Straight Bar Dip Overview
The straight bar dip is a chest dip variation and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
The straight bar dip provides a unique challenge by altering the hand positioning during the exercise. Where the traditional dip would have the hands placed parallel to the body in a neutral grip, the straight bar dip has them in front of the body in a pronated grip.
Straight Bar Dip Instructions
- Step up on a straight bar dip station (if possible) and position your hands with a pronated grip (thumbs facing).
- Initiate the dip by unlocking the elbows and slowly lowering the body until the forearms are almost parallel with the floor.
- Control the descent to parallel and then drive back to the starting position by pushing through the palms.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Straight Bar Dip Tips
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.
- Straight bar dips are tougher on the shoulders so keep in mind that the parallel bar variation may be a better choice.
- If a straight bar dip station isn’t available, then simply set a bar on J hooks at the appropriate height in a rack.
- If possible, keep the legs straight down while bracing the glutes and abs to limit excessive spinal movement.
- If no dip station with steps is available, position a box underneath the handles to boost yourself up to the bars.
- If no box is available, then jump into position.
- Don’t allow the head to jut forward during the descent.
- Ensure the elbows stay just short of lock out to keep tension on the triceps.
- Experiment with a false grip by wrapping the thumb over the bar as this may be more comfortable for some.