How To Do Straight Bar Dips (Technique & Progression Scheme)

Looking to step up your straight bar dip game? You’re in the perfect place. Single bar dips can do wonders for the chest. Not to mention serve as a precursor to the coveted straight bar muscle-up as a supplementary exercise to your muscle-up regimen. Not only that, but it’s great for getting you started with Bulgarian dips on the rings. So absolutely, single-bar dips are worth considering for your plan. To help you out, we’ve made this How To Do Straight Bar Dips guide.

How To Do A Straight Bar Dips

Equip yourself with a functioning bar roughly at mid-chest level. If no stand-alone is around, use a barbell on j-hooks or a smith machine instead. Put your hands on the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Think about narrowing your grip (it will make it more difficult) and hop onto it. After getting situated, firmly lock your nuckles and bring your shoulder blades downwards while maintaining stability in your core area. Lower yourself until the lower area of your chest touches the apparatus and start raising back to the initial spot. It is advised that you first work up to 10 parallel bars before even attempting this discipline.

Muscles Worked By Straight Bar Dips

The main muscle groups you’ll be engaging in this routine are pectorals, anterior deltoid (shoulders), triceps and core as stabilizers. It’s known that this drill specifically works slightly better for pectorals due to the shape of your body when carrying out – as opposed to parallel bars – due to its inner rotation, which maximizes chest activation. Despite this not being a massive difference from other similar exercises, it can make a significant impact when pursuing particular goals or analyzing progressions over time.


When To Do Single Bar Dips

When To Do Single Bar Dips


This, of course, relies upon what you wish to accomplish with them. If training for a muscle-up is your target – which consists of a high pull-up, transition and single bar dip – then chances are this will do it for you. If looking into working out pectorals even more so than with its equivalents then single bar dips should be employed. Lastly, they could be used as build up exercises prior to Bulgarian ring dips. All in all, solely pick depending on what goals you have in mind. So consequently, pick an exercise that fully brings out these objectives.


Constructing a Stronger Chest

Realizing the supreme potential of an exercise when it comes to building muscle is much easier said than done. The parallel bar dip is widely known to be one of the most beneficial moves when looking to build mass. It can be loaded heavily, making results much simpler to come by. Personally, I’m successively attaining great results by doing weighted dips with a weight of 135 lbs. An accomplishment not many can say they’ve achieved.

Though, if convenient access to weights and a dipping belt do not exist, that does not mean chest gains are out of reach. A heavier concentrated single bar dip is, therefore, the optimal way to secure gains when we’re working with what is readily available. Is it possible to benefit from the advantages of both exercises even with the lack of machinery? We would strongly advise against it! Doing so puts you at heightened risk for injury due to reduced internal rotation capacities for the shoulders when the straight bar variation is engaged in.

One exercise standing out amongst the rest for chest development is certainly Bulgarian ring dips. In this case, there is a considerable threshold since regular dips on rings are pretty advanced in terms of strength and ligament integrity, so having a preparatory exercise beforehand is necessary. In this case, a single bar dip will do just that as they primarily train the same movement yet serve as an easier version due to the lack of instability.

It’s easy enough, though, to be unfamiliar with proper form and make mistakes during single bar dips – like those laid out below:

No Scapular Depression

Shrugging your shoulder blades down is imperative for a solid shoulder position and to avoid injuries. Strength training here could remedy this issue by adding hold sets utilizing scapular depression at the finale of every upper body session – 3 sets totaling 3x60s with rest between sets recommended

Elbow Flaring

This occurs due to lack of sufficient strength when attempting dip movements. Minimize risk here by progressing downward in areas such as band-assisted variations or negatives, respectively

Half Rep Performed

Not executing reps throughout their full range of motion will result in missed strength opportunities. This scarcity can be reversed through utilizing exercises within one’s capacity, such as variation negatives or banded straight bar dips work


Frequently Asked Questions

Are straight bar dips more challenging than parallel dips?
Straight bar dips may not be tougher intrinsically. However, the stance is significantly more complex to adjust to, as it may take time for you to become accustomed to it. Moreover, this particular exercise typically requires more chest activation. Hence, those who possess a weaker chest may notionally view it as tougher than parallel bar dips.

What muscles do straight bar dips focus on?
Straight bar dips concentrate on targeting the chest, triceps and shoulders. Additionally, the core is heavily engaged in this exercise as well while further aiming at stabilizing your form across the complete range of motion.

Are straight bar dips detrimental to the shoulders?
Not when executed with precise form and elbow control. As long as you follow the correct posture and technique while doing them, straight bar dips do not cause any adversative effects on your shoulders.


How To Do Straight Bar Dips Final Words

Evidently, there are more effective exercises for gaining strength overall, such as the weighted parallel dip. However, the single bar dip still holds its own place when it comes to exercise regimes. If you are conditioning for a straight bar muscle-up, this activity is immensely significant. Like wise, if you can solely practice physical workouts without utilizing weights – a single bar dip supersedes parallel bars since it places your pectoral muscles in a better working angle. As far as attaining your distinct fitness targets, there is no better approach than selecting the most suitable workouts that complement them.
So we challenge you to give straight bar dips the chance they deserve!

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