How To Do Dips At Home: The Amazing Upper Body Workout

how to do dips at home

Do you want to train your triceps and chest, but too lazy to go to the gym? Then you can do some simple dips at home with a good dip station. If you don’t want to spend a dime, you can learn how to do dips at home using some sturdy furniture.

Yes, dips can be performed using your chairs, the edge of your bed, or even your kitchen counter. When I heard about these alternatives from a friend, I immediately did some of my own researching and testing. If you’re interested to know, here are some dip exercises that you can do at home.

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What You’ll Need

For Option 1

Dip Station

What You’ll Need-For Option 1

If you have a room specially allotted for your home gym and you got the bucks, then I recommend you buy a dip station. Not only will you have a great equipment for chest and triceps dips, but you can also perform several exercises, like leg raises, chin ups, and pull ups.

When buying for a dip station, look for a solid metal construction that can support a weight of about 400 pounds. The grips may either be made of knurled metal or rubber. While the knurled metal grips provide a good hand traction, they may not be as comfortable as the rubber grips. For great stability, look for a wide base.


For Option 2

Exercise Bench

What You’ll Need-For Option 2

To perform your triceps dips effectively, then you can consider getting an exercise bench for your home gym. The bench will support your body while doing the dips.

Not only will it help you in working your triceps dips, but it can also be a good investment for more future workouts. If you want your dips to be effective, look for a firm base that’s a bit lifted and wide.


For Option 3

Chairs/Stools

What You’ll Need-For Option 3

If you don’t like to spend more for a dip station, you can use two sturdy chairs or stools, not on a rolling or swivel chairs. Make sure that the chairs that you’ll use are of the same height. As possible, look for taller chairs that can keep your knees off the floor in the bottom position.

To perform a triceps dip, you can also use one chair to support your body as you do the dip. Again, look for a solid chair with a stable base that can support your body weight. You don’t want the chair to snap in the middle of your routine.


Kitchen Counter

What You’ll Need-For Option 3

Yes, you read this right, you can use the V-shaped corner of your kitchen counter. As compared to standard parallel bars, you can have the liberty to get a wider grip for that big ripped chest that you've always wanted.

If your counter has no V-shaped corner, you can use another solid piece of furniture to rest the other side of your hand. What I normally use is a sturdy table.


Parallel Bars (Playground)

What You’ll Need-For Option 3

If your home is near a playground, check for a pair of parallel bars. If you’ve seen one, then you can do your chest dips outside. I know this will be a bit embarrassing with the kids playing around so set a time where there are no one around, most probably at dawn.


Other Solid-Based Furniture

You can also use the edge of your couch and bed to do your triceps dips. In substitution of an exercise bench, you can use any regular bench you have at home. If you want your dips to become harder, you can elevate your feet with a foot rest. A box, small table, or chair can work as a good foot rest.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Option 1: Dip Station


The dip station is a great option to work both your triceps and chest. This strength exercise is perfect for those who have intermediate level skills.

1. Get Into Starting Position

If you’re working your triceps, face the dip station. If you’re trying to target your chest, then face away from the dip station with your hands on the dip bars, hold yourself up in the air and keep your feet together. Contract your glutes and abs to stabilize your body.


2. Lower Yourself Downward

Now, inhale and lower yourself down slowly. As you descend, your glutes and core should remain contracted. As possible, lower yourself as far as your shoulder flexibility can go.Throughout the movement, make sure to keep your elbows close to your torso. Concentrate on keeping your head and chest up.


3. Push Your Torso Back Up

Once fully descended, exhale and try to push your body back to starting position. Use your triceps to push your torso back up. Repeat as necessary.

Variation: If you’re an advanced lifter, you can consider using a weight belt that enables you to add some weighted plates. This will bring more resistance to the traditional dips.


Option 2: Exercise Bench

Step-By-Step Instructions-Option 2

An exercise bench is a great option to target your triceps, which are the muscles at the back of your arm. If you’re a beginner, then this strength exercise might be perfect for you.

1. Get To Starting Position

Grab an exercise bench and place it behind your behind your back. The bench should be perpendicular to our body. While looking away from the bench, hold on to its edge with your hands at shoulder-width and fully extended.

Extend your legs forward and bend at the waist. For beginners, keep your knees bent. As you progress, you can extend your legs further until you have them completely straight.


2. Lower Your Body

As you inhale, lower your body by bending at the elbows until your arms are perpendicular to the floor. As possible, keep your elbows close and your forearms pointing down.


3. Bring Your Torso Back Up

Bring your torso up again by squeezing your triceps. You should be lifting yourself back to the starting position. Repeat according to a number of reps necessary.


Option 3: Free Alternatives

If you have no dip station or exercise bench, you can choose any of these free alternatives that you can easily find in your home.

For Chest Dips

Chairs/Stools

Step-By-Step Instructions-Option 3

Get two sturdy chairs or stools and stand between them. Make sure that the backs of the chairs are facing towards you. Once you’ve set up the chairs, hold the backs of the chairs and lift your torso up with your legs tucked underneath.


Kitchen Counter

If your kitchen counter has a V-shaped corner, do the free hanging dips. Resting your hands on the counter, hoist yourself down and up with your knees bent. If your kitchen counter has no V-shaped corner, get another piece of sturdy furniture to rest your other hand.

Last time, I used the table in our kitchen. Before you do the dip, balance the height of the table with the counter. If the table is too short, add some books to level the height with the counter.


Parallel Bars (Playground)

Step-By-Step Instructions-Option 3

Do the dips in parallel bars like you would on a dip station. Grab the bars, descend slowly, and push your torso back again. If the parallel bars are short, you can bend your knees while doing the dips.


For Tricep Dips

Chair/Table/Bench

Step-By-Step Instructions-Option 3

Like you would do with an exercise bench, position your hands on the edge of a chair, table, or any regular bench. You can bend or extend your legs, depending on your preference. If you want the exercise to be harder, you can get an additional chair or box to elevate your feet off the ground.

Tips For Success

Keep The Proper Form

Keep The Proper Form

To make your dips effective and safe, Stronglifts recommends keeping the proper form. When gripping the bars, use a full grip. Your forearms should be vertical from all angles.

Before you lower yourself, chest up. Never roll your shoulders forward or shrug them either as you go down. Inhale as you go up and exhale as you go down.

Mix Things Up

If you’re no longer breaking a sweat on your dip exercises, it might be time to increase the intensity. Fitstream suggests adding an additional weight on your dips. You can try these options: a weighted vest, dipping belt, or dumbbells. The higher the weight, the more difficult your dips will be.

To increase the difficulty of your dips, you can use gymnastic rings. As the rings move freely, they can be safer and easy on the joints.

Final Thought

Final Thought

Did you enjoy learning how to do dips at home? Some of the free alternatives that you can use are chairs, kitchen counter, and tables. If you have the budget and space in your home, you can purchase a dip station or an exercise bench. If you want to progress with your dip routines, you can try adding some weights or using a pair of gymnastic rings.

Have you tried doing dips at home? Let us know what home equipment you used in the comments section. If you like this article, you can share this with your friends and family who you think might need this the most.

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