convenient and Portable

Another perk to hip belt squats is that they’re portable, making them a great option when the gym is really crowded.

And if your gym only has one rack and it’s being used, you can find a quiet corner or empty stairwell and start squatting.


Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt: Cable Hip Belt Squats

 Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt - Cable Hip Belt SquatThis movement mimics the effects of a belt squat machine without the belt.

You’ll need a cable station and a belt.

Attach the belt to a low cable, walk back about ten feet, and start squatting.

Remember to consciously grip the floor with your toes and push back throughout the set so you don’t get pulled back in by the cable.

The cable keeps constant tension on the quads, even at the top of the rep.

The cable also helps maintain good squatting technique because you have to keep an upright torso with your weight on your heels or else you’ll lose your balance and fall forward.

These are like reverse sled drags in the way they burned your quads from pushing backward.

You’re basically doing that throughout the movement, plus squatting.

You can easily do this move alone, there’s no need for risers, and you can choose whatever stance width is most comfortable for you.

Remember that you won’t be able to use as much weight for this exercise as you would for other hip belt squat variations.


Straddle” Hip Belt Squats

Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt - "Straddle" Hip Belt SquatsFor this movement, you will need a barbell, a dip belt, a carabineer, and something to secure one end of the barbell.

You can also just jam one end of the barbell into a corner and put a heavy dumbbell on top of it, or have a partner stand on it.

The setup is very similar to old-school T-bar rows, only you’re squatting instead of rowing.

With one end of a barbell securely held down, attach a belt to the other end of the barbell and start squatting.

Use 25-pound plates for a greater range of motion.

This method works the same as a loading pin and risers in that you can use bigger loads.

You just don’t have the hassle of getting in and out of position.

It will also let you use a narrower stance if that’s what you prefer.

The weighting of the barbell is much more comfortable since you don’t have the weight dangling between your legs.

This also allows you to sit back farther and keep your torso more upright.

The arc of the barbell makes you push back slightly on each rep, which really works the quads similar to the cable version.


Hip Belt Squats are Quad Dominant

Hip belt squats work your quads more than other muscles, so it’s important to include some posterior chain work (i.e. deadlifts, glute-ham raises, etc.) to ensure that you work all the muscle groups in your legs.

They are a great substitute for people with injuries to the lower back or upper extremities.

This exercise works well for people who have undergone long periods of heavy loading and want to de-load the spine while still working the legs.

If that is the case, it might be best to use the “straddle” variation.

This works better with heavier loads, and you can do 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps instead of your heavy primary exercise for the day.


Great as a Secondary Movement

These can also be used as a secondary movement to help pack on leg muscles.

If that is your goal then it would best to do these after your heavier primary exercise.

You can do either 3-5 sets of 12-20 reps to increase overall volume, or one all-out set of 15-30 reps to failure to finish off the legs.

The cable version works great for higher rep work.


Easier to Maintain Form

During a high-rep back squat, your form can break down due to fatigue and heavy breathing, increasing the risk of back injury.

With hip belt squats, however, it’s much easier to maintain form.

If you run into any problems, just stop the set or give yourself a boost with your hands.

This leads to greater peace of mind so you can work out without fear and just focus on churning out reps until your legs are exhausted.


Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt: Calf Work

No leg day is complete without some dedicated calf work.

Calf machines can be hard to come by at your local gym.

But donkey calf raises, where you hinge at your hips while performing them, are an awesome way to work your calves.

They are even more awesome when you do them while wearing your dip belt.

Donkey calf raises provide both a unique body angle and a maximal stretch at the ankle and knee joint.

You can expect some serious soreness with this exercise and it can spur new growth to a stubborn muscle group.

Try 3 to 5 sets of 20 to 25 reps with a minute rest between sets.

Related: 4 Ways You Can Use a Dip Belt to Build Massive Muscles


Final Thoughts on Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt

Unique Ways to Use Your Dip Belt - Dark Iron Fitness Dip Belt

When using a dip belt to get big, be sure to focus on slow progression over time.

Get familiar with your equipment and know your belt’s weight capacity.

Our Dark Iron Fitness Dip Belt is comfortable and built to last.

Be safe and don’t overdo it as you think outside of the box to explore unique ways to use your dip belt.

When you train smart and eat right, you will get the results you want.


Below: How to Use the Dark Iron Fitness Genuine Leather Dip Belt

You may be interested in our...


Our Dip belt fits both men and women. It's made of top quality materials that never stretch, break, or tear. Thanks to the adjustable waist strap and buckle, it's comfortable to wear and won't slip or fall off.

View Product