Dip bar exercises are compound movements that rely on your weight to engage the majority of upper body muscles. These exercises are simple to perform for beginners as well as advanced athletes.

You just need to:

  • Grab two parallel bars
  • Hoist yourself up
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows

Since these are compound exercises, they include several joints and muscle groups at the same time, which leads to increased agility and muscular hypertrophy in your chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, and back.

Unfortunately, many beginners choose to focus on complicated machines that only target a specific muscle group, which significantly slows down their progress and demotivates them.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the benefits of dip bar exercises, as well as the proper way to perform these exercises.

The benefits of dip bar exercises

Due to the complexity of dip bar exercises, they offer several benefits, including:

Build upper body

As you add more weights to your exercises, you’ll be able to overload your muscles, which eventually leads to bigger muscle mass.

Dip bar exercises are similar to other strength training routines that focus on training to failure to cause microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, forcing them to grow larger.

Additionally, these exercises are considered closed kinetic chain (CKC) routines, which means your body will be on the move while arms are fixed.

In fact, dip bar exercises are one of the few CKC routines out there that target the upper body.

Allows you to add weights

Another advantage of dip bar exercises is the ability to add more weights to your exercises.

Note that performing dips by themselves is already challenging enough; however, you’ll often become too comfortable with your own body weight and want something to spice things up.

If you want to add some weight to your exercises, you should buy a dip belt. If that’s not an option, you could always hold a dumbbell between your legs.

Superior to push-ups

Push-ups are the closest CKC exercise to dips. However, the latter is far more challenging since you’ll be lifting your entire body weight – and then some. On the other hand, push-ups only place a fraction of your body weight on your arms.

You could argue that adding weights to push-ups can make them more demanding; while this statement is true, it is quite impractical.

How to do dip bar exercises

Before trying to perform this exercise, you first need to make sure that you’re physically fit.

After all, you don’t want to lower your body without being able to do at least one repetition; you could always injure yourself by hurting your muscles or joints.

Some fitness gurus developed a progression plan for individuals who are not yet ready to do a full dip.

Dip bar workout illustration

If doing dips is not a problem for you, here are the steps to follow:

  • Grab the parallel bars
  • Hoist yourself up
  • Look straight ahead and contract your abdominal muscles (similar to what you would do with squats and deadlifts)
  • Bend your knees to stabilize your core
  • Lower yourself until your triceps become parallel to the bars
  • Once you reach the position, go back up again until your elbows lock

In summary, keep your elbows locked, abs engaged, and body stable.

Examples of dip bar exercises

1.      Wall sit exercise

  • Stand between the dip bars and grab each side
  • Your wrists should be stacked with the bars resting on your palms
  • Push down to move your body upward
  • As you do that, slowly remove your feet from the floor until you lock out your arms
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds
  • Lower yourself again to the initial position
  • Repeat this process

2.      Negative dips

  • Stand between the dip bars and grab each side
  • Your wrists should be stacked with the bars resting on your palms
  • Push down to move your body upward
  • As you lift your feet, bend your knees and cross your ankles for stability
  • Keep your torso upright while you bend your elbows to lower your body
  • As soon as you reach the bottom of your range of motion, put your feet down
  • Return to the initial position

3.      Band assisted dips

  • Stand between the dip bars and grab each side
  • As you place your knees in the band, extend to the static hold position
  • Unlock your elbows, bending them to allow yourself to come closer to the floor
  • As soon as you reach the bottom of your range of motion, put your feet down
  • Return to the initial position

The equipment you need for dip bar exercises

The first thing you need to perform dip bar exercises is a dip bar (duh!).

As mentioned above, dip bars are great for those who want to work their entire upper body without having to target each muscle individually.

Now you might be thinking: “what about pullup bars?”

While both bars offer great benefits to your upper body and core muscles, doing a pull-up is very difficult for most beginners.

Therefore, we don’t want anyone to get demotivated and give up on their fitness goals before even starting!

In general, getting a decent dip bar costs between $75 to $100, which is not that bad compared to the benefits you’re expected to reap.

For reference, most gym memberships cost more than $100, and unlike a membership, you get to keep your dip bar forever.

Takeaway message

Dip bar exercises are extremely dynamic movements that engage the vast majority of the joints and muscles of your upper body.

Hopefully, this article helped you appreciate the value of these exercises and convinced you to include them in your fitness routine.

If you still have any questions, concerns, or simply want to add something, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below or reach out to us.