Weighted chest dips are a powerful way to develop upper body strength. By strapping a weight to your waist and climbing into a set of raised parallel bars, you can work your chest muscles to the max by using them to lift and lower yourself for your chosen number of sets and reps. Even if injuries or lack of access to equipment keep you from engaging in weighted chest dips, you can still get a killer workout by choosing moves that work your body in a similar way.
When searching for an alternative to weighted chest dips at a gym, stop looking when you see a chest dip machine. It mimics the movement of weighted chest dips, but it provides additional support for your body and alleviates the strain that comes from holding yourself in a suspended position. Dip machines come in two different versions. One provides support from a knee platform and the other allows you to sit in a padded seat and push down on a weighted lever.
Decline Bench Press
If you want a substitute that offers the support of a weight bench, choose decline bench presses. These moves, which can be done using either a barbell or set of dumbbells, allow you to isolate the chest muscles more effectively than the ever-popular flat bench press. They also reduce the strain on your shoulders, which can be a problem during weighted chest dips.
One of the most basic of all strength exercises -- the push-up -- is also an excellent chest-strengthening workout that can help you replace weighted chest dips in your routine. As one of Bodybuilding.com’s top five chest exercises, push-ups can be as challenging as you want them to be and they are practical to do if you don’t have access to a gym. You can do traditional push-ups or change your hand position to increase the difficulty. Use wide-grip, diamond or staggered-arm push-ups or up the challenge even more by adding a clap in front of or behind your back in between reps.
Another alternative to weighted chest dips is the pec fly, which isolates the chest muscles more than most other moves. Just like bench presses, pec flyes offer the support of a weight bench and reduce the strain of self-suspension associated with dips. They can also be done on incline benches or stability balls to add variety to the movement. Incline pec flyes shift more of the burden to your shoulders and reduce the pressure on your lower back while stability ball flyes work your core in addition to your chest and arms.
- Bodybuilding.com: Dips -- Chest Version
- ExRx.net: Lever Chest Dip (Plate Loaded)
- ExRx.net: Assisted Chest Dip (Kneeling)
- Bodybuilding.com: Decline Barbell Bench Press
- Bodybuilding.com: One Move For a Big Chest: Decline Barbell Bench Press
- Bodybuilding.com: Pushups
- Built Lean: 10 Push Up Variations: Can You Do Them All?
- Bodybuilding.com: Expand Your Chest Dimensions with Flyes
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.