Parallel Bars Dips Exercise
The parallel bars dips exercise is one of the most effective and versatile bodyweight exercises out there. Like the push up and pull up, parallel bars dips hone in on several muscle groups in your upper body. Incorporated into a full body workout, they can help you to bust straight through upper body plateaus and weaknesses. And though they may not be as widely used as other upper body moves, parallel bars dips are highly regarded among experts as a great exercise no matter what type of fitness goals you have. Here’s a quick guide to performing them, and how they can be incorporated into your workout routine.
- Doing the dip. To perform parallel bars dips, you really only need one obvious piece of equipment – parallel bars. Ideally, they should be roughly shoulder width apart and high enough so that you won’t touch the ground on the lower part of the move. To perform them, start with one hand on each bar, and jump up so that your arms are fully extended, supporting your body completely. In this position, your elbows should be locked. Now, unlock the elbows and lower your body with your arms, keeping them in close to your torso as you move downward in a slow, controlled motion. When your elbows make an angle close to ninety degrees, push back up into the extended position. With that, you’ve completed one full parallel bars dip repetition.
- What the dip does. Though parallel bars dips exercises are typically considered a triceps move, they actually require quite a bit of force from your deltoids (shoulders) and pectorals (chest) as well. When performed with correct form, all three of these upper body muscle groups will be on fire after just a few repetitions. In the fitness world, the parallel bars dip is what’s called a “compound exercise,” in that they work several muscle groups with one succinct move.
- Making the dip fit your workout style. Because they require only bodyweight, regular parallel bars dips will strengthen your upper body without much gain in muscle mass. Endurance athletes who use their upper body – swimmers, for instance – will find them extremely useful done traditionally. They can, however, be very useful for gaining muscle mass as well. All you need is a weight belt to give the exercise the extra “oomph” you seek. By adding enough weight to reach muscle failure in the range of eight to ten repetitions, you ensure that your triceps, shoulders, and chest will recover stronger and bigger than they were before.