Also known as dip bars or dip stands, dip stations are a very basic but extremely versatile piece of equipment that allows users to perform numerous bodyweight training exercises. Given their simplicity and relatively low cost, it’s an excellent addition to any home gym.
Editor’s Note: Gymnastic rings are also awesome for dips. Read more about that option here.
What Muscles Do You Workout With A Dip Station?
When performing traditional parallel bar dips (aka chest dips), you’re working out your upper chest, upper back and arms.
In more specific terms, the pectoralis Maximus is the primary muscle being exercised, but the pectoralis minor, anterior deltoid, rhomboid, and triceps are also activated. Additionally, the lat and trapezius muscles in the back are involved as well.
What To Look For In A Dip Station:
There are several things you’ll need to consider when deciding which dip station is right for you. As with most pieces of exercise equipment, models range from bare-bones to high end, and the rule of thumb that you get what you pay for certainly applies.
The first thing you’ll want to look for when selecting a dip station is the type of frame and its weight rating. The most important part of any frame is that it is stable.
Not only are dip stations annoying if they have even the slightest wobble to them, but they can also lead to injury. Dip stations should either mount to a wall or have a sturdy base to ensure they’re stable.
Another important thing to consider when you’re evaluating a frame is what it’s made of. Heavy-duty steel or iron construction is recommended, and picking a model that is powder-coated can also extend its life by preventing rust and corrosion.
Selecting a frame with the proper weight rating is also very important. You’ll need to account not only for your weight but also for any additional force you’ll be adding as you exercise.
If you plan on using a dip belt to increase the resistance to your dips, you’ll definitely want to pick one with a higher capacity. A rating of 400-500 lbs. should suffice for most elite athletes and a rating of 250-300 lbs. should be enough for more casual users.
Dip stations typically come with either knurled metal or rubber grips which are generally padded. While either will perform well in terms of gripping, the upside to knurled metal grips is that they will never wear out or rip.
However, they are considerably less comfortable and may result in blisters. If you prefer working out in gloves anyway, knurled metal is definitely the way to go, but if not, the rubber may be your best bet.
As a general rule, the wider the base, the sturdier your dip station. You definitely want the base to be a decent width and have rubberized feet to keep it from moving around.
There are a couple of aspects about the size you’ll need to consider, the most obvious of which is how much space you have available for this piece of equipment. If you’re short on space, there are several models that can break down or be folded or stacked.
The other thing to factor in when thinking about size is the width of the bars. A more narrow grip will allow you to target triceps and shoulders while a wider grip is better suited if you’re looking to build strength and chest size by working the pectorals harder.
Some models allow for add-ons or have additional workout stations. While even a base model dip station is a great addition to a gym, the ability to add resistance bands or additional equipment will make it even more versatile.
The Best Dip Stations In The Market
1. Fuel Pureformance Deluxe Dip Station
A relatively no-frills option, this model is designed to stand alone and has angled grips that allow you to target specific muscle groups. It’s constructed of durable 12- and 14 gauge powder-coated steel that should stand up to years of use
You can upgrade this dip station with Olympic rings that will allow you to ramp up your chest workout with suspended push ups or chest flies.
The product is very well made and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. Assembly is straightforward and is fairly compact once assembled at 29.9″ x 24.8″ x 38.5″.
The only noted downsides to this model are that the covering on the rubber hand grips is thin and the padding is a little light, so it typically starts showing wear within a couple of years.
- Sturdy construction
- Angled grips
- Optional Olympic rings
- Fairly compact
- Durability of grips
2. Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Fitness Station
What makes this dip station unique is its adjustable width and portability. It provides two different width options, allowing for comfortable use by multiple users or for targeting specific muscle groups.
It has angled, padded grips, and it quickly breaks down flat for storage. It is easy to assemble and boasts a weight capacity of 350 lbs. as well as a 10-year warranty protecting against manufacturer’s defects.
This model is a little pricey compared to some of the other basic models, but if you’re short on space, this is a great option.
The only negative to this model is that some users have complained that due to its portable nature, it does have a minor amount of wobble, which is most notable for users over 230 lbs.
- Folds flat for storage
- Two width options
- 10-year warranty
- One of the pricier options given its features
- Some wobble
3. Body Champ PT600
This is a piece of equipment that packs a lot of functionality into a relatively small footprint. This model provides users with a dip station, a multi-grip pull up bar and a calf raise station that doubles as push up bars.
With dimensions of 57.5 x 42.5 x 84.6, the dip station itself features a padded backrest and armrests for added comfort, and the construction is very sturdy and stable.
- Multiple exercise options
- Solid construction
- Larger than standard dip stations
4. Titan Fitness HD Dip Station Stand
Weighing just 19 lbs. while featuring a weight capacity of 750 lbs., this dip stand is an incredible feat of engineering. It gains its strength and stability from its single-piece design which lets users further customize the station with push-up rings or straps for added versatility.
Its padded rubber grips are comfortable to use and its rubberized feet keep it in place. Its footprint of 39″ x 34.5″ x 31.4″ makes it relatively unobtrusive. It’s a tremendous value.
The only downside to this model is that many users have complained about assembly due to some holes being slightly misaligned.
- Great value
- Weight capacity of 750 lbs.
- Lightweight at just 19 lbs.
- Some issues with assembly
5. Body-Solid Dip Station
This model is significantly more expensive than some of the other dip stations in the home gym market, but that added cost results in a higher-end feel.
This model is rated as commercial grade and has a weight capacity of 500 lbs. It features a wide base for maximum stability, comfortable rubber grips and is constructed of high quality 2″ and 3″ steel. It’s dimensions of 38 x 27 x 53 can accommodate almost any user.
- 500 lb. capacity
- Comfortable rubber grips
- Very sturdy
- Pricier than some options
6. Yaheetech Heavy Duty Dip Stand
With a capacity of 500 lbs., the Yaheetech Heavy Duty Dip Stand lives up to the name. It’s constructed of high-quality iron and has 1.5″ knurled metal grips that will never wear down.
With dimensions of 39.4″ x 25.5″ x 53.1″, it’s a little larger than some of the others, but it offers plenty of clearance for all heights, putting it on par with others with that weight capacity.
Users have noted a couple of downsides. The first is that the width is not adjustable and at 25″, it’s a little wider than some like. The second is that this model does have some sway to it due to the design.
- 500 lb. capacity
- Knurled metal grips
- Some sway in use
- 25″ width not ideal for all users
7. Ainfox Power Tower
Another multi-function model is the Ainfox Power Tower, which offers both a pull-up bar and a dip station with padded arm and backrests.
Rated for up to 550 lbs and featuring an adjustable height range of 64.6″ to 84.6″, this model will accommodate most anyone. Assembly is a bit tedious but the instructions are well written.
Its dimensions are 30.7″ x 42.5″ x 84.7″, making it larger than most dip stations but in line with most tower setups.
The only downside noted by users were some stability issues.
- 550 lb. capacity
- Padded arm and backrests
- Multiple exercise options
- Some sway in use
8. Stamina 1690 Power Tower
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower is relatively low-profile as far as towers go. Designed to accommodate pull-ups/chin-ups, dips, and push-ups, it’s a versatile option for a home gym.
It has padded handles and is well constructed. However, it’s only rated to support up to 250 lbs, and its price is higher than some of its counterparts.
- Sturdy design
- Padded handles
- Multiple exercise options
- 250 lb. capacity
- Pricer than similar models
9. FringeSport Wall-Mount Dip Bars
Perfect for anywhere that space is a premium, this dip station from Fringe Sport boasts a weight capacity of 600 lbs. and folds down to a slim 4″ profile when not in use.
The 14-gauge steel bars mount to the wall with an 11″ wall plate and have a tapered width ranging from 13″ to 21″.
This extremely sturdy and low-profile model is a great option for anyone who wants the flexibility of being able to fold down their dip station when not in use.
- Sturdy, steel construction
- 600 lb. capacity
- Fold-down when not in use
- Permanent wall installation
10. GoBeast Pull Up Bar and Dip Stand
If ultimate portability is what you’re after, this GoBeast Pull Up Bar and Dip Stand could be your best bet. It can be converted between a pull-up bar and dip stand, and it all breaks down into a convenient bag for travel or storage.
It weighs in at 45 lbs and is very easy to disassemble. While it’s made of sturdy materials and it has a wide base, it’s more suitable for smooth, controlled motions as opposed to aggressive movements due to its portable nature.
Its price point is more expensive than some of its stationary counterparts.
- 300 lb. capacity
- Can be used for multiple exercises
- Somewhat wobbly
- Higher priced than its stationary counterparts
The ProSource Dip Station is a budget-friendly option for those looking for a basic dip station. It’s one of the cheapest models on the market, and its adjustable nature gives it some versatility.
The width can be adjusted between 16.25″ and 23.25″, and the height can be adjusted from 31″ to 35″. It weighs just 23.5 lbs., making it easy to move around, and this station is rated to support up to 400 lbs. Due to its adjustable nature, there is some sway when in use.
- Adjustable height and width
- 400 lb. capacity
- Some sway when in use
Round-Up: What Dip Station Should You Buy?
For those looking for a sturdy grip station at a reasonable price, the Fuel Performance Dip Station is hard to top. Its budget-friendly price point, as well as the option to add on Olympic rings for a nominal fee, make getting a quality workout at home easy and affordable.
If you’re looking for even more versatility, the Stamina 1690 Power Tower could be the best option for you given that it costs the same as many basic dip stations but provides a pull-up bar, dip bars, and a calf raise station.
All the above options are great though, so just take into consideration your fitness goals, your space constraints, and your budget, and choose what model best meets your needs.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org