T Nation

Dip Alternative


What is a movement that I could substitute in for dips? I am currently working out at home (local gym went out of business) and doing ABBH I. I do not yet have a place to do dips here. On day 5 I believe, it calls for them and chinups. I've heard bench dips are bad on your shoulders, so what should I do instead?


Decline push-ups (get your legs as high as you can - just start elevating them higher and higher, eventually try to do upside down push-ups!). Also, I don't believe bench dips are bad for your shoulders. I do them from time to time and never have problems - easier than regular dips if you ask me. Have you ever had a problem with them? If not, don't rule them out.



If you are looking to hit the upper chest, you could try those "decline pushups." However, the dip primarily works the lower fibers of the chest and the "decline pushups" are actually an incline exercise because you are pusing above parallel to the body. Try decline barbell or dumbell bench presses.


Bench dips are great or a pair of chairs can work, or a pair of stools, pair of saw horses. Dips are one of the easiest movements to find something to use to complete them just use a lil imagination.

Hope that helps,


Heavy Close Grip Bench Presses, bring it low...


Decline close grip bench presses are a great alternative. Your hand width on the bar should be about 12" apart. If you do not have a decline bench at home, just do them flat. As Charles Poliquin said, do not result to doing the "geek dips" already mentioned.


Decline bench presses and decline close-grip bench presses.


If I remember correctly isn't Day 5 in ABBH I vertical plane push/pull? If that's the case then shouldn't a vertical push like military press be included? The other exercises are fine substitutes but aren't they predominantly horizontal push?



Actually dips are a verticle press and decline is near it. As in up and down following your body. Horizontal as in laying down or not parallel to your body a 90% intersection with it as in Bench Press.

Verticle pulls for example. chin or upright rows both are pulling weight in a verticle motion.

Hope that helps,


thanks for all the replies, much appreciated


Thanks for the response Phill.

"Actually dips are a verticle press"

I guess it depends on how you perform it but if you lean forward whilst dipping to hit the chest more I'd consider dipping to be a horizontal push.

When I was using the ABBH 1 program I chose military press as my vertical press exercise simply because it was the only big lift I could find that I was certain was in the vertical plane. Alot of others, inclines and dips for example, seem to fall into either category depending on your perspective.


Chad Waterbury has said in the past that decline dumbbell presses with a semi-supinated grip (palms facing each other) are an okay alternative. If you don't have dumbbells at home, then I agree that decline close grip bench press is probably your best bet.