T Nation

Chin Ups/Dips Substitutes


Hello. I love this site, as TC has given me something to laugh about and the workout's really make me FEEL it.

I'm currently doing the Waterbury Method and Day 3 requires chin-ups and dips. I workout at hope and don't have access to this stuff. Everything I can do dips off of is either very fragile or low to the ground. At 6'0", my knees ALWAYS touch the ground when I try to do them with a weight bench and my chair. As for chin-ups, the only bar I have is holding up my clothes in my closet.

Any suggestions or substitutions that work the same muscle groups?


I would do decline bench, or decline db bench in place of dips if you can't do them.
Maybe hold the dumbbells with palms facing eachother.

Chins would be more difficult to find a substitute. Maybe just rows or that excersize where you lay down, hold a dumbbell over your chest, bring it back past your head, then come back to over your chest (sorry, I forgot the name).

DB rows with a supinated grip?



Anyways, dec. bench I guess could "sub" in for dips (although dips are just good), and then maybe rows since you're on a horizontal plane anyways with the dec. bench.


I think you were thinking of pullovers.

I work out at home, and my bench doesn't decline. I have adjustable dumbbells, but how much weight should I use if I bench 215?


Do a search on Amazon for "door gym." This contraption fits in a door frame, and provided your moulding is securly attached, you can do pull ups and chin ups from it. It uses leverage to hold it in place, so there's no screws or nails, and it can be placed into a door and later removed in a second.

My only complaint is that I'm 5'11" and I need to bend my knees at a 90 degree angle to keep my feet off the floor during the lower part of my chin/pull ups.

Other that that, there is no subsitute for chin/pull ups, especially if you're working out at home.


CW has recommended putting a couple plates under the foot of your bench to give you a decline angle. You can try that.


The best substitute for chins is band chins. Use bands to help you lift your own bodyweight.


I'm a little confused by this statement. How do your knees touch the ground when doing chair dips? I'm assuming that your legs are up on the bench and your arms on on the chair correct? If so, it would be almost impossible for your knees to touch the ground since they are facing up. I do bench dips in the gym and have no problem with them.

Wait, I think it just dawned on me how you are doing these. Do you have one hand on the chair and one hand on the bench? If so, don't do that! Put both hands on the chair and your feet on the bench. Make sure that the chair and bench are far enough apart that you can have your legs straight and just the heels of your feet on the bench. If this is too easy for you, you can add some plates to your upper thighs/lap for added resistance.