How To Do Dips At Home

How To Do Dips At Home & The Best Exercise Variations

Jonathan Scorey

Dip workouts are an excellent way to improve your upper body strength and tone your muscles. They target your chest, triceps, and shoulders and can be straightforward at home. In this simple guide, we'll explain various dip exercises, equipment options, and helpful tips!


Dips involve lowering and raising your body using your arms. They engage multiple muscle groups, making them an efficient way to strengthen your upper body. With different variations and minimal equipment, dip workouts can fit into any home workout routine.

gym clothes


Chair Dips (Beginner)

Bodyweight dips are a convenient and effective exercise for working your triceps, chest, and shoulders at home. All you need is a sturdy chair or bench. Follow these steps to perform chair dips correctly.

  • Choose a sturdy chair or bench: Make sure it's stable and won't slide or tip over during the exercise. You can place it against a wall for added stability.
  • Position yourself: Sit on the edge of the chair or bench with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands on the edge of the chair, shoulder-width apart, with your fingers pointing forward.
  • Shift your weight: Slide your hips off the chair, keeping your body close to the edge. Your arms should be fully extended, supporting your body weight.
  • Lower your body: Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body towards the floor. Keep your elbows close to your sides and your shoulders down and back. Your goal is to reach a 90-degree angle with your elbows.
  • Push back up: Once you've reached the lowest point, push through your palms and extend your arms to lift your body back to the starting position.
  • Repeat: Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps, depending on your fitness level. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of sets and reps.

For beginners, you can bend the knees and keep the feet flat to make the chair dip easier. Allowing you to lift the body weight more easily. As you get better at the exercise, try extending your legs straight out in front of you, resting only your heels on the floor. To make the workout harder, put your feet on another chair or elevated surface. Making the workout more challenging and effective, using more muscle groups.

Chair dips

Parallel Bar Dips (Intermediate)

Parallel bar dips are an excellent exercise for building upper body strength, specifically targeting your chest, triceps, and shoulders. If you don't have access to a gym or a dedicated dip station, you can still perform parallel bar dips at home with a few alternatives. Here's how -

Option 1: Using Two Sturdy Chairs

  • Find two sturdy chairs of the same height that can support your weight without tipping over. Make sure the chairs have a flat surface and no wheels.
  • Position the chairs parallel to each other, with a shoulder-width distance between them.
  • Place your hands on the edge of each chair, palms down and fingers pointing forward.
  • Step back, extending your legs out in front of you. Balance on your heels and keep your body straight.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows until your shoulders are below your elbows.
  • Push back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.

Option 2: Using Parallel Bars on a Playground or Outdoor Fitness Area

  • Find parallel bars at a local playground or outdoor fitness area.
  • Grip the bars with your palms facing inward and arms extended.
  • Jump up, lifting your feet off the ground and keeping your legs bent or straight, depending on your preference.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows until your shoulders are below your elbows.
  • Push back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms.

Always make sure that your makeshift parallel bars are stable and secure before trying dips at home.

Parallel bars

Kitchen Counter Dips (Intermediate)

Kitchen Counter Dips are a convenient and effective way to work on your upper body strength in different ways. Here's how to perform them using your kitchen counter -

  • Find a secure corner: Look for a sturdy corner of your kitchen counter that can support your body weight. Make sure the surface is clean and free from any objects.
  • Position yourself: Stand with your back facing the corner of the counter. Position your hands on the edges of the counter, about shoulder-width apart. Your fingers should be pointing forward and gripping the counter surface firmly.
  • Set your feet: Step forward, placing your feet out in front of you with your knees slightly bent. Your body should be leaning back at an angle, supported by your arms.
  • Lower your body: Engage your core and keep your chest up as you bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor. Your elbows should bend at a 90-degree angle, and your forearms should remain vertical. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and back throughout the movement.
  • Push back up: Press down into the counter, straightening your arms and pushing your body back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat: Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps, depending on your fitness level.

Always maintain proper form and control during the movement to prevent injuries and maximize muscle engagement. As you build strength, you can progress to more advanced dip variations or increase the number of repetitions.

fun dip


Incorporating advanced triceps dip variations into your workout routine can help challenge your muscles and promote growth. One option is the Straight Leg Triceps Dips, where you perform chair dips with your legs straightened. This variation places more emphasis on your triceps, increasing the intensity of the exercise. Another variation to consider is Bench Dips with Feet Elevated. To do this, rest your feet on another bench or chair while performing chair dips. This elevation increases resistance and engages your triceps more effectively. These advanced triceps dip variations target and isolate the triceps muscles, making them a valuable addition to your home workout routine.


If you want to make your dip workouts at home more challenging, use weighted dips. A dip belt will challenge your muscles and make it more intense. You can add resistance to your parallel bar dips or chair dips by using a weight belt or holding a dumbbell between your legs. Always keep good form while doing the exercise, because this advanced variation will help you gain more strength and muscle in your upper body.


  • Dip Bars - Also known as parallettes, are a fantastic option for at-home dip workouts. They're portable and affordable, so people choose them to do dip exercises without spending a lot of money or space. Dip bars can be used for various exercises, including dips, push-ups, and L-sits, making them a versatile addition to your home workout equipment.
  • Dip Stations - For people who want a more stable piece of equipment for their dip workouts, dip stations or power towers are a good choice. These stations are good for dips and have extra features, such as pull-up bars, for a more complete upper body workout. While they may require more space and investment than other options, dip stations can enhance your workout experience and promote progress.
  • Gymnastic Rings - If you're short on space or looking for a versatile piece of equipment to perform dip workouts and other exercises, gymnastic rings offer an excellent solution. These rings can be hung from a ceiling mount or a pull-up bar. This allows you to do exercises that include dips called "ring dips." Gymnastic rings are a space-saving and adaptable option that can be easily incorporated into your home workout routine. providing an added challenge due to their instability, which requires additional strength and balance. - Great for building all-round muscle mass

Gymnastic rings


Prioritizing safety and proper technique is crucial for an effective and injury-free dip workout experience. Begin each session with a warm-up to prepare your muscles and especially the shoulder joint for the exercise.

Resistance band warm up

The best way to prepare your upper-body muscles like the shoulder muscles is with this underrated piece of equipment

Warming up with resistance bands before performing dips can help prepare your body by increasing blood flow, activating muscle groups, and improving mobility. Some effective warm-up exercises include band pull-a parts, shoulder dislocates, banded face pulls, banded tricep extensions, and banded chest presses. Aim for 10-15 repetitions of each exercise, focusing on slow and controlled movements. This brief yet effective warm-up routine will make sure your upper body muscles are activated and ready for your dip workout.

Start with beginner-friendly exercises and gradually progress to more advanced variations as you build strength and confidence. It's essential to listen to your body and stop immediately if you experience any pain or discomfort. Consistently maintaining good form throughout your workout will not only help prevent injuries but also maximize your results. Lastly, every person's fitness journey is different. Stay motivated by focusing on your progress and avoiding comparing yourself to others.


Incorporating dips into your workout routine can greatly enhance your upper body strength, overall fitness, and contribute to well-developed chest muscles. Dips effectively target the pectoralis major, the large fan-shaped muscle in the chest, helping to tone and sculpt the upper chest area. By performing chest dips with a slight forward lean and a wider grip, you can further emphasize chest muscle engagement. Additionally, a tricep dips exercise can be included to strengthen and define the muscles at the back of your upper arms.

To get the most out of your dip exercise, it's important to stay consistent, aiming to include dips 2-3 times per week. Mixing it up by alternating between different variations and intensities will keep your muscles challenged and prevent plateaus. In addition to dips, consider combining them with other exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and rows for a well-rounded and comprehensive workout. Track your workouts and see how you're improving over time. This will help you make changes and see your progress. By following these tips, you can successfully integrate dips into your workout regimen, achieve your fitness goals, and enjoy the benefits of a stronger and more defined upper body.

Overall dip workouts are a fantastic addition to your home workout routine. By understanding the different exercises, equipment options, and safety tips, you can successfully strengthen and tone your upper body. Remember to be consistent, maintain proper form, and progress at your own pace!

gym clothes for men


Interested in learning how cold therapy can improve your strength training recovery? Check out our recent post on the main benefit and common mistakes made when using cold therapy for muscle recovery and more.