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How to Do Weighted Dips for Bigger Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps

Do you want better push strength and numbers in the gym?  Want to add mass and definition to your chest, shoulders and triceps for an impressive look?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this article is perfect for you. In this article We will guide you on how to incorporate weighted dips into your routine to achieve a chest, shoulders and triceps. Weighted dips are a version of dips that specifically target the muscles in your upper body. To perform them effectively follow these steps;

  • wearing a dip belt with weights attached to it
  • wearing a weighted vest or a heavy backpack
  • holding a dumbbell between your ankles

If you want to do weighted dips make sure you have body weight strength. If you're not experienced with weighted dips, start by doing dips to practice the movement and build your strength. In this article we'll delve deeper into the advantages, technique and different ways to do weighted dips.

Why You Should Do Weighted Dips

Weighted dips can help strengthen the muscles in your:

  • chest
  • shoulders
  • triceps
  • upper back
  • lower back

When performed correctly incorporating dips into your upper body workout routine can contribute to increasing muscle mass. Additionally this exercise has the potential to enhance your strength, for exercises such as bench presses, overhead presses and push ups.

Another advantage of including weighted dips in your workout regimen is the ability to engage opposing muscle groups simultaneously. This is primarily attributed to the fact that dips are classified as chain exercises. In these exercises you firmly press your hands or feet against a surface. In this case bars. The beauty of exercises lies in their effectiveness, in targeting opposing muscle groups concurrently while isolating and working on specific muscles you intend to strengthen.

What equipment do you need?

Weighted dips are commonly done using a dip machine. They can also be referred to as dip stands, dip stations or parallel bars. In fitness centers you might find a dip assist machine that utilizes weights to provide assistance in pushing your body weight.

The other equipment you’ll need includes:

  • a weighted dip belt
  • weight plates
  • a dumbbell (optional)

You can purchase dip belts and weight plates online. Considering the equipment needed,  it might be convenient to do weighted dips at a gym. However if you prefer to perform them at home you have the option to buy your dip station online. Smaller dip stations can also be used for practicing dips. They are usually lighter  in weight and closer to the ground so they may not provide support for dips.

How to Do Weighted Dips

Follow these steps to do weighted dips safely and with good form.

  1. Start by wrapping your dip belt around your waist, chain side in front. Take the chain end with the carabiner on it and drop it through the belt loop so the belt can tighten. Attach your weight plate to the dropped side before looping it around, and clip it back to the other side of your belt.
  2. Mount the dip bar facing outward. Hold onto the bars as you hold your body at arm’s length — arms and elbows straight and locked. Keep your head in line with your trunk, wrists in line with your forearms.
  3. Inhale as you slowly start to lower yourself by bending your elbows until they form 90-degree angles or slightly lower. Keep your elbows close to your body and don’t let them flare out.
  4. Exhale as you push yourself back up to the starting position by extending your elbows until they are straight and locked again.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Safety Tips for Weighted Dips

Weighted dips are a challenging exercise that can put a lot of stress on your shoulders, elbows, and wrists. To avoid injury and get the most out of this exercise, follow these safety tips:

  • Warm up properly before doing weighted dips. Do some light cardio and dynamic stretches to increase blood flow and mobility in your upper body.
  • Start with a light weight and gradually increase it as you get stronger. Don’t use too much weight that compromises your form or range of motion.
  • Use a spotter or a dip assist machine if you need help with the exercise. Don’t try to do weighted dips alone if you’re not confident in your strength or technique.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back and don’t shrug them up as you perform weighted dips. This will prevent shoulder impingement and rotator cuff injuries.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and don’t let them flare out as you perform weighted dips. This will prevent elbow strain and tendonitis.
  • Keep your wrists in line with your forearms and don’t bend them excessively as you perform weighted dips. This will prevent wrist sprain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Don’t lower yourself too much or bounce at the bottom of the movement as you perform weighted dips. This will prevent shoulder dislocation and joint damage.
  • Don’t lock out your elbows too hard or hyperextend them at the top of the movement as you perform weighted dips. This will prevent elbow injury and inflammation.


Weighted dips are a way to enhance the size and strength of your chest, shoulders and triceps. They offer the added benefit of engaging muscle groups while targeting specific areas you want to work on.

To perform weighted dips you'll need a dip machine, a dip belt, weight plates and possibly a dumbbell. You can also customize your weighted dips by adjusting your leg or torso positioning or by using types of weights.

It's important to note that weighted dips can place strain on your joints. To prevent any injuries and maximize the benefits of this exercise make sure to follow technique guidelines and adhere to safety precautions. Now equip yourself with some weights and embark on your journey, with dips! 💪

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.