Dip Bar Exercises: Amazing Calisthenics Workouts On Dip Bars

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Hello, welcome to my article. I’ll be discussing the best dip bar exercises anyone can do. Some are going to be bare, and others will be about isometrics. The basics are the essential movements to develop muscle mass by doing a high volume of reps and sets. The isometric exercises test your ability to hold a position as long as possible. Both basics and isometrics are demanding, but not impossible to do. It takes practice to get better at doing these exercises. Let’s dive right into this article about the best dip bar exercises.

Origin of dip bars

The origin of dip bars originates back to the early 1800s C.E. when Friedrich Ludwig Jahn invented them. Friedrich was a German gymnastics educator and nationalist who founded the Turner movement. The Turner Movement was a school based in Germany to educate people in the art of gymnastics. Throughout the years, many Olympic dip bar competitions are approve as the standard of human strength in the Olympics. Alongside the high bar and gymnastics ring competitions, the dip bar remains one of the most watched displays of athleticism. The fitness industry capitalized on making dip bars accessible to the public for home or gym use. They saw its practicality for developing muscle mass during the 1970s C.E. Ever since the 1970s C.E., calisthenics parks have materialize to provide pull-up bars and dip bars. The popularity of this apparatus shows how important it is to try building muscle with dip bars.

Why are dip bar exercises amazing?

Dip bars are incredible exercise tools to form muscle mass in the upper body and midsection. When you perform on dip bars, your doing compound movements that target multiple muscles. Another benefit of exercising with the dip bars is performing isolation, where you only target a single muscle. The last advantage of exercising with dip bars is performing static holds that enable improving physical endurance. All three exercise methods refine the strengthening and balance of the muscles.

Where can you perform dip bar exercises?

There are three places you can exercise using dip bars, the gym, calisthenics park, or the house. The gym has dip bars that are compact together with a pull-up bar. They are called stations. It’s a great workout station to simultaneously exercise the upper body and core. The gym doesn’t have single dip bars, only stationary compact pull-up dip bars. Someone like me who doesn’t favor the gym recommends getting a workout station delivered to your house. I don’t like the gym for various reasons, but I’m not going to discuss this here in this article. Now, a second place where you can use dip bars is at a calisthenics park. The outdoors is great, but only during the summer and fall. When temperatures drop, I prefer indoors. The last place is the house. Here, you can exercise any time of the day. There are no excuses to not exercise.

Vertical Pushup

Vertical push-ups, also known as dips are a great exercise to develop pectoral muscles, especially in the lower region. Three pectoral fibers are going in different directions. There’s an upper, middle, and lower, where they attach in the same area. That area is the frontal upper side of the humerus. The upper fiber attaches to the clavicle. The middle attaches to the sternum. The lower attaches to the 5th and 6th ribs. When you perform a horizontal push-up, you mainly target the middle and upper regions. During the press-up, the arms are extending forward. When this happens, your upper and mid fibers compress when the elbows are aligned with the middle fibers. To target the lower fibers, you must perform a dip. When you raise the torso, the elbows are aligned along the direction of the lower fibers during the press-up. The press will target the lower fibers.

Another suggestion is lean the torso forward about 60 degrees. Doing this will engage the pecs more because gravity is pulling the muscle. When you press up, the muscle contraction presses the muscles up. Now, what muscles are involved? They are the anterior deltoids, triceps, and pecs (middle and lower fibers).

Tricep Extension

Similar but different to the vertical pushup, the tricep extension involves the torso lowering and rising. To perform the exercise correctly, keep the torso straight without leaning the torso forward. Lower the torso and then raise. Doing this will contract the triceps, and it’s the correct way to perform an isolation exercise.

Horizontal Pullup

An effective exercise to target multiple muscles from the posterior side is the horizontal pull-up. The workout is a little easier to perform than the vertical pull-up. The reason for this is you’re not lifting your whole body weight when performing a horizontal pull-up. Both feet are stationed on something stable, and it relieves some of the load to pull horizontally. The benefit is you get to perform more reps before giving out quickly like you would when doing vertical pull-ups. To carry out the exercise correctly, the arms have to be aligned with the chest. Then pull the torso up while the elbows cross past the rib cage. The entire vertebral column has to be straight but slightly bend on the thoracic side. Doing all of this will engage the traps, rotator cuffs, lats, posterior deltoid, and biceps.

Bicep Curl

Doing an isolation exercise for the biceps on the dip bars is easy. All you have to do is plant your feet on the floor and hold the bar in a supine grip. Then straighten the back and protract the scapulas. Doing this will prevent the scapulas from retracting. The final part is flexing the elbows to lift the torso. All of these steps will enable you to perform bicep curls on the dip bars.

Knee Raise

The easiest of the two ab exercises on the dip bar is knee raises. The knee raise is about exercising the lower abdominals, affecting the rest of the abdominal wall. The reason why it’s easier is because you’re eliminating extra weight from the legs. That additional weight is the lower half of the legs. Flexing the knees ensures uncomplicated motion to focus on performing the exercise. To engage the midsection right, raise the knees by bending the lower back slightly. Doing this will help engage the abdominal wall better.

Leg Raise

The heaviest abdominal exercise on the dip bar is the leg raise. The reason why it’s harder to pull off is because of the extra weight of the lower leg. When you do a knee raise, it’s easier because the load of the lower legs is detached. But then adding the lower legs to lift the entire leg becomes a hassle. At the same time, the hip flexors must work harder to sustain the weight of the straight legs. The hip flexors include two big muscles, the iliacus and psoas major. Iliacus attaches on the inside of the hip wall all the way to the upper medial side of the femur. Psoas major attaches from the lumbar area all the way to the upper medial side of the femur. These muscles have to be dense to lift a heavy burden.

Pistol Squat

Using the dip bar to assist can be a great aid to help with the development of the pistol squat. The pistol squat is an advanced leg exercise because you’re not using both legs. In a regular squat, both legs are involved with lowering and raising the torso to affect the tension of the quads. The pistol squat only involves one leg to lower and raise the torso by mimicking a pistol. The reason why it’s difficult is because more load is on one leg. Trying to attempt this for the first time can be challenging. Not just because of the extra force, but trying to remain balanced with one leg while performing. The dip bar assists you on the path toward performing the movement.

L Sit

Doing an L-sit can be demanding on the hip flexors when bearing the weight of straight legs. The exercise is similar to a leg raise, except your not lifting and lowering the legs. The way to perform this static hold is to repeat the movement to strengthen the hip flexors. A continuous repeat of the motion will enable the ability to hold the legs in mid-air.

Front Lever

A tremendous amount of body weight has to be lifted in mid-air while facing upward toward the ceiling. To do this, you need a tremendous amount of strength on the posterior chain. The posterior chain includes the entire back muscles and glutes. These will be the ones to sustain the heavy load and not break the hold. Another help involves the anterior chain of the abdominals, obliques, and quads. They also are directly involved with assisting. To have a chance at learning this movement, use a loop resistance band. Wrap the band in the middle of the dip bar and then place your feet on the other end of the band. The resistance band will alleviate some weight to understand how to perform the exercise. Prior to performing a front lever, one must have the basic foundation in developing back strength.

I can’t properly perform a front lever. I’m currently training to perform the front lever. When I master this exercise, I’ll upgrade this article.

Back Lever

The second type of isometrics requires a dense posterior and anterior chain to withstand gravity. The body has to be at a 180-degree angle; this time you’re facing the floor. The static hold is difficult because the hands align straight to the hips. The head and the rest of the torso are forward, away from the center of the dip bar. An easy fix to this is to use a loop band to understand how to align the body. You place the band between your thumbs, and let the rest of the band hang. Then roll backward until the band touches your hips and hold until you give out. Doing this is the only way to progress, but performing the fundamentals of basic calisthenics will develop a strong body.

I can’t properly perform a back lever. I’m currently training to perform the back lever. When I master this exercise, I’ll upgrade this article.


The third type of isometrics also requires a robust posterior and anterior chain to withstand the strenuous planche. You’re facing the floor, and the body has to be at a 180-degree angle while levitating the body. The real problem is the hands are aligning straight up to the hip area instead of the chest area. The rest of the head and torso are forward from the center of the hand placement. To solve this problem, place a band and wrap it in the middle of the bar. Go through the band until it touches your hips. Doing this will relieve some weight as you practice learning how to align and strengthen the body.

I can’t properly perform a planche. I’m currently training to perform the planche. When I master this exercise, I’ll upgrade this article.


These are my choices to perform the best dip bar exercises because it’s effective and fun to do. The dip bar has come a long way from where it began, to make its way to every facility and home. Here’s an article demonstrating how loop bands can assist your calisthenics.

Please comment below. If you have any doubts or questions, please be specific about the questions you have that you want me to answer. I’ll answer them as soon as possible. Thanks.

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