Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Self-Assisted Straight Bar Dip Overview

The self-assisted straight bar dip is a variation of the straight bar dip and an exercise used to build the muscles of the triceps, chest, and shoulders.

If you’re unable to perform straight bar dips, going the self-assisted route is the way to go. By focusing on the eccentric portion of the straight bar dip and assisting yourself through the concentric portion, you’ll build the pre-requisite strength needed to progress to the full bodyweight variation.

Self-Assisted Straight Bar Dip Instructions

  1. Set up on a straight bar dip station (if possible) and position your hands with a pronated grip (thumbs facing).
  2. Allow the feet to hang behind the body and touch the floor. Simply press into the floor with the legs to assist with completion of the movement.
  3. Initiate the dip by unlocking the elbows and slowly lowering the body until the forearms are almost parallel with the floor.
  4. Control the descent to parallel and then drive back to the starting position by pushing through the palms.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Self-Assisted Straight Bar Dip Tips

  1. Technically there are two ways to perform dips - neither is wrong, just different movements with different purposes:
    • Staying upright and keeping the elbows in close to increase tricep recruitment.
    • Leaning forward with elbows wider to increase chest recruitment.
  2. Straight bar dips are tougher on the shoulders so keep in mind that the parallel bar variation may be a better choice.
  3. If a straight bar dip station isn’t available, then simply set a bar on J hooks at the appropriate height in a rack.
  4. If no dip station with steps is available, position a box underneath the handles to boost yourself up to the bars.
  5. If no box is available, then jump into position.
  6. Don’t allow the head to jut forward during the descent.
  7. Ensure the elbows stay just short of lock out to keep tension on the triceps.
  8. Experiment with a false grip by wrapping the thumb over the bar as this may be more comfortable for some.