I’m going to tell you the truth… there is no good substitute for Dips. Every gym should have a place to do Dips. Dips are the upper body Squat – meaning they are one of the BEST upper body exercises in existence.
The results you will receive from Dips are simply amazing. If you work hard on them and start adding weight with a belt, your strength will increase very quickly with them. You’ll notice huge changes in your upper body – especially your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
If you workout at home and don’t have a place to do Dips, you can get creative. For example, I have strapped two bars parallel to each other to the safety stands of my squat rack. You just have to be careful and make sure it’s safe. It’s not difficult to build a set of dipping bars out of lumber either.
If you have the money to purchase a chin up and dip station, I would definitely do so.
Low Cost Chin Up and Dip Station: Weight Limit is 250 pounds
Higher Quality Chin Up and Dip Station: Weight Limit is 300 pounds
When you’re ready to add weight to Chin Ups and Dips, you can get a belt for adding weight.
Trust me. You will be adding weight in no time. This program works that well. I’ve seen people not able to do one chin up in the beginning to doing 10 or so by the end of this program. You can do the same.
And just so you know what’s possible with adding weight for Chin Ups and Dips, I’ve seen people do them with almost 200 pounds added. Personally, I’ve added well over 100 pounds at a body weight of 240 pounds.
So please get yourself a place to do Chin Ups and Dips… they are great exercises that have no comparable substitute. Pull downs are no replacement for Chin Ups and there is nothing that mimics the Dip movement (triceps pushdown not even close if you might be thinking that).
Quick Tip: make sure you warm-up well for Dips and especially before doing them with heavy weight. Use front and rear arm circles to get your shoulders ready before you do dips. And do a couple of body weight dips at a slow rate and nothing explosive before starting your working sets (if you're adding weight).