There’s this guy at my gym and he has the hugest triceps I have ever seen on a non-cartoon person. Well he swears that the dip bars at the gym—and his home—give him a complete upper body workout.
[When someone with arms this big tells you how to work the upper body...you listen!]
I was skeptical to say the least, but then I began to think that maybe ‘Hulk Arms’ was on to something. Could it be that dip bars really do facilitate a full upper body workout? Keep reading to find out.
What Are Dip Bars?
For those of you who don’t know, dip bars are exercise equipment traditionally used to perform tricep dips. By using a little imagination however you can use dip bars to work your chest, abs, shoulders and back. Depending on how you prefer to get your workout, there are a wide variety of dip bars available for home use.
Dip Bar Exercises
In addition to tricep dips there are actually quite a few upper body exercises you can do with dip bars.
Push ups do a great job working triceps, shoulders and chest muscles when done correctly. Using dip bars can help you maintain proper push up form for a more effective workout. How exactly you perform a push up using dip bars will depend on which dip bar you are currently using. Doing dip bar push ups is a good beginner exercise for those who are unable to support their body weight.
[This traditional dip bar is most commonly found at gyms, but smaller versions are available for the home.]
Pull ups are another effective upper body exercise that can be done using dip bars. Proper form will be dictated by the dip bar you use. Just remember that the palms are facing toward you when pull ups are performed. Using dip bars for modified pull ups is an easier way to start developing upper body strength.
[This home dip bar illustrates how simply push ups can be performed, among other exercises.]
Leg raises and knee lifts work abdominal muscles and by reversing your tricep dip position, you can do them using any of the dip bars currently on the market. Leg raises require you to keep your arms steady and abdominals flexed as you lift for the most effective abdominal workout. Work dip bars the same way you would any other piece of workout equipment, and don’t skimp on those reps!
Of course dip bars are wonderful for any type of dip exercise you need to perform. Work your triceps or bicep muscles on dip bars to tone. Grab a dip belt so you can add weight for a hardcore upper body workout using weights. The versatility of dip bars makes them a cheap and easy way to effectively work your upper body muscles.
But Do They Work?
Dip bars do allow for an effective upper body workout, more so if lifting your bodyweight isn’t a problem. But with all exercises, the effectiveness of your upper body workout using dip bars will depend on several factors:
- How frequently do you exercise?
- Do you maintain the integrity of each move?
- Is your diet well-balanced and healthy?
This doesn’t mean that at some point you won’t outgrow the dip bars, but until that day comes they are highly effective. When performed on a regular basis and correctly, dip bar exercises can help improve overall strength and build upper body muscles.
Before you decide to buy a dip bar, try out the one at your local gym to see how you like it. If you feel the dip bar can help you achieve upper body goals, find one you like and can afford and get started.