If you’re one of the fitness enthusiasts who love working out at home and looking for alternatives to bar dips workout, you’ve come to the perfect place. I’ve shared eight ways to do dips at home that require no special equipment other than those you already use in your house. Learning how to do dips at home in several ways give you more options to choose from while creating a bodyweight workout plan for yourself.
Dips are inexpensive ways to build a muscular upper body, primarily the triceps. They are compound exercises which means they work on multiple muscles simultaneously, including primary movers and stabilizer muscles. And their different variations help improve strength, mobility, and flexibility throughout the upper body in the comfort of your own home.
Muscles Worked During different Variations of Dips Workout
The dip workout is one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen and build your upper body muscles, such as the triceps, chest, shoulders, abs, and biceps.
However, the three primary muscles engaged during the different dip variations are below.
Triceps: The tricep is a three-headed muscle (long, lateral, and medial head) located on the back of your upper arms, opposite the biceps muscles. And it is the primary muscle work during bench, floor, and kitchen counter dips.
Chest: The upper chest is the second muscle work after the triceps during dips, especially the parallel bar dips.
Dips Exercise Benefits
Here are some of the crucial benefits of doing bodyweight dips:
- Dips are excellent for developing upper body muscles, especially the triceps. An ACE-sponsored study has shown that dips quickly and effectively tone and strengthen the triceps muscles.1 ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises By Brittany Boehler, B.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., Dennis Kline, M.S., C. Russell Hendrix, Ph.D., and Carl Foster, Ph.D., with Mark Anders So, if you have limited time, you can do dips to build sturdy triceps.
- Dips stabilize and strengthen muscles and efficiently help you perform other compound exercises such as bench press and military press.
- Most of us are unaware that dips also help you improve flexibility and improve your calisthenic movements.
- Some types of dips workouts are suitable for all fitness levels—for example, chair triceps dips, kitchen counter dips, and floor dips.
The 8 Best Ways To Do Dips At Home
- Using A Chair
- On The Floor
- On The Kitchen Counter
- Using a Table
- On A Sofa
- Wearing a belt, dumbbell, or weighted school bag when you a do weighted dip
- Parallel dips on a pair of chairs
- On The Floor or Chair If You Do Single-Leg Dips
If getting a dip station in your home gym isn’t possible, you can use any of the above ways to perform dips at home. Below is the step-by-step guide on how to do dips at home using different things.
1. Chair Dips
The chair dip, also known as tricep dip, is an excellent exercise to engage all three heads of triceps muscles. It is easy, effective, and requires no special equipment other than a chair, and you can easily do it in the comfort of your own home, irrespective of your fitness levels.
Here’s how to do a chair dips at home:
- First, stand against a chair so that your face is facing away.
- Then, sit on the chair with your arms straight at your sides and feet flat on the ground.
- Position your hands properly, lift your butt off the chair and slightly move your torso forward while keeping your arms straight on the chair.
- Spread your legs in front of you with your heels touching the ground.
- Bend your elbows and lower your body as low as possible.
- Pressing through your hands, extend your elbows until your arms are entirely straight. That’s your one rep. Aim for three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
2. Floor Dips
No worry if you don’t have a chair, bench, or box because you can still perform dips on the floor. The floor dip, sometimes called child dip, helps strengthen and tone upper arms with no equipment.
It requires you to use the entire body weight, so it also works on the lower body and improves your overall body balance.
How to do a floor dip at home:
- Sit on the floor with your hands at your sides and knees bent to 60-90 degrees.
- Keep your arms straight underneath your shoulders and lift your hips 6-8 inches off the floor.
- Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor as deep as possible.
- Then pushing through your palms, extend your elbows until you feel the full contraction in your triceps. That’s your one rep.
- Aim for three to four sets of eight to ten reps.
3. Kitchen Counter Dips
You can do a counter dip in the kitchen of your home. Almost every kitchen countertop has a corner where you can perform several exercises, including dips. The counter dips primarily work on the pecs and triceps and helps you to build muscles at home.
However, it is slightly challenging compared to other dips workouts. Because during this exercise, you have to press the entire body weight like push-ups.
Let’s see how to perform a dip using a counter’s corner in your house kitchen:
- Stand upright in front of the kitchen counter corner, place your hands on it, and slightly lean your torso forward.
- Hoist yourself up, bend your knees to a 60 to 90-degree angle, and keep your legs crossed.
- Bending your elbows, lower your body until your knees close to the floor.
- Pushing through your palms, extend your arms in a controlled range of motion until they are straight. That’s one rep!
- Aim for three to four sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
4. Tabletop Dips
The tabletop dip is an easier variation of dip exercises. It is similar to a chair dip but on a table., so you can perform either of them.
How to tabletop dips at home.
- Sit on the edge of a table with your arms straight at your sides and knees bent to 90-degrees.
- Keep your palms firmly on the bench and tightly grip the edge with your fingers.
- Dip down as much as possible and then press back to return to the initial position.
- Keep your back straight during the entire movement, and make sure your elbows are tucked into your sides so that they don’t flare outward.
- Shoot for two or more sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.
5. Front Dips on Sofa
If you have a sofa or couch in your home, you can even do dips on it. The couch dip strengthens the tricep muscles, stabilizes the shoulder joint, and improves balance.
Steps to perform sofa dips at home, especially in the living room:
- Sit on the couch with your hands beside you and arms straight.
- Walk your feet out, bend your knees, and make sure your torso is perpendicular to the floor.
- Bending your elbows, dip down until your butt is close to the floor.
- Extend your arms until you feel the full contraction in your triceps.
- Do as many sets and reps as you want.
6. weighted dips at Home
If you want to challenge your strength or scale up your fitness level, you can add additional weights to a dip workout.
For example, you can clamp a dumbbell between your feet, wear a weight belt or straps with a heavy object; use a weighted vest, or put a school or college bag on your shoulder with books or other stuff in it.
You can use weight in any dip variation that suits you the best.
7. Parallel Dips
You don’t always need a dip machine to perform a parallel bar dip. You can even do that by using a pair of chairs. Doing parallel dips on chairs helps enhance grip strength, solidify triceps, and improve mobility so you can perform other tricep bodyweight exercises efficiently, such as diamond pushups and ring dips.
To perform parallel dips at home:
Position two chairs with some space between them where you can dip. Place your hands on them and keep your arms straight. Next, slightly lean forward, hoist yourself up and bend your knees behind. Now, perform dips as many times as you can.
If the chairs wobble, you can place them under the mat and put heavy objects on them, or ask your friends or family members to sit on chairs while you perform dips.
The other alternative to a parallel bar dip is ring dip which you can do on a gymnastic ring.
8. Single-Leg Dip
If you want to improve your balance while gaining strength in your upper arms, you can try single-leg dips. The single-leg dip is an advanced variation of home dips exercises that require to keep your one leg off the floor. You can do it on the floor or on the bench.
How to perform single-leg dip at home:
- Sit on the floor with your hands at your sides.
- Walk your feet out and bend your knees at 90-degree. Make sure your torso is perpendicular to the floor, and your arms are straight underneath your shoulders.
- Hoist your butt, and lift your one leg off the floor.
- Bending your elbows, lower your body toward the floor, and press back through your palms as you push yourself up. That’s one rep.
- Do two or more sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
FAQs about Dips Workout
How many dips should you do?
You can do as many dips as you like. In this article, you’ve seen several ways to do dips at home, so try to perform as many variations as possible.
Can you do dips every day?
Dips are a compound exercise that works on several muscles at once throughout the upper body. And it can also be done in several ways, so if you like to do it every day, you can try different variations on different days.
Are dips better than pushups?
Pushups and dips are great exercises for increasing strength, mobility, and muscular hypertrophy; however, they are not comparable. Both are good. Pushups work more chest while dips engage more tricep muscles, and a combination of both helps build a muscular and solid upper body, especially pecs and tris.
- 1ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises By Brittany Boehler, B.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., Dennis Kline, M.S., C. Russell Hendrix, Ph.D., and Carl Foster, Ph.D., with Mark Anders